The Sikh pilgrimage to Hemkund Sahib began on Sunday. A year-long reconstruction work in the Govindghat gurdwara, which is about 20 km ahead of the shrine, and fixing up the 20-km-long trek route from the gurudwara to Hemkund Sahib made the yatra feasible this year.
The yatra was flagged of from Chamoli district’s Govindghat gurdwara on Saturday. Over 3,000 pilgrims who started the trek from the Govindghat reached Hemkund Sahib on Sunday.
On June 17 last year, the Alaknanda river, which flows beside the gurudwara, swelled with water that swept away with it, the road, car-parking area, almost 50 shops, and parts of the gurdwara. The yatra got suspended till September last year, after which it was resumed for a short period.
Seva Singh, the Manager of the gurdwara said, “The work on the motor bridge to cross the Alaknanda river, which got washed away last year, is yet to begin.”
As motor vehicles will not be able to cross the river, pilgrims would either have to walk the 20 km stretch from Govindghat to Hemkund Sahib or they could use mules, he added.