In view of heavy snow in Hemkund Sahib, a ban has been imposed on the travel of children and elders above 60 years of age, said officials on Monday. The yatra is scheduled to begin on May 20.
“Due to seven to eight feet of snow in Hemkund Sahib, a ban has been imposed on the travel of children and elders above 60 years of age. The doors of Hemkund Sahib are opening on May 20,” read the official notice. Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara Management Committee President Narendrajit Singh Bindra said that as per the instructions of the Chamoli district administration, the number of pilgrims coming to Hemkund will be kept limited.
“According to the instructions of the administration, sick people, children and the elderly will not be allowed to travel till further orders,” he said. Earlier on May 14, Chamoli collector Himanshu Khurana walked for 18 kilometres and took stock of ongoing preparations on Saturday, for the yatra scheduled to begin on May 20, said an official.
DM Khurana started his inspection from Govind Ghat Gurudwara and reached Hemkund Sahib. During his visit, he also instructed responsible officials to make all the necessary arrangements within the time frame. He inspected all the arrangements like electricity, water, toilets, cleanliness, and health facilities.
Apart from that, DM also reviewed facilities en route of the yatra like railings, parking, approach roads, bridges, rain shelters, benches and the rescue helipad. He asked officials to raise hectometre stones and signage in the route for the convenience of pilgrims. He also instructed the Jal Sansthan to start water ATMs in Ghangharia and provide water ATMs near the medical relief post and passenger shed in Bhundar, said an official.
It is to be noted that for now the pilgrimage is covered under eight feet of snow and sites like Laxman Temple and Hemkund Sarovar are also entirely under snow blanket. The literal meaning of the Hemkund Sahib is “Lake of Snow” and it is the highest Gurudwara in the world with a height of 4633 meters above sea level.