History of Hemkund Sahib
Earlier Hemkunt Sahib was known as 'Lokpal' by the local inhabitants, meaning the sustainer of the people. Hemkunt Sahib was mentioned in the autobiography of Shri Guru Gobind Singh. However, the site remained hidden for more than two centuries. It was the famous Sikh historian and poet, Bhai Santokh Singh (1787-1843) who narrated the story of Dusht Daman, which literally suggests the 'vanquisher of evil', a name chosen for Guru Gobind. He also described the 'tapasthan' or the place of worship.
In late 19th century, Pandit Tara Singh Narotam, a Nirmala scholar compiled a synopsis of the various Sikh pilgrimage places, which included Sri Hemkunt Sahib. On the account of the description provided in the Mahabharata, Narotam traversed to the place where Pandu king had meditated. He was able to verify the site of Sri Hemkunt Sahib and around 1872-1957 A.D., Bhai Vir Singh, a renowned poet-historian agreed to the authenticity of Narotam’s evidence of the discovery of Sri Hemkunt Sahib. He also presented a vivid description of the site in his biography of the tenth guru, Kalghidhar Chamatkar.
However, the person behind the discovery of the present location of the tapasthan was Sant Sohan Singh of Tehri Garhwal, a retired granthi from the army. He was inspired by the description given by Bhai Vir Singh in his work and visited the place accompanied by Baba Kartar Singh Bedi in 1934. Sant Sohan Singh was determined to set up a Gurudwara here and met Bhai Vir Singh in this regard.
Mythology of Hemkund Sahib
As per the Hindu mythology, Sri Hemkunt Sahib was known as Lokpal, a lake which was the meditational grounds of Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama. There is also a temple of Lakshman adorned on the shore of the Hemkund Lake.