Roopkund lake is a glacial lake nestled at the steep base of the Trisul and Ghunti mountains of the Himalayan range. This mysterious lake is located at the height of 16500 feet above sea level in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The Roopkund lake is one of the most pristine lakes of Uttarakhand. However, it is not just famous for its beautiful location but also for the mystery surrounding it. So, today we are going to untangle the mystery surrounding this spookiest lake of Uttarakhand.
Why Is Roopkund Lake Called A Mystery Lake?
The lake is not just famous for its mesmerizing surroundings of loft mountains and Roopkund trek. It has a mystery surrounding it. I know many of you won’t believe that something creepy can emerge from the lake having a beautiful backdrop. But it is true, in every summer when the snow melts, skeletons emerge from this lake. Sounds spooky, right? There are around 800 to 900 skeletons present in this lake. Some of the skeletons are etched with flesh and are well preserved.
Who Discovered The Skeletons At Roopkund Lake?
Nanda Devi game reserve ranger Hari Kishan Madhwal discovered the human skeleton back in 1942. After the discovery by the British ranger, British officials believed that those skeletons were of a hidden Japanese troop. Various teams of scientists and researchers have approached that spookiest lake to find the answers related to those skeletons. After long research, it was later discovered that the skeletons at Roopkund lake are dated back to 850 AD. Those skeletons were of a tribe.
What Happened At Roopkund Lake?
As per the narratives from the locals, the lake is located at the route of the Nanda Devi pilgrimage. Nanda Devi is a Hindu Goddess and another form of Devi Parvati. If we believe the legend, Roopkund lake dead bodies are the result of the wrath of Nanda Devi. The legend goes like this; a foolish king angered the Goddess Nanda Devi. In order to pacify the anger of the Goddess, he embarked on a pilgrimage. But being a King, he was not able to sacrifice his greed and luxurious lifestyle. Along with his fleet, he took dancers and other various things that increased the wrath of the Goddess. Goddess punished the king and his fleet with an intense hail storm that killed everyone. This legend is almost near to the truth as skulls have been found fractured with blunt force on them.
So, this is all about the Roopkund lake mystery of skeletons that appears in the summer season every year. Nevertheless, if we set aside the horrific scene of this lake, we can see a beautiful trekking site as well. Roopkund Lake trek is another famous trek of the Himalayas.
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Tourists Spots At Roopkund Trek
For all trekking lovers, the Roopkund trek is a must-go for you. It has everything that an adventurer wants. From thick forests to a haunted lake and snowy mountains, you can find everything to make your adrenaline rush to the next level. It is a six days trek and one of the highly popular Himalayan treks as well. At Roopkund Trek, there are two wonderful places to visit as well. So, if you are planning your trip to Roopkund, then plan your itinerary wisely.
Bedni Bugyal is an alpine meadow and a hill station situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. This place comes during the Roopkund Trek, and the nearest village to Bedni Bugyal is Wan. Those who are planning to go on a trek can start from Wan village. From this place, people can have a clear view of Nanda Ghunti and Trisul; the lush green meadows of Bedni Bugyal are decorated with varieties of flowers. In Bedni Bugyal, tourists can go to Bedni Kund as well. It is a small lake situated in that area only. Brahm Kamal, the state flower of Uttarakhand, can also be a site here in abundance.
Another lake near Roopkund is Homkund. This lake is surrounded by Nanda Ghunti, and Trisul gives a breathtaking view of surrounding snow-clad mountains. Most of the trekkers who come to the Roopkund trek visit this lake as well.
Other than Roopkund lake, these two places are well-known places in Chamoli, Uttarakhand. One must plan their visit to these two as well. Both the places are perfect for those who are inclined towards photography as well.
Roopkund Trek Guide
Day 1: Kathgodam to Lohajung
You can go to Kathgodam by train. Ranikhet express will help you to get there. From Kathgodam you can hire a cab or public transport to reach Lohajung. However, if you are going by public transport, then the bus will drop you at Gwaldam. From Gwaldam, take shared cabs. This option is budget-friendly as well.
Day 2: Lojaung to Didna Village
This is a trekking route of almost 6.5 to 7 km. You have to reach Raun Bagad. The trek route to Raun Bagad has a thick forest, and it will take nearly 3 hours to reach there. You can also reach Raun Bagad by taking the course from Wan village to Kuling village to Raun bagad. From Raun Bagad, you can start your climb towards Didna Village.
Day 3: Didna Village to Ali Bugyal
You have two options to reach Ali Bugyal from Didna Village. Either take a trek to Tolapani or go by climbing directly to Ali Bugyal. If you are going by Tolapani, you will move towards Tolkaan, and then you will have to go through the oak forest, and then finally you will reach Ali Bugyal. At the same time, another option is just climbing, but it can be tiresome for many.
Day 4: Ali Bugyal to Ghora Lautani
You just have to walk straight for a few kilometers until you find the ridge area. From there, you can reach Ghora Lautani. The place gives a picturesque view and is beautiful enough to take you to another world.
Day 5: Patar Nachuni to Bhagwabasa
Now from here, you can undoubtedly find the cool breeze and chills. You have to trek on a snow line. Then, you have to reach Bhagwabasa in the daytime only, otherwise be ready to face harsh weather. You will reach Bhagwabasa through an uphill trek of Kalu Vinayak. It will take around 2 hours to reach Bhagwabasa. The whole trail to Bhagwabasa serves a mesmerizing view and snow patches. Indeed, you will enjoy the journey.
Day 6: Bhagwabasa to Roopkund Lake and Returning to Patar Nachuni
Now, from Bhagwabasa, Roopkund is almost 3 km away. I would suggest, start your trek early in the day. It will be easy for you to walk over fresh snow. Once the snow starts melting in later hours of the day, you will face hurdles in your traversing. It will take 3 to 4 hours to reach the magnificent glacial Roopkund lake. After reaching Roopkund, enjoy the view.
Returning From Roopkund Lake to Lohajung
Now while returning, be careful on slopes. Often due to snow, the path gets slippery. Reach Bedni Bugyal via Bhagwabasa. From Bhagwabasa, return to Lohajung through Wan village. While returning, be ready to get dazzled by the breathtaking view of Trisul. From Wan Village, reach Lohajung by car or walking.
So, this is the entire Roopkund Lake Trek route. This whole trek is going to be an exhilarating one. So, do not go to it without any prior preparation. All along the journey, you will witness a formidable view of the Himalayas, rugged tracks, and finally, the mysterious Roopkund Lake.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to go to the Roopkund trek?
After reading a lot about Roopkund Trek, I think you are planning your trek to this place now. But, before you pack your bags and book your train or bus tickets, you must know the best time for Roopkund lake Trek. If you are someone who prefers to avoid cold conditions, then May and June would be the best months for you. Those who love cold breezes should plan the trek during the months of September, October, and November.
How difficult is the Roopkund trek?
On a difficulty scale, the trek stands on a moderate level. That too because of its distance. It is a 15 Km trek.