Lake Roopkund, Uttarakhand – A mystery frozen in time

Also known as the Lake of Skeletons, Lake Roopkund in Uttarakhand, located 5029m above sea level, was a time-frozen mystery that scientists only recently unraveled.

The birth of this lake at such a height was already a cause for confusion. On top of it, the lake has a bunch of skeletons buried at its bottom, which is visible only once the snow melts. It was discovered by a ranger in 1942 who discovered a mass grave in this inaccessible lake that actually takes a difficult 4-day hike to reach an isolated and uninhabited place.

Local legends believe that the skeletons belong to the 9th century AD king of Kannauj who was heading on a pilgrimage to Mount Nanda Devi along with his queen and other pilgrims who encountered a sudden hailstorm and drowned in the lake. Scientists have recently corroborated the story that the skeletons actually belong to pilgrims and locals dating back to around 850 AD Researchers concluded that these deaths were caused by fatal blows to the back of the head and not by wounds found by weapons. battle, avalanches or landslides. The markings on the skulls and shoulder bones matched the blow of something round the size of a cricket ball. The best guess is from the ball-sized hailstones that would have caused the injuries and subsequently the death of these pilgrims.

Roopkund, also known as the Mysterious Lake, is surrounded by rock-covered glaciers and snow-capped mountains. The lake is about 2 meters deep and hundreds of hikers flock to it every year. Tourists and pilgrims also attend the Nanda Devi Raj Jat which is held once every twelve years in Roopkund to worship the goddess Nanda.

Roopkund Travel Guide

Distance from Delhi: 492 Km + 34 Km (walk)

Best season: May to October

How to get to Roopkund

The Lohajung Pass, well connected via passable roads, is the starting point of the trek. The difficulty level of the hike from Lohajung Pass to Bedni Bugyal is medium. Bedni Bugyal is the most picturesque place on the road with a vast expanse of greenery, slopes full of conifers. The hardest part of the trek is 14 km from Bedni Bugyal to Roopkund, which is intended for properly equipped travelers with previous trekking experience. There is no accommodation available on the trek route.

Road route from Delhi to Roopkund

Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Karnaprayag – Dewal – Lohajung Pass – (Trekking = 34 Km) – Roopkund

Train route to Roopkund

Rishikesh is the closest train station to Lake Roopkund. From Rishikesh, the above-mentioned road route should be followed.

Flight path to Roopkund

Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport is the closest to Roopkund. From there the road route leads to Dewal from where the above mentioned road route can be followed.

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