The mysterious skeleton lake.’
Set amidst the benevolent mountainous peaks, the Roopkund Lake in India remains in the spotlight for its unsolved mystery. It has been nicknamed as the ‘Mystery Lake’ as the remains of human skeletons and horses belonging to the Palaeolithic age can be seen here.
IN 1942 A BRITISH FOREST guard in Roopkund, India made an alarming discovery. Some 16,000 feet above sea level, at the bottom of a small valley, was a frozen lake absolutely full of skeletons. That summer, the ice melting revealed even more skeletal remains, floating in the water and lying haphazardly around the lake’s edges.
The adrenaline pumping trek to Roopkund starts from Lohajung, a tiny pass seated at 16,499 feet above sea level in the Garhwal Himalayas. This shallow lake has a depth of about 2 metres and is the most popular lake in the entire Uttarakhand. The lake is nestled amidst panoramic mountain scenery, surrounded by rock-strewn glacier. Roopkund remains frozen for almost all the time of the year. The skeletal remains around Roopkund are believed to be 500-600 years old. While traveling to Roopkund you get a chance to trek through villages rich in pahari culture.
Roopkund, perhaps the most popular trek in India, is almost picture perfect. The trail climbs out of splendid dark forests suddenly bursting into Ali and Bedni Bugyal, arguably India’s most beautiful high altitude meadows. Out of the meadows the trail quickly gets into terrific alpine stretches. Climbing on snow to the Roopkund lake is a heart-pounding thrill. The beautiful Mt Trishul looms over the setting getting closer as you climb higher, when at a ridge above Roopkund, only air separates the trekker from them and Trishul.
To get there, you first need to reach Lohajung. The Roopkund trek begins from Lohajung (7,700 ft), 230 km from Kathgodam. It is a tiny pass, that slips in through the Gwaldam face of the mountain and into the Wan valley. The route to Lohajung is via Almora — Gwaldam — Tharali — Debal — Mundoli — Lohajung
Reaching Kathgodam – Take the Ranikhet Express from Delhi. It leaves at 10.40 pm from Old Delhi Railway Station and reaches Kathgodam at 5.05 am.
If you’re trekking in India, the Roopkund trek is a must-do! It’s got everything going for it. Deep virgin forests, gurgling brooks, breath-taking campsites, miles of undulating meadows, snow and ice and the taste of a great adventure as you climb from 8,000 ft to 16,000 ft in six days.
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