Roopkund Trek, Photo: Deepak Bafila

Roopkund Trek

Roopkund - Mysterious Skeleton Lake

Set amidst the benevolent mountainous peaks, the Roopkund Lake 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. 

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. 

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Roopkund Trekking Guide

Visit high alpine meadows offering enchanting greenery and the sacred Bedni Kund holding crystal clear water. The trek goes steep to Roopkund from Bedni Bugyal. Baguabasa is situated at an elevation of 4,100 mts above sea level, situated 5 kms short of Roopkund. The weather is unpredictable at such high altitudes so do carry raincoats.

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. 

Why Roopkund trek?

  • The famed Roopkund Lake remains frozen throughout the year. 
  • It is surrounded by the rock-strewn glaciers and the snow-clad mountains, giving it an enigmatic aura that invites several tourists to explore this area. 
  • While traversing to Roopkund you can get a chance to have an insight of the rich Pahari culture of the villages. 
  • You can walk on the alpine meadows and also visit the sacred Bedni Kund having crystal clear water. 
  • Bhagwabasa situated at an elevation of 4,100 metres is 5 km before Roopkund. 
  • The trek to Roopkund is steep from Bedni Bugyal therefore, one needs prior trekking experience

Video of Roopkund Trek by Live for Adventure Group


Roopkund and Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra

The great 'Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra' is held in every 12 years from Nauti village near Karnaprayag to Homkund near Roopkund. This yatra is dedicated to Goddess Nanda. A large number of people from Garhwal and Kumaon take part in this tough holy yatra.

Many stories were also made about the mysterious human skeletons of Roopkund. According to research it was indicated that the people were from the 12th century to the 15th century who died of hailstorm. But it is still a mystery that what were those people doing there. 

Roopkund Trek Travel Tips

  • Travelling in monsoons should be avoided as the hilly region in Uttarakhand has its fair share of incessant rainfall. Moreover, the region is prone to unexpected landslides and road blocks.
  • The weather is unpredictable at such high altitudes so do carry a raincoat along with you.
  • Inform someone in your family or friends about your trek and let them know when the trek will begin and end. Avoid hiking alone in the Himalayan wilderness.

Staying in Roopkund Trek

Being a remote location, there are no hotels, resorts or guesthouses at Roopkund. The trekkers take tents along with them and camp along the trail when they halt at night. Few budget accommodation facilities are available at Wan, which is the last habitable village on the trail. The tour operators usually provide camping equipments.

Wan is the last point where you can get accommodation facility while traveing to Roopkund. You will find GMVN Guest house in Wan. During the remaining trekking route you must carry your own camping tents for accommodation.

Roopkund Trek Food Guide

Trekkers take the food supplies with themselves that they purchased before starting the trek. A cook can prepare a delicious cooked meal. Generally, packaged food is a viable option at these remote locations.

Mythology about Roopkund Trek

According to the Hindu mythology, when Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva were heading to Kailash after annihilating the demons, the goddess wanted to clean herself. Shiva then created a 'kund' or lake with the help of his Trishul so his consort can have a bath. While taking a dip in the lake, Parvati saw her beautiful reflection and was bewitched by it. Hence, the lake was named as Roopkund

While, the other legend states that, Raja Jasdhaval, the King of Kanauj angered the Goddess Nanda Devi by taking his pregnant wife along with numerous dancers, musicians, and servants on a pilgrimage to Nanda Devi shrine. Having disturbed the peace of her sacred land with their elaborate entourage, Rani Balampa, the Queen of Raja Jasdhaval then delivered a baby at a cave nearby (considered as unclean for a certain period of time). The entourage followed by other unpleasant events infuriated the Goddess and she showed her wrath in the form of a severe storm. It is believed that hailstones as big as tennis ball fell on the head of the pilgrims, which lead to their sudden death.

Suggested Roopkund Trek Itinerary 

Day 01: Kathgodam-Lohajung (Drive:10 kms, 10 hours)

Reach Kathgodam by Ranikhet Express. From Kathgodam, you have two options to reach Lohajung. If you are in a group then hiring a cab to Lohajung is the best option for you. If you want to save money then travel by public transport for that you have to break your journey into two parts i.e. Kathgodam to Gwaldam by bus/shared cab and then Gwaldam to Lohajung. Budget accommodations are available at Lohajung.

Day 2: Lohajung-Didna Village (Trek: 6.5 kms)

Wake up early and take the trail to Raun Bagad, just behind the bus stand in Lohajung. This fairly marked trail descends through the mixed forest and it will take around two and a half hours to reach Ruan Bagad. Alternatively, you can also reach there by taking the road towards Wan village. After a 6 km walk to Kuling village, there is a steep slope towards Ruan Bagad. Hereafter, the climb to Didina village starts after crossing the iron bridge. After a steep climb, you will reach Didina in an hour. Halt at Didina for the night.

Day 3: Didna Village-Ali Bugyal (Trek: 10.5 kms)

Start off early; there are two alternative routes from Didina that leads to Ali Bugyal. Take the trail to Tolapani, where you can find the cluster of shepherd huts. Tolapani can be seen from the valley and it is only 3 km away from here. From Tolapani take the trail that leads to Tolkaan. This meadow trek goes through a series of switchbacks and the thick oak forests. Take the sharp left towards the south and move towards the ridge.

 Alternatively, take the climb towards Ali Bugyal without going through Tolapani. If you want to savour the spellbinding views then reach here before afternoon. Relax amidst the natural vistas and have an overnight stay in the tents.

Day 4: Ali Bugyal-Patar Nachuni via Bedni Bugyal and Ghora Lautani (Trek: 7 kms)

 The day four is an easy trek so just follow the straight line ahead of you up to 3 km. Soon you will come across a ridge, from where the view is absolutely gorgeous. Ghora Lotani is a beautiful campsite that offers picturesque views. Pitch your tents here and spend the night by rolling under the cluster of stars. 

Day 5: Patar Nachuni- Bhagwabasa via Kalu Vinayak (Trek: 4 kms )

Gear up to trek on the snow line, this trek will take you closer to an altitude of 14,500 feet and will give you the chills of the weather. Start the trek early as you have to reach Bhagwabasa before the weather becomes harsh. Ascend to Kalu Vinayak, a steep zig-zag way that takes you up to the mountain. It will take one and a half hours to cross this section. Bhagwabasa is only 2 km away from here. The trail towards Bhagwabasa moves through the snow patches and you can enjoy scenic views throughout the journey. 

Day 6: Bhagwabasa-Roopkund- Patar Nachuni (Trek: 10 kms)

Start traversing as early as 4 am. The sooner you’ll start the easy it will be to make your way through the snow as it will be hard and your feet will not sink in. To reach Roopkund, you have to climb 3 km uphill from Bhagwabasa which will take 3 and a half hour to reach. 

On reaching Roopkund, relish a magnificent view of the glacial lake and if the weather is fine then climb up to Junargali. In hardly 30 minutes, you will reach Junargali. You can start off early to return back to Bedni Bugyal via Bhagwabasa. Be careful while crossing this tricky stretch as the snowy slopes may become a problem. 

Day 7: Patar Nachuni-Lohajung via Bedni and Wan (Trek: 15 kms)

Get ready to make your way back to Lohajung via Wan village. This well-marked trail can be easily crossed. On a clear day, you can have a stunning view of the Trishul peak, while returning back from Bedni Bugyal to Wan village. Walkthrough the dense rhododendron forests; soon you will see a steep descent for the Neel Ganga River. 

From here, it will take an hour or so to climb the ridge over Wan village. The total trekking distance to Wan village can be completed in 6 and a half hours. After that, it is an hour’s drive back to Lohajung, where you can stay for the night.

Day 8: Lohajung to Kathgodam (Drive: 210 kms)

Bid adieu to the exhilarating trekking journey and post breakfast drive to Kathgodam from Lohajung village. 

Roopkund Trek Photo Gallery

Lush green meadows near Roopkund, (during holy Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra 2014)
A small river which comes in the middle of Roopkund lake trek.
Couple Sheep -Looks like they are trained to give Poses, Enroute Roopkund Lake
Trekkers camp at Roopkund trek
Traditional house of Uttarakhand, (On the way to Roopkund).
Patar Nachaniya (Enroute Roopkund).
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What is Roopkund Trek famous for?

Roopkund Trek is famous among tourist as Mysterious Lake, Trekking, Camping, Long Trek, Summer Trek, Adventure, Pilgrimage.

Roopkund Trek is recommended destination for Foreigners, Groups.

Roopkund Trek is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Adventure, Lakes, Religious, Trekking.

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