Roopkund is a glacial lake nestled in the high mountains of Uttarakhand Himalayas. At an altitude of 5030 meters or 16,500 feet, the lake is completely uninhabited and is surrounded by snow clad mountains. It remains covered in snow, rather thick ice, and frozen for the whole winter – summer season from November to June. Roopkund, the magical lake, often makes me fall short of words. The beauty of the place and the journey taken to reach there is incomparable. Roopkund Trek, the name every serious trekker in the country surely knows. Roopkund Lake, a place very close to the heart of those who’ve been there before. The place that is amongst our favourites and one we recommend to every trekker around to experience once.
Roopkund (locally known as Mystery Lake) is a high altitude glacial lake in Uttarakhand state of India, lies in the lap of Trishul massif and famous due to hundreds of human skeletons found at the edge of the lake. The lake is located at an altitude of about 15,700 feet. It is surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow clad mountains, making it a good trekking destination. The route leading to the lake passes through the twin Bugyals of Ali & Bedni. All along the trail you get amazing views of peaks like Kedarnath ,Chaukhamba , Neelkantha , Trishul & Nanda Ghunti.
Nanda Ghunti & Trishul Massif
Roopkund Lake came to limelight for the mystery of scattered humans skeletons found all over in and around the lake. For the reason, it is often called as The Skeletal Lake or The Mystery Lake. Where the mystery can never be answered with certainty, various theories and stories continue to be told time and again and make this secretive place legendary. Roopkund Trek continues the inherent legacy and fame of the place and is probably the most treaded of the medium duration treks in India. Roopkund Trek gives one an opportunity to witness the mighty 7000ers – Mt. Trishul & Mt. Nanda Devi and also beautiful 6000er peaks of Mt. Nanda Ghunti, Nilkantha, Maiktoli Peak etc. It takes one to some of the loveliest open grassland meadows, known locally as Bugyals – Ali Bugyal and Bedini Bugyal. The climb to the lake from Bhagwabasa and beyond to Junargali Top challenges ones physical limits.
Humans Skeletons found all over the lake
There are many routes for a trek to Roopkund. One of the most common routes taken by travellers and adventurers is through Lohajung up to where you can travel by road. Trekking begins after this point. There are also some plains or flat areas where you can camp during the night. If the weather is not foggy, you can easily see Bedni Bugyal and Trishul. On your way to Roopkund, you would also find many grazing lands for horses, sheep and mules. You would come across a few temples and lakes on your journey. Many waterfalls are also visible on the slopes of the surrounding mountains. However, it should be kept in mind that the weather is generally hostile throughout the year and travellers need to be fully equipped and prepared for these conditions
Location of Roopkund Trek
Roopkund Lake is located in the Nanda Devi National Park in Himalayas in Uttarakhand. The approx. height of the lake is about 15500 feet and in case you’re going till Roopkund Trek, it is just expected that you even climb up to Junragali Ridge which is 750 feet above Roopkund for getting an astounding view of the Nanda Ghunti and the Trishul massif. The climb up to Junargali might be a bit tricky on the basis of the weather and the snow conditions.
Difficulty of the Roopkund Trek
It is definitely not the trek if you are looking to try it for the first time and if you do not have any prior experience in Roopkund trekking. The Roopkund and Junragali trek is a considerably difficult trek and you need to be physically fit before embarking on the trek. Also, there’s an additional fear of the AMS. These 2 factors can make it quite difficult to trek sometimes. But, if you’ve been engaged in some kind of physical activity earlier, it would be easy for you.
What would be the Best Time for Roopkund Trek?
This trek may be done in 2 windows- in May-June that’s right before the monsoon or Aug-Sept that is after the monsoon. In case you go for the May-June window, then the bugyals would be greener and the Roopkund Lake would also be thawed. Thus, you would be able to see skeletons.
Roopkund in in May-June
In case you choose the September season, then the dayara bugyals would be a bit browner but still quite beautiful. Towards the end of September, you will find a lot of snow on the trek. It is also possible that the lake might be completely frozen this time.
Roopkund in Sep and Oct