Roopkunda, one of the most mysterious and surprising trek each and everyday a different surprise waiting for you on next turn. I have done this trek on...
Our first trek was exciting. It was Roopkund. One of the best treks in India. Thanks thrillophilia for suggesting us. Trek was organised in a very pro...
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About the Roopkund Trek:
The Roopkund trek is an invigorating expedition from the high altitude region of Loharjung, in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand at 3200m, to the ‘Skeletal Lake’ of Roopkund shadowed by the mighty peak of Trishul standing tall at 5000m. The trail for the trek that leads to the frozen Roopkund Lake also overlaps with the religious pilgrimage of Nanda Devi thus making this experience of trekking in Uttarakhand, an overall mix of culture and adventure.
Going by legends, the ‘Mystery Lake’ is immersed and circled by hundreds of skeletons which is the major attraction of this trek. The skeletons happen to belong to pilgrims who fell to their deaths due to the unexpected natural calamities.
For trekking enthusiasts, the Roopkund trekking is an idyllic one comprising of trails cutting through dense thickets, surpassing the gushing waters of brooks and streams as well as charming lakes and vast expanse of lush grasslands, also known as ‘Bugyals’. At the top of the mysterious lake of Roopkund, get the opportunity to witness and marvel at the stunning views of Roopkund Glacier, Trishul, Nandaghungti and Choukhamba peaks.
About the destination:
The mysterious lake of Roopkund is cradled in the laps of Mt. Trishul and perches at a dizzying altitude of nearly 16,500 ft.! Draped in a blanket of mystery and myth, the lake is home to skeletal remains of countless humans and animals, which are clearly visible when the snow has melted away. This has earned it the name ‘Skeleton Lake Trek’. The trail to Roopkund originates from the base village of Lohajung, and winds through mesmerising forests of oak adorned with vibrant rhododendrons.
One of the highlights of the Skeleton Lake trek is that it takes you through the twin meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugyal, which are two of the highest alpine meadows in Asia. The locals generally bring their herds to Bedni Bugyal for grazing. Bedni Bugyal makes for an ideal campsite, and unfolds breathtaking views of the neighbouring Nanda Ghunti and Chaukhambha, though the magnificent Mount Trishul rises above all others to render you truly speechless. To add to the veil of myth, there are various stories that revolve around the trek. Every campsite has a backstory which the locals will gladly share with you.
The trek from Bhagwabasa, the last campsite, to Roopkund starts very early in the morning, with millions of stars playing chaperone. Although a bit daunting towards the end, the reward more than compensates for the exertion, and everything else pales against the splendour and glory of Roopkund Lake. If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, you can also trek further up to the ridge of Junargali, from where Mount Trishul seems only a touch away! The beauty and glamour of this trek is virtually unequalled, making it one of the most unmissable treks in the Himalayas, and every trekker’s dream! The awe-inspiring thrill of Roopkund will leave you with memories of a lifetime.
Altitude: 15,700 ft.
Temperature: May – June: 15 to 20 degrees (during daytime) and 7 to -2 (during the night), Sept-Oct: 15 to 10 (during daytime) and night 5 to -5 degrees (during the night)
Railway Station: Kathgodam Railway Station
Base Camp: Loharjung base camp
ATM: Last ATMis in Kathgodam
Drive from Kathgodam to Loharjung
Arrive in the starting point of this high altitude expedition, Kathgodam through the Ranikhet express. From here hop onto a vehicle and make a pleasant road journey to Loharjung traversing through slim curvy roads and verdant scenery all around.
Trek from Loharjung – Didina (5.5-6.5 Hours Trek)
Begin your trek to Roopkund with a voyage to Didina Village through the iron bridge of Raun Bagad built over the Neel Ganga River. There are two routes to trail to this bridge. The first option is the route that is a moderate trek going downhill and cutting through a variety of lush thickets till Raun Bagad.
The other option is taking the route through Wan from where the village of Kulling is only 6km away followed by a steep climb to Raun Bagad. From the two routes, the former is more picturesque with regard to the forested region that you come across while the latter is easier to traverse. One you arrive at the iron bridge, climb uphill for about an hour and a half to reach Didina village.
Trek from Didina Village – Ali Bugyal
This day’s trek also involves an option between two routes. The first route takes you through the hamlet of Tolpani inhabited by shepherds and stands at about 1000ft only 3km away from Didina. From here, ascend towards Tolkaan in the north crossing verdant meadows and mountains laden with oak forests. Take a sharp left to get to Ali Bugyal in the south surpassing a gorgeous ridge and forest on the way.
The other route is a direct ascend from Didina to Ali Bugyal without surpassing Tolpani but will involve climbing up steep slopes and will take about two and a half hours to traverse. It is advised to reach Ali Bugyal before afternoon in order to marvel at the remarkable views.
The highlight of this day is the snow climb to Chang Ma surpassing beautiful terrains. You may even opt to relax at Ali Bugyal instead of trekking to Chang Ma. Set up your camps here and retire for the night in your tents.
Trek from Ali Bugyal – Ghora Lotani
This day will comprise an easy walk through a straight route of about 3km. The gradual climb offers the views from the other side of the ridge. Upon reaching Ghora Lotani, unwind at the campsite and spend the rest of the day acclimatizing to the place. Retire in your tents for the night.
Trek from Ghora Lotani – Bhagwabasa (2km)
This day’s trek will entail climbing from an altitude of 12,500ft to 14,500ft. This high altitude trek commences early in the morning so as to reach Bhawabasa early. Surpass the mountain of Kalu Vinayak through windy and steep terrains which need to be traversed slowly and carefully.
After about one and a half hours, arrive at Kalu Vinayak from where you can head off to Bhagwabasa through a gradually descending route comprising of snow-laden regions for about 2km.
Trek from Bhagwabasa – Roopkund Lake – Bedni Bugyal
Start the day at about 5:00 AM and ascend uphill from Bhagwabasa to Roopkund for about three to three and a half hours. Upon reaching Roopkund, marvel at the mysterious lake and take in the sights of its surroundings. Thereafter you can choose to climb about 200ft to Junargil in a span of about a half hour. Head back to Bedni Bugyal carefully and as early as possible surpassing Bhagwabasa and some snowy patches.
Trek from Bedni Bugyal - Wan, Drive from Wan - Lohajung (1 Hour)
The day starts off with a trekking journey from Bedni Bugyal to Wan through simple pathways laden with forest covers and verdant meadows. You can even marvel at the Trishul Peak if the weather favours you as you head back to Wan. Descend through Rhododendron forests and steep routes across the Neel Ganga River; the entire journey till here will take around 6-6.5 hours. From Neel Ganga, scale for about half an hour to the ridge right above Wan from where you can take a road trip to Loharjung.
Drive from Loharjung - Kathgodam
This is the last day of your trek to Roopkund. Spend the entire day relaxing and unwinding in the scenic e environs of Loharjung. Bid adieu to its mesmeric sceneries as you take a road journey from Loharjung to Kathgodam and continue onwards to your destination back home.
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Rated : 5.0
Roopkunda, one of the most mysterious and surprising trek each and everyday a different surprise waiting for you on next turn. I have done this trek on May 2017. That trek contains everything from nature forest, meadows, snow, rain and hailstorm too. Trek begins from the day you land on Kathgodam. Its a 10 hrs long and beautiful journey passing via beautiful hill stations of Uttrakhand. Once you cover that part you reach WAN/Lohanjung, a small peaceful village where you will forget all your tiredness of 10 hrs long journey. You will meet your guide here and from next day the real adventure begins. Day 1: WAN - Ran bugad - Didina 4-5 hrs trekking - easy trek with gradual uphill and downhill through dense mountain forest. Campsite at Didina is amazing. We reach there by mid 2 PM and then enjoyed rest of the day here. Day 2: Didina - Ali bugyal - Bedini Begyal, 4-6 hrs, moderate day, very steep ascent in some part, most of the part is via dense forest, you need lots of stamina and water in first half, in later part you will trek on asia's largest green meadow with amazing view of snow capped mountains. When we reach Bedini it starts raining very hard for 2-3 hrs. It was thrilling as temperature is freezing during rain, 10C Day 3: Bedini - patharnachuni - easiest day. Trekking on almost a flat track and downhill. I enjoyed a lot on that day, singing, photography, everything we did during this part. No difficulties at all apart from height gain. So you need to be relax. It took 4 hrs to complete. Day 4: Patharnachuni - Kalu vinayak -Bhaguwabasa, One of the tough day. Trekking on Mud and snow at a very low temperature. Here we got really tested with our stamina and fear of height. Till Kalu vinayak its a difficult part as it was on mud and snow mixed slippery narrow and rough trek (steep climb) On kalu vinayak we felt relax and enjoyed Ganesha's arti. After kalu vinayak, till campsite trekking was on fresh snow, comparatively easy (descent only) but trek was narrow so you need to be very careful while stepping. When we reach baguwabasa it starts raining or I can say hailstorm which lasts for 3 hours. Out campsite got completely covered in snow. I haven't seen that much snow in my life. Once hailstorm stops, we came out from tents and started playing on snow, you will fall in love with this campsite. However you will feel headache here, fortunately we didn't face this for a long time. Only precaution drink as much water as you can and cover your self with woolen temp is 0C and below here. Day 5: Bhaguwabasa - Roopkunda- Bhaguwabasa - Patharnachuni - Bedini Summit day, for which we were awaiting for a long time, a very long day almost 10 hrs of trekking. Started very early at 4 AM on that day our guide provided us crampon to wear on shoes as it was slippery and soft snow on trek. Crampon helped us a lot, without that it was almost impossible to trek from bhaguwabasa to ropkunda it took 3 hrs most difficult part of trek as it was on narrowest edge of mountain covered with snow, very sharm turn where you have to be very very careful, without guide it is pretty difficult on some turns I thought to moving back but our guide motivate us and finally we were able to complete. I was speechless when I saw roop kunda, lost in its beauty and peace for 10 mins and was senseless, I wasn't that much excited and emotional when India won world cup, finally all the efforts were paid a beautiful result. we enjoyed there for 30 mins and then started back to reach Bedin. We covered maximum distance and reach Bedini in late afternoon at Bedini we were welcome with a massive hailstorm which turn the entire green meadow in white layer it starts raining from patharnachuni, raincoat is must here. Day 6: Final day: Bedini - Neel ganga - Wan - steep descent via forest and then 2 km gradual ascent - easy day, lots of walking, enjoyed a lot during forest pass you can hear birds singing. Once you finish downhill part you will reach Neel ganga river, we had a break and rest in neel ganga river water. Freezing cold but relaxing. After that gradual climb for 2 km and then 1 km downhill to reach WAN. Best part of entire trek: Quick weather changes and maggie at every point. Must carry: raincoat, woolen and drink lots of water About me: I am 31 year old guy with normal physique, not a regular gym guy with normal stamina, but I must say that you should practice lots of walking and running before hitting this trek, it was my first trek and I enjoyed this a lot.
Rated : 5.0
Our first trek was exciting. It was Roopkund. One of the best treks in India. Thanks thrillophilia for suggesting us. Trek was organised in a very professional way and thoroughly enjoyed out trek all 6 days. Now this is becoming addictive. Planning for rupin pass soon with Thrillophilia again.
Rated : 5.0
Roopkund was something that I wanted to visit and see since the time I read about the rumours on it. However, as time went by, the rumours subsided and so was my eager. Recently, when my friends and I were thinking of out of the box places to visit, one girl suggested this, and we ended up visiting here. It is a nice vacation spot to take with your gang.
Rated : 4.0
This lake is damn-damn spooky! Especially while trekking if you come across the scattered skeletons - its is indeed a terrifying scene but then that's the fun about this trek. The trekking was great, loved the entire experience. The trek got a little challenging at times but yeah I finally managed to complete the trek.
Rated : 4.0
Well, there is always such hidden places in Uttarakhand that makes it all the more interesting for me. I loved the entire trekking experience- Roopkund is one place that will give you pleasures and happiness as well as thrills of terror as not everyday you come across so many scattered skeletons.
Rated : 5.0
What a beautiful place! I still can’t forget about the picturesque mountains. Also, the snow was so neat and even weather was in our favour. I think my trek was successful because of Thrillophilia only. The service is superb and the supporting staff is really helpful. Without the guidance of those skilled instructors, I think, my trip to the Skeleton Lake trek wouldn’t have been possible.
Rated : 5.0
This trekking session was way too much fun and the place is so lovely! The skeleton lake is scary but amazing and we had a blast clicking many photos whilst we were here.
Rated : 5.0
Adventure at its finest. We had a blast and we wish to do this again! Good guides and good place for a fun and short trek!
Rated : 4.0
The Didina Village is really beautiful and makes me want to settle down here, far away from Mumbai; even though the city is awesome! The Bugyals here are worth a sight and I recommend this place for everyone!
Rated : 5.0
Snow everywhere, and in between you had random trees making their way out in the sunshine. I could write a poem on that place only if I had the talent...lol. Amazing place guys!
Roopkund (locally known as Mystery and Skeletons Lake) is a high altitude glacial lake in the Uttarakhand state of India. It lies in the lap of Trishul massif and is famous for the hundreds of human skeletons found at the edge of the lake. This area is uninhabited in the Himalayas, at an altitude of 5,029 metres (16,499 feet).
Surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains, the lake is a popular trekking destination. A shallow lake, having a depth of about two metres, Roopkund has attracted attention because of the human skeletal remains that are visible at its bottom when the snow melts.
Researchers have concluded that the skeletons are the remains of people killed in a sudden, violent hailstorm in the 9th century. Because of the human remains, the lake has been called Skeleton Lake in recent times.
Roopkund Trek is a moderate trek as it comes with high altitudes and takes you to approx. 15696 feet requiring pristine physical and mental strength.
From May to June. Not during the monsoons. There are flash floods and landslides during that time. Monsoons start around July.
You need to be in good physical condition before the start of the trek. You should be able to jog 4.5 kms in 30 minutes to make your lungs strong to bear the high altitudes. Minimum age for this trek is 12 years.
Roopkund trek takes you to an altitude of 15696 feet requiring pristine physical and mental strength. If you are not confident enough, you should try moderate treks like Hampta Pass trek or Kuari Pass trek.
A rucksack which is at least 60 L. Weather is unpredictable and you should also carry a plastic sheet to prevent the bag from getting wet or purchase a waterproof rucksack.
Yes, all meals on the trek and water is provided.
Due, to high altitudes and weather conditions there can be electricity fluctuations.
Hydrate yourself, eat lots of potassium rich foods, visit your doctor before your trip, acclimatise yourself and take it easy.
Yes, at an extra cost
Good quality and sturdy trekking shoes that cover your ankles. Refrain from using sport shoes for your own safety and the trails are uneven and tricky hence requiring good grip trekking shoes.
If you are buying new shoes for your trek, please remember to use them for at least a month before you commence your holiday.
No, these practices are strictly prohibited.
The Skeleton Lake Trek begins from the base village of Loharjung. To reach the base village, travel via road from Kathgodam to Loharjung. The pathway is draped in a blanket lush green scenery of oak trees and high peak mountains.
After reaching the starting point i.e. Loharjung, trek to the Didina village. Beginning from Loharjung Base Camp, the trek reaches Roopkund Lake and heads back to the base camp via Bedni Bugyal.
To reach the Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, begin the trek from Loharjung Base Camp and head to Didina village. On this day, head to Ali Bugyal and set up your camp at this heavenly beauty. Next day will take you to Ghora Lotani from Ali Bugyal.
On this day, hike to the steep terrains of Bhagwabasa from 12500 ft to 14500 ft. Next day, you’ll reach the Skeleton lake after hiking for almost three hours from Bhagwabasa to Roopkund.
The Skeleton Lake Trek is 8 days long. The trek begins from Loharjung and heads to the Didina village, Ali Bugyal, Ghora Lotani, Bhagwabasa, Roopkund, and ends at Loharjung. To reach the lake, every day includes 1 to 3 hours long trek amidst snow-capped mountains and high altitudes.
The Skeleton Lake of Roopkund is situated at an altitude of 15700 ft and it will require at least 8 days to complete the trek.
The height of Roopkund Lake Trek is 15700 ft. The altitude of the trek gradually increases from Ali Bugyal at 1000 ft, Ghora Lotani at 12500 ft, Bhagwabasa at 14500 ft, and eventually Roopkund at 15700 ft.
It will take almost one to three hours to trek the summits in small chunks. To accomplish the entire trek, it’ll take 8 days from Loharjung to the Skeleton Lake.
Yes, the Skeleton Lake Trek can be risky and dangerous. The lake is engulfed amidst the snow-capped mountains at an altitude of 15700 ft. The high altitudes can be dizzying and the deep shallows might be a red signal.
Also, the weather can be unpredictable and it might become difficult to trek amidst the uncontrollable snowstorm. Although, the trek can be achieved successfully if proper physical training has been taken by the trekkers.
The Skeleton Lake trek has a moderate difficulty level. It is safe to hike at this peak with proper preparations and precautions. Sturdy trekking shoes, snow boots, and trekking poles are some of the necessary things to carry.
Also, the instructors will ensure safe and sound trekking, pay heed to the instructions provided by them. Apart from preparations, the excursion also includes medical kits, oxygen cylinder, and supporting staff.
If you are a beginner, it is advised that you trek with a group of people and under the guidance of an instructor. Or, if you are an experienced trekker then you can head to the Skeleton Lake alone. Prepare yourself with strong physical strength, sturdy snow boots, sleeping bags, rucksack, map, medical kits, and other necessities. Although, food can be an issue, so, make sure that you’ve packed sufficient food items.
The Skeleton Lake trek can cost INR 8,890. This cost would include a stay at guesthouses and campsites, vegetarian dishes, sleeping bags, mattress, medical kits, oxygen cylinder, etc. Additional charges might be included if you wish to hire a porter or extra amenities.
However, make sure you buy wardrobe essentials, trekking shoes, water bottles, etc. If you wish to buy your own food then the approximate cost will increase. Also, the travel cost will be additionally charged when reaching Lohajung.
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