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Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand – A Mystery Frozen in Time

Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand, also known as the Lake of Skeletons, situated at an altitude of 5029 meters above sea level, is a mystery frozen in time that was recently solved by scientists.

The view of this lake at such a height was already astonishing. Above it is a pile of skeletons buried under the lake, which is visible only after the ice melts. It was chanted in 1942 by a forest ranger who discovered the mass grave in this inhospitable lake, which actually takes an arduous trek of 4 days to reach a deserted and uninhabited place.

Local legends believe that the skeletons belong to the 9th century AD king of Kanauj. Who was going for a pilgrimage to the Nanda Devi mountain with his queen and other pilgrims, suddenly met with a hailstorm and drowned in the lake. Scientists have recently confirmed the story that the skeletons are actually of pilgrims and local people dating back to around AD 850. The researchers concluded that these deaths were caused by fatal blows to the back of the head and not by wounds received from war-weapons, avalanches or landslides. The marks on the skull and scapula corresponded to being hit by a goal the size of a cricket ball. The best guess is the ball-shaped hailstones that would have caused the injuries and later death of these pilgrims.

Suggested Read: Top 5 Spiritual Destinations in Uttarakhand

Roopkund, also known as Mystery Lake, is surrounded by rock-clad glaciers and snow-capped mountains. The lake is about 2 meters deep and is visited by hundreds of trekkers every year. Tourists and pilgrims also attend the Nanda Devi Raj Jat which takes place once in every twelve years to worship Goddess Nanda at Roopkund.

roopkund lake in uttarakhand

Roopkund Travel Guide

Distance from Delhi: 492 km + 34 km (Trek)

Best Season: May to October



How To Reach Roopkund

Lohajung Pass, well connected via motorable roads, is the starting point of the trek. The difficulty level of the trek from Lohajung Pass to Bedni Bugyal is moderate. Bedni Bugyal is the most beautiful place on the way with a vast expanse of greenery, slopes full of coniferous trees. The most difficult part of the trek is 14 km from Bedni Bugyal to Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand, for travelers with prior trekking experience. There is no accommodation available on the trek route.

Suggested Read: 7 Best Places To Trek In Uttarakhand

By Road from Delhi to Roopkund

Delhi – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Karnprayag – Dewal – Lohajung Pass – (Trekking = 34 km) – Roopkund

Train Route to Roopkund

Rishikesh is the nearest railway station to Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand. One needs to follow the above mentioned road route from Rishikesh.

Flight route to Roopkund

Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun is the nearest airport to Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand. From there the road leads to Dewal from where one can follow the above mentioned road route.

Attention thrill seekers! Have you ever heard of the Skeleton Lake nestled between rocky glaciers and snow-capped mountains, that too at an altitude of 5029 meters above sea level? Pack your travel gear and be ready, as this trek is only for experienced trekkers. This mass grave, submerged in a glacial lake, can be seen only after the snow melts. Scientists are trying to locate skeletons that are said to date back to the 9th century AD, so be prepared for terrifying surprises on this trek.