Roopkund Lake is a glacial lake nestled in the high mountains of Chamoli district, in the Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand. Situated at an altitude of 16,500 feet, the lake is completely uninhabited, desolate and is surrounded by snow-clad mountains. The lake offers you a rare chance to see the ancient remains of human skeletons that surround it.About Roopkund trek
This moderately challenging trek to the thrilling (and chilling!) Roopkund Lake requires a bit of muscle and stamina to get accustomed to the changing altitude and terrain and is ideal for fit trekkers. It is one of the most popular treks in Garhwal, thanks to its eerie views, as well as some really spectacular mountain landscape. You’ll be walking over verdant green meadows, climbing to more barren heights as you get closer to giant Himalayan peaks, and there’s usually a good chance of snow at the lake itself.
The trek to Roopkund is very scenic and passes through the magnificent Bedni Bugyal. It is a thrilling adventure that takes you through the outer periphery of the Nanda Devi National Park and at the upper reaches of the trek, you'll see legendary peaks like the mighty Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Devi and the beautiful peaks of Mt. Nanda Ghanti, Nilkantha and Maiktoli Peak.
You'll also visit the village of Wan, where locals still wear a Garhwali blanket pinned to their chests for warmth. This route takes you to the Jurangali ridge above the lake, to get views of the spectacular peaks around. En route to the lake, you'll camp in stunning high altitude meadows, wake up to views of famous peaks like Trishul and Nanda Ghunti, and enjoy the best of lush green landscapes and greyer rocky views. The trek becomes a little more challenging in the last leg near Bhagubasa, which is an exciting section.About Roopkund lake
The highlight of this trek is undoubtedly the mysterious Roopkund Lake. The lake is rather shallow, having a depth of only about 2 metres. It lies in a depression and is covered with snow for most parts of the year. When the snow melts, one can see human and animal skeleton remains and is also known as Skeleton Lake or Mystery Lake, because the history of these skeletons baffled experts for years. The skeletons are the remains of about 500 people and are believed to be from the Palaeolithic age. There are many theories about these findings but none are definite. Some believe the skeletons to be those of General Zorawars’ soldiers who died here in a vain attempt to conquer Tibet. These skeletal remains have been preserved in alpine conditions for centuries.
The region around is completely desolate and usually misty, adding to the element of mystery around. It's a thrilling trek for this reason, but the scenery is also a reason that many adventure-seekers come for.Best season for Roopkund trek
The best season for a Roopkund trek is after the monsoon from September to early November as the weather is usually clear. During the summer months of May and June, you can do this trek, but the Roopkund weather can be unpredictable at this point. At this high altitude, the weather is changing constantly. In summer, day time temperatures range from 13 to 18 degrees C and at night from 7 to -2 degrees C. In Sept-Oct, day time temperatures are usually 15 C to 10 C and at night can dip to 5C to -5C.