Roopkund- the Lake of Skeletons in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand was created in 2000 until then it was part of the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located in one of the most beautiful regions of India, it shares borders with Tibet and Nepal. Dehradun is the capital and the most important city of Uttarakhand. Roopkund- The Lake of Skeletons in Uttarakhand is a high-altitude trek.

The Lake Biography

The lake is covered with forests and lakes with the backdrop of the Himalayas. Roopkund is the glaciers and eternal snows Lake an elevation of more than 5000 meters from sea level. It is guarded by some majestic peaks Trishul (7120 m) and Nandghungti (6310 m). The lake is famous for its natural beauties and also for the sacred temples.

Treks in Garhwal Himalaya / roopkund trek
Treks in Garhwal Himalaya

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra Festival

If you arrive in autumn you will be able to be a part of the religious festival-Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra. This festival brings together all the neighboring towns to celebrate  Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra.  This Festival takes place every twelve years.

The surface of the lake is frozen most time of the year.  But if you visit during the thaw season, you will find an overwhelming experience. Roopkund means “lake of skeletons”, because, in 1942, the melting of the ice revealed more than two hundred skeletons of the humans floating in the water and on the edges of the lake.

Scientific Study by Oxford University

The assumption that something horrible had happened led a team of researchers to analyze these skeletal remains; the discovery was that they were very ancient, although the ice and the cold dry air had preserved them in an extraordinary way. The mystery persisted for decades until in 2004 an Oxford University expedition discovered the truth.

The remains of skeletons date to the year 850 and belong to a tribe. The research reveals that they were guides because a group of researchers found leather shoes and bamboo spears. Surprisingly, all the deaths had been caused by heavy blows to the head and shoulders.

The Legends

Today, locals women express condolence by singing folklores. A group of foreigners expedition concluded that these people had died from the hail as they did not find any refuge in the valley.  Avalanche pushed the remains into the frozen lake, where they slept for 1,200 years.

How To Reach

There are several ways to get to Roopkund; generally travel to Lohajung or Wan by road, and from there on foot to Ran ki Dhar. There are camping areas next to Bedni Bugyal, about 13 km from Wan. If the weather is clear, you can see many peaks of the Himalayas, which guard temples and small lakes. You can also go to Bhaguwabasa, 11 km from Bedni Bugyal but the climate is quite hostile.


Namaste! I am Om. I am a licensed Tourist Guide ( Approved by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India), I’m originally from Varanasi. Now, I am living in Rishikesh. I set up this blog to share my tips and experiences for traveling to inspire and help you to travel more. Hari Om

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