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A Trek To The Beautiful Valley Of Roopkund - Uttarakhand

Posted By: Umme Sadiya

Come April and every vacationer in India turns into a travel enthusiast. Having enjoyed road trips and hill treks, this time around we bunch of friends were looking for something more exciting, when an avid trekker-friend suggested Roopkund.

Hearing stories of its magnificent mountainscapes and mysterious lakes, we decided that a trek to the beautiful valley of Roopkund in Uttarakhand is a challenge worth facing!

Also Read : The Skeleton Lake In Uttarakhand

Roopkund is a high-altitude glacial lake in the Himalayas located at an altitude of about 16,500 ft. The entire trek consists of lush green forests, snow-capped mountains, sparkling little brooks, crystal clear lakes and rocks making it an all-in-one trekking experience!

But the most fascinating attraction of Roopkund Lake has been the discovery of hundreds of mysterious human skeletons that are believed to be of the 9th century, earning the lake the monikers 'Mystery Lake' & 'Skeleton Lake'! The place has snow from April to June and lush greenery from September to November.

Trekking Essentials

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

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A trekking trail is usually graded depending on the difficulties it poses; thereby, Roopkund falls into a 'Moderate to Difficult' grade. Therefore, it is prudent to plan this trip with professional tour operators who come with years of experience and safety.

Some of the basic trekking essentials for the Himalayan ranges, apart from those supplied by the tour operators, are first aid kits, thermals, raincoats, water bottles, good head caps, water bottles, etc. Carry these in extra pairs as it takes around 8 days to cover the entire trek of Roopkund.

How To Reach

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

Roopkund is located in the Chamoli district of Garhwal and is closer to hill stations of Nainital and Kathgodam, which are well connected to many major cities like Delhi, Lucknow, etc. We took a flight to Delhi and then boarded the overnight Ranikhet Express to Kathgodam.

Also Read : 3 Days Trip To Ranikhet From Delhi

There are many routes to Roopkund, but we chose the most common one, from Lohajung. Our planned trek route after Kathgodam was Lohajung - Didna Village - Ali Bugyal - Patar Nachauni - Bhagwabasa - Roopkund - Patar Nachauni - Lohajung.

Day 1

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

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Our major part of day one consisted of road travel of 220 km to Lohajung from Kathgodam, which took 10 h including breaks in between. With a breezy weather, our journey was laden with beautiful sceneries as we drove through the mountainous curves of Bheem Tal, briefly stopped at Almora for breakfast, took stunning pictures of Kausani, before finally reaching Lohajung. We headed to our guest house, settled down, explored the local market and called it a day post dinner.

Day 2

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

PC : Schwiki

The next day the trek team started early in the morning. We took the trail just behind the Lohajung bus stand towards Ruan Bagad, an iron bridge across the Neel Ganga River. The trail (4.5 km) is a fairly marked gradual descent into a mixed forest. The moderate trek through the green forest took us nearly 2-1/2 h to reach the bridge over a sparkling river, which was a sight to behold.

After a breather, we began our ascent towards Didna after crossing the bridge, which, as a rule, was far more tiring than the descent, and took us more time (1-1/2 h) with half the distance (approx. 2 km). Upon reaching Didna at late lunch time, we stayed at a village home stay for the day.

Day 3

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

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Our day three trek route was from Didna Village to Ali Bugyal. After having our fill of food and refill of water supplies, we started our trek through Tolpani which is approx 1000 ft high followed by a climb towards Tolkaan which consisted of a series of grassy oaks and alpine meadows.

We reached Ali Bugyal late in the afternoon after a tiring trek. We set up tents here and spent the rest of the day to get acclimatized to the altitude and weather.

Day 4

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

PC : Schwiki 

Following breakfast, our day started with a 2 km climb from Ali Bugyal to Bedni Bugyal. The view of the Bedni Kund Lake was simply stunning! The mirror-like lake perfectly reflected the snow-capped mountains and the valley.

From Bedni Bugyal we climbed another 4 km to the picturesque Ghora Latoni. It was an easy day and we set up a camp at Ghora Latoni for acclimatization and relaxation.

Day 5

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

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We started the day with a descent from Ghora Latoni to Patar Nachauni, from where we got to finally trek in the snow. The ascent from Patar Nachauni to Kalu Vinayak Temple was quite steep and we gained altitude as we trekked for 2.5 km.

This is where we felt the change of weather and thinning of air that comes with high altitude trek conditions. However, the route from Kalu Vinayak to Bhagwabasa was comparatively simpler and we enjoyed the journey through the snow patches, before we set up tents!

Day 6

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

PC : Ashokyadav739

By now the effects of weather changes and tiring treks started to show on us. Its advisable to carry as many energy bars and replenishing drinks with you as you can. This day we were finally going to trek to Roopkund Lake. We started as early as 4 am as it would be easier to trek in hard snow than after sunrise when the snow melts and softens a bit.

Also Read : The Best Trekking Trails Of India

It took us nearly 4 hours of gradual climbing before finally reaching Roopkund. The stunning lake was awe-inspiring. Since it was full of snow, but the skeletons weren't visible. After breakfast, we headed back to Bhagwabasa camp by lunch time. Thereafter, we left for Patar Nachauni by evening.

Day 7

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

PC : Schwiki

The next day was all about getting back to the Lohajung base camp via Wan village. We climbed back to Bedni Bugyal via Ghora Latoni, walked to Doliya Dhar and started our steep descent through Ghaeroli Patal, Neel Ganga, Ranka Dhar (ascent) before making it to Wan village from where we drove to Lohajung.

Day 8

Roopkund in Uttarakhand

PC : Schwiki

The final day of our trip included the usual 10-hour drive from Lohajung to Kathgodam. On our way to the station, we stopped over for shopping some souvenirs, but were in time to board our train back to Delhi.

Also Read : Shopping Destinations Of Delhi

Before the train left the station, we enjoyed the weather at Kathgodam with a steaming cup of tea, but definitely missed the heavenly weather of Roopkund!

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