Roopkund Trek – 7 days hike to the Himalayan Mystery Lake

Roopkund trek is one trail that’s unique, where you will gain altitude from 7750 feet to 15750 feet in hardly 4 days with few steep climbs. This is a trek where the trail goes through the forest (Didina village and Ghairoli Patal), river crossing (Neel Ganga), Asia’s largest high altitude meadows (Ali Bughyal), beautiful campsite (Bedni Bugyal and Pathar Nachauni), steep climbs, holy place (Bedni Bugyal, Kalu Vinayak and beyond Roopkund), camping on snow (Bhagwabhasa campsite), a pond full of skeletons (Roopkund), the Junargali Pass and the Mt. Trishul.

Roopkund Trek

This Roopkund trek trail has a lot to offer in only a week. This hike is a must-do if you want to trek in India, and you can proudly add it to your To-Do list. I am updating this blog entry to inform you that trekking to this magnificent location is now prohibited, and you may need to obtain special permission for research purposes or if you are a resident of this area, since camping overnight in the meadows is prohibited in Uttarakhand following a high court judgment.

Short Itenary of the Roopkund Trek

Day 1 – A fearful Jeep drive from Kathgodam

Day 2 – Lohajung to Didina village

Day 3 – Didina to Bedni Bugyal

Day 4 – Bedni Bugyal to Pathar Nachauni

Day 5 – Pathar Nachauni to Bhagwabhasa via Kalu Vinayak temple

Day 6 – Bhagwabhasa to Roopkund and back to Pathar Nachauni

Day 7 – Pathar Nachauni to Ghairoli Patal

Day 8 – Ghairoli Patal to Wan

Roopkund Trek Information

Region: Uttarakhand
Duration: 8 Days
Grade: Moderate to Difficult
Max Altitude: 15,696 Ft.
Trekking Km: 53 Km.
Trail Type: Round trail. The trek starts at Lohajung and ends at Wan.
Railhead: Kathgodam is the nearest railway station to the base camp. Take Raniketh Express – Overnight sleeper train from Old Delhi to Kathgodam.
Road: Kathgodam is well connected to Lohajung. Take a shared taxi to Lohajung, a 10-hour drive to Lohajung from the railway station.
Base Camp: Lohajung or Wan
Best Season: May, June, Mid August to October
Snow: Mid December to Mid June (avoid snow, cannot trek after Bedni Bugyal during winter).
Guesthouse at Lohajung, Tea house at Didina village, and camping on all other days.

Is the Roopkund trek difficult?

Depending on the weather, each trekker can expect to spend 5 to 6 hours on the trail. Nonetheless, for a novice with a basic fit body, this walk is safe and possible. Every Roopkund journey takes roughly 7 to 8 days. Regarding Roopkund trek difficulty level – It becomes difficult, and in some rare circumstances, causes altitude sickness and death, as a result of insufficient practice. Take the pre-exercise seriously, and you’ll be fine.

Roopkund trek in Seasons

Summer Treks (April, May, June)

  • Less cold and windier
  • Weather is unpredictable
  • Can’t see a human skeleton
  • Roopkund is in frozen condition
  • Higher camps covered with snow
  • Cannot hike further to Junargali Pass
  • Natural sources of drinking water are easily available
  • Best for those who want to see snow and want to do a difficult level of trek

Autumn Treks (September, October, November)

  • Less windy and colder
  • Mostly clear weather
  • Can see human skeletons
  • No snow at any campsite
  • Roopkund lake is properly visible
  • Can hike further to Junargali pass, view of Mt Trishul in full, Shila Samudra and Homkund
  • Natural sources of drinking water are limited
  • Best for those who want to see greenery and want to do the moderate level trek

Why is Roopkund famous?

Roopkund, which has a depth of roughly 3 meters, is well-known for the hundreds of ancient human remains discovered along the lake’s edge. When the snow melts, the human skeletal remains are exposed at the bottom. Climbing uphill from Roopkund allows you to observe the iconic Mt Trishul from the base to the summit, a glacier in front, and the advanced basecamp to Homkund which is the basecamp for Mt Nanda Ghunti, which is another three days of hiking.

Roopkund - Himalayas - Ravindra Joisa Photography

Every 12 years, a Hindu pilgrimage known as the Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra takes place, an ancient custom that is being practiced today. Roopkund is en route to Homkund, the end goal of this exhausting foot trek.

Is Roopkund Trek banned?

The popular journey, which has seen many trekkers walk on its track after being a consistent favorite for many years, has now been outlawed owing to the damage we have made to the biodiversity of the alpine meadows that fall on the trail. You may still be permitted with special government approval. You may still trek to the meadow-like Li and Bedni Bugyal, but camping is not permitted. Roopkund is not prohibited, but because this is a week-long walk, it is nearly difficult to travel without sleeping on the meadows. This is a high court order, and the prohibition may be removed in the future; you should check the latest online.

Ali Bugyal Meadows, Uttarakhand, India

What is the mystery of Roopkund Lake?

H K Madhwal, an Indian forest inspector, discovered hundreds of human remains stored in and around Roopkund lake in 1942, also called the Roopkund trek skeletons. He recounted the strange discovery – a hidden lake where 300 to 800 individuals died tragically – and the frozen Himalayas continued to preserve the human bones. You can find a reference to a story published on BBC Travel here.

I managed to complete the Roopkund trek which was organized by Indiahikes back in 2014 and is one of the best Himalayan trekking trails in India. You definitely need some practice before going to this trail as it’s not that easy when compared to the Tarsar trek or Kashmir Great Lakes.

Roopkund Trek YouTube Playlist

Before you go on a hike make sure to check this out – some of the Absolute mandatory Hiking Accessories to carry. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Buy me a coffee to support my work or you can go to my store to buy some of my images. Also, do not forget to join my FriendZone by signing up for my newsletter. Consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.

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