Roopkund (locally known as Mystery and Skeletons Lake) is a high altitude glacial lake in the Uttarakhand state of India. It lies in the lap of Trishul massif and is famous for the hundreds of human skeletons found at the edge of the lake. The area is uninhabited, in the Himalayas. Surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains, the lake is a popular trekking destination. A shallow lake, having a depth of about two meters, Roopkund has attracted attention because of the human skeletal remains that are visible at its bottom when the snow melts. Many theories and opinions exist, from purely spiritual to scientific ones, attempting to explain the existence of these skeletons, which date back to 9th century CE. Because of the human remains, the lake has been called Skeleton Lake in recent times.
- Height of Trek: 16,000 feet
- Difficulty level: Difficult
- Age group: 16-45 years
- Duration: 8days/7nights
- Trek distance: 27 Km (one way)
How to Reach
The Kathgodam station is one of the main stations in the district and it is an old station. It has good connectivity to many places and these include Lucknow, Delhi, and Howrah. Tickets from Delhi to Kathgodam by train cost around `150/- for a second class sleeper ticket and ` 400/- for a third A/C sleeper ticket. It is essential to book the tickets at least one month in advance as this route is always in demand.
- By Train
- From Delhi take the Ranikhet Express (5014) Dep. Delhi at 10:40pm arrival Kathgodam at 5:30am (Overnight Journey) or the Uttar sampark kranti (5035) Dep. Delhi at 4:00pm arrival Kathgodam at 10:40pm (6 hrs.40min.Journey).
- From Dehardun take the Doon Express (4120) Dep. Dehardun at 10:30 pm arrival Kathgodam at 7:10 pm (8hrs.journey)
- By Bus
Regular buses ply from ISBT Delhi Anand Vihar station to Kathgodam. Buses that go to Nainital stops at Haldwani which is a twin town of Kathgodham (8 hrs. Journey).
Roopkund Trek Itinerary
Day 1 – Kathgodam to Lohajung (Base Camp) (7662 feet)
Assemble at the Kathgodam Railway station by 7.00 AM. Kathgodam is a small yet beautiful place. The roads are narrow, with beautiful curves and would give a good view of the surrounding. The lush green beauty that travels along is amazing.
Day 2 - Lohajung Base Camp to Didna Village (8145 feet)
Just behind the bus stand in Lohargunj, take the trail that takes you to Raun Bagad. It is a fairly marked trail that descends through mixed forests. It is a moderate trek and you would take around 2-2½ hrs to reach the Ruan Bagad, which is an iron bridge across the famous Neel Ganga river. There is also an alternative route to reach here from Lohargunj which is through the road towards Wan. It is an easy 6km walk to Kulling Village where after there is a steep slope towards Ruan Bagad. You can opt for the latter, which is easy to travel but you would certainly miss on the beautiful mixed forests. Hereafter the climb to Didina starts once you cross the iron bridge. It is a difficult climb and you may get tired pretty soon. With a relatively tough time in the beginning, you would reach Didina in about and an hour and a half's time. You would have e great mountaineering experience all this while. Overnight stay in Home stay or Camp.
Day 3 – Didna Village to Bedni Bugyal (12200 feet)
To reach Bedni Bugyal from Didna, there are two alternative routes. If you look in the direction of the valley, you would look at Tolpani, which is a cluster of huts that belong to the shepherds. It is almost 3 kms away and 1000 feet high. From Tolpani, you take a trail that climbs to Tolkaan in the northern direction. The meadow trek goes through a series of switchbacks and grassy oak mountains. From Tolkaan, you take a sharp left towards the south and steer through the ridge to come out of the forest at Ali Bugyal. The alternative route is to climb directly towards Bedni Bugyal without going through Toplani. It takes nearly two and a half hours to reach Ali Bugyal on this route. To enjoy the seductive views from Ali Bugyal, you need to reach there before afternoon. It is a great post monsoon trek as well as a pre monsoon trek Incredible view of Valley. Click memories on your cameras, start trek to Bedeni bugyal slightly ascend but not tough, 1.5 -2 hours will take to reach Bedani Bugyal, Overnight stay in tents.
Day 4 – Bedni Bugyal to Patar Nachauni (12900 feet)
The trek from Bedni Bugyal to Patar Nachauni is an easy trek. You would follow a straight line ahead. On your gradual increase to the slope, the trek brings you to the other side of the ridge. The view from this point is absolutely marvelous. Explore morning view of Bedani Bugyal, around green grass, Bedeni kund, View of patti ka danda. According myth Lord Brahma created here Vedas. After breakfast depart to Patar Nachauni, 5 km distance takes 2-3 hours to reach. Today all around view is full of charm, Mountain (Nanda Ghughunti, Trishuli), Water falls, small-small water lakes between meadows. Night halt in camp.
Day 5 – Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabasa (14000 feet)
This is the day when you make a steep dash to gain altitude and finally trek in the snow line. It is a high altitude trekking and you would start feeling the effects of weather change and thin air and definitely the effects of high altitude. You would have to start your day early as you would like to reach Bhawabasa as early to acclimatize to the weather. Your route takes a climb to Kalu Vinayak, which is a steep and zigzag way to take you up the mountain. Go through this section carefully and slowly. It takes around one and a half hours to reach Kalu Vinayak. The route from Kalu Vinayak to Bhagwabasa is simple and gradually sloping downwards. Bhagwabasa is 2 kms away and you can have a view of the Bhagwabasa huts from here. The trail towards Bhagwabasa goes through snow patches and you would enjoy the journey.
Day 6 - Bhagwabasa to Roopkund and back to Bedni Bugyal (16000 feet)
You have to start the day as early at 4 am. The sooner you start, the better it is for you as the snow is still hard, while later in the day, it would get soft and your feet would start sinking in. Roopkund is a 3 km gradually up-hill climb from Bhagwabasa. You will have steep climb towards the end of the trail to reach Roopkund. It would take about 3 - 3½ hours to reach Roopkund. Once you climb to Roopkund, you must climb up to Junargali. Trekkers must visit unless the weather is very harsh and does not permit you. The climb to Junargali is not long. It is around 200 feet and doesn't take much time. It is hardly a climb of 25 - 30 min. You can start off early to return back to Bedni Bugyal via Bhagwabasa. You need to be careful in trekking back as the snowy slopes may trick you.
Day 7 - Bedni Bugyal to Lohajung Base Camp via Wan (7662 feet)
It is a great journey back to Lohajung via Wan. The path is fairly simple and you would not feel any distress throughout. You would cross the oak forest as you go and the scenic beauty is just mesmerizing. You would see the end of meadows after a few minutes. On a clear day, you would be astonished by looking at the Trishul on your way back from Bedni Bugyal to Wan. You would go down the Rhododendron forest. You would have a steep descent for the Neel Ganga. However, you should take your time and enjoy the beauty as you go by. From the river, it takes about half an hour to climb to the ridge above Wan village. Overall it takes about 6 and half an hour to Wan and it is an hour's drive back to Lohajung.
Day 8 - Lohajung Base Camp to Kathgodam
After getting to the base camp at Loharjung and nishing the Roopkund trek, you might think of spending a day at Loharjung. This is a great place to relax and chill out after your high altitude trek that has left your adrenaline pumping. You would enjoy the weather but denitely miss what you had at Roopkund or on its way. Travelling back to Loharjung is pretty simple and doesn't really require any skill. An enjoyable road-trip to end the lake trek on an exhilarating note.
What is included in the tour
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners from Lahajung to Lahajung (VEG)
- Transport from Kathgodam-Lohajung & Lohajung-Kathgodam
- All accommodation from Lahajung to Lahajung
- All camping equipment’s
- Medical Kit
- Professional Trek Leaders (Experienced Guide/Staff)
All forests permits
What is NOT included in the tour
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- All Meals from Kathgodam - Lohajung & Lohajung - Kathgodam
- Mules (A Hybrid Animal) to carry personal luggage
- Single room accommodations
- Bottled beverages
- Photography accessories like cameras, etc.
- Anything that not mention in “cost include”
- 1 Pair of Thermal
- 3 Pair of Socks + 1 Pair of woolen socks
- 2 Pair of Hand Gloves (Water Proof & Fleece material)
- Sun Cap
- Woolen Cap
- Neck Warmer (Scarf/Buff)
- 2 Quick Dry Full Sleeves (T-Shirt)
- 1 Full sleeves Fleece
- 1 Wind Proof Jacket (windcheater/Heavy Jacket)
- 2 Track Pants (No Cotton or Jeans)
- Sun Glass
- Sun scream, Lip balm, Moisturizer.
- Trek Pole
- Trekking Shoes (No Sports shoes or Woodland shoes)
- Poncho (The Gear used to protect from Rain)
- Day pack (Small one)
- Back Pack 60 liter (+ Rain cover)
- 2 Water Bottles
- Toilet Paper & Wet Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Antibacterial Powder
- Tooth Brush
- Quick Dry Towel
Medicines to carry
- Crocin (1Strip)
- Disprine (1 Strip)
- Lomotive (1 Strip)
- Digene (1Strip)
- Band Aid - Quantity 5
- Neusphorine Powder
- Betadine Tube
- Vomistop/Avomine (Motion Sickness Tablet)