Roopkund trek: Beginners Guide
Roopkund trekking is steadily gaining popularity year after year and has become a jewel of India’s Himalayan adventure scene. The well-deserved Roopkund attracts backpackers from all over India as well as international tourists with its beauty and mystique.
Roopkund trek itself is a high altitude glacial lake located deep in the Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand. The 54km trek traverses some of the most diverse and breathtaking landscapes a Himalayan trek has to offer, with a 6 day trek plus 1 on each side for jeep transport back to the junction. Trekkers consistently confirm that the scenery is stunning along the way, but most people are unsure if the rumors of skeletons lying around the lake are actually true.
You can rest the first day as you only find your way to Lohajung, a small village at 7,700 feet above sea level where your adventure begins. There are several comfortable homestays available, and panoramic mountain views give you a taste of what’s to come.
Departing from Lohajung on the second day, you can stop at a beautiful and rugged temple for a period of contemplation. You will then spend most of the 11km day immersed in a dark undergrowth valley. The road winds gently through the sun-drenched forest along Neel Ganga to the village of Didina.
Nanga Gunti and Trishri.
Homestays and chai stands offer welcoming hospitality here, and many use this place as their lunch break for the day. After this hilarious opening, we head back into the woods until we reach his 8,300-foot Torpani, where many camps for the night. Trapani is unique, striking, and positively lush. Everything here is green and vegetative, and in summer a little shepherd’s house hides among the stalks. The next morning, the trail suddenly erupts open into none other than Ali Bugyal, the meadow that stole India’s heart. This rolling upland carpet of neon green grass seems to go on forever, presenting hikers with views of grazing cows and quivering wildflowers.
Looking east, we are humbled by the faces of Nanga Gunti and Trishri. The remainder of this 6 km day passes Maggi Point to Bedni Bugyal, the second alpine meadow of the day, at 11,700 feet, home to several Trishul-laden temples.
Day 4’s prized possession is at the top of the first climb. Another 6km route in a day, this trail makes the valley vistas visible to all with a winding section just a few kilometers above Bedni Bugyal. They make hikers look like ants, and from here you can see trails carved into the side of the mountain disappearing into the distance towards their night destination, Patar Nachauni, at 12,700 feet. The show-stopper on Day 5 is undeniably Kahlua Vignac. Scored on the first steep climb, this highly gifted temple lies within spectacular views of Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Neelkantha, Trishul, and Nanda Ghunti. A 4 km trek at an altitude of 14,200 feet to reach Bhagwabasa, the official base camp of Roopkund. you are ready for ascension. The summit rush on Day 6 begins around 2 am, with ice and rocky switchbacks to the lake requiring a difficult 6km climb, often requiring crampons. The purpose of this night hike is to avoid the sun when the half-melted ice surface is slippery, but the rewards are immense. Roopkund stands before you in all its glory at 15,750 feet, skeletons strewn in the snow and embedded in the bottom of the lake. It is now estimated that these bones belonged to some 300 biologically distinct skeletons dating to the ninth century, 1,200 years ago. no one knows who they are and why they were there
Theories range from enraged gods punishing armies to freak hailstorms killing immigrants, but one fact can be confirmed. It’s easy to get distracted by this strangeness, but the summit is only 250 feet higher. Roopkund’s crown, Junalgali, sits on a magnificent snow throne. This iron gate is the symbolic gateway to the valley, crowned by a single golden bell that hangs over the glistening white mountains that surround it. Weather permitting, this is the true grand finale of the trek to Roopkund. 10 km down Bedni he returns to Bugyal and the next day from there he descends 11 km to the charming village of Wang. Chat with the locals who might invite you over for a cup of chai, and explore temples hidden beneath towering pines. From Wang, a jeep can be arranged to Lohajung or another connection point.
high altitude hike
This is a high altitude hike. Roopkund Trail has a maximum elevation of he 5,029 meters and is a moderate hike, so I highly recommend anyone attempting the climb to make sure they have hiked in high mountains beforehand. Preferably at an altitude of at least 10,000 feet to avoid unwanted AMS symptoms.
The more familiar you are, the easier and more enjoyable your time here will be. Trekkers should be physically fit and exercise actively at home to prepare for this adventure. In general, an individual should be able to run 5 km in 25-30 minutes or walk 10 km continuously.
Best Seasons to Travel to Roopkund
Roopkund has two main seasons. May to June, September to October