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Lying at the base of Trisul and Nanda Ghunti mountains in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Roopkund Lake is an eerie mystery to be solved. This is so as hundreds of human skeletons dating back to the 9th century were found here. This fact has unnerved even the professionals.

Roopkund Lake is situated at an elevation of about 5,000 m and everywhere the eyes can see, you only find snow-capped mountains and the infinite sky up above. Due to this, it used to be a famous trekking destination for many adventure enthusiasts. 

However, in August 2018, due to the deteriorating environmental conditions of this place by the carelessness of tourists, the local authorities placed a ban on trekking here. 

Also Read: It is a suburb of Dharamshala located in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, and the colloquial name of the place was Little Lhasa or Dhasa

Coming on to the skeleton findings, this place has garnered layers of mystery over time and thus is also known as the Mystery Lake. Every year, when the snow melts here, one can see considerable amounts of skulls and bones inside the lake.

So, if you too are planning to witness this somewhat spooky and mystical location for yourself, the autumn season would be the best time to visit Roopkund lake. 

Findings on the Origin of Skeletons

After carrying out an extensive DNA study and analysis the team at the Centre and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad concluded that the Skeletons found at the lake belonged to majorly two genetic groups.   

Many researchers are of the opinion that these skeletons belong to a group of Eastern Mediterranean people as well as people from Greece and Crete. 

History of Roopkund Glacial Lake

As per history, several skeletons were found here in 1942 by a forest ranger named Hari Kishan Madhwal. And as these skeletons were discovered, the Britishers thought and also feared to some extent that these might be Japanese casualties from World War II but as the research work was conducted, it was found out that these skeletons belonged to a much older timeline; dating back to almost 9th century, i.e., about 1,200 years old. 

Along with these skeletons, various other things like wooden artefacts leather slippers and rings were also retrieved. The second set of skeletons which was found belonged to the 19th century. 

Other Legends and Myths

Many also claim that these bones and skulls belong to General Zorawar Singh and his men from Kashmir who had died due to the repercussions of extreme weather conditions. 

Another horde affirms that these skeletons belong to King Jasdhaval of Kannauj and his wife along with their servants and possibly some soldiers. As per the local legend, the Raja was going for pilgrimage to Nanda Devi when they faced a ferocious hailstorm due to which all of them perished. 

Major Attractions in and Around Roopkund Lake

1. Almora. Shaped like a horseshoe, this adorable town exudes pre-colonial British vibes. All Almora has to promise is lots of fun, adventure and unforgettable moments of a lifetime to you. 

2. Lansdowne. This little town has everything to impress you. The presence of Oak and Pine trees along with verdant greenery leaves you awestruck. For wildlife lovers, hikers and adventurous souls this is the place to be at. 

3. Kausani. Located in the Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand, this panoramic town is ideal for a fun travel getaway. Its erstwhile name was Valna and it has been blessed with countless bounties of nature. It doesn’t fail to paint a pretty picture right in your heart with lots of memories to cherish. 

How to Reach Roopkund Lake

To reach here, you will first need to travel to Chamoli, a mind-blowing tourist spot in Uttarakhand. It is located at a distance of about 332, 1,735, 1,579, 2,456 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Check out the following details on how you can reach Roopkund by the following means of transportation. 

By Air. You will need to deboard at the Jolly Grant Airport aka Dehradun Airport (DED) situated 200-230 km away. This airport is taken as the 37th busiest airport in India and is well-connected with other cities via connecting flights from Delhi and Chandigarh. Once you deboard at the airport, take a cab to further reach here. 

By Train. The nearest railway station is the Rishikesh station located at a distance of 90-100 km. It is situated on the Northern Network Zone of Indian Railways. However, to reach here, you will first need to travel to Haridwar and from there take a train to Rishikesh. Haridwar Railway Station is well connected with other Indian cities. Form there, you will need to book a cab or avail some other conveyance to reach your destination.  

By Road. Another good option to reach Chamoli is via roadways. Yes, it is well-connected with motorable and easily accessible national highways with other Indian cities and towns. There are frequent regular private/state-run buses travelling to and fro this city which is also feasible as compared to other travel options. From nearby destinations like Rishikesh, Pauri, Srinagar and many other places you can also consider booking a taxi to reach here. 

  • From Kathgodam - 313 km via NH534
  • From Rishikesh - 90-100 km via NH7
  • From Patiala - 329 km via NH7 

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here


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