“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.” William Blake, 1908.
Rightly said, wouldn't you agree? They never fail to mesmerize, with their blinding peaks and the mysteries that surround them. And the Himalayas, in particular. The stories you read about in countless religious texts and urban legends, you can’t help but wonder if these beings and places really did exist. Who's to say that they don’t, even now?
One such story is what I set out to experience in October 2014. The mystery of the Roopkund lake in the upper reaches of the Garhwal Himalayas, also popularly known as the Skeleton Lake. It is known for hundreds of mysterious skeletons which are found in and around the lake. Said to be part of an ancient army on an unscheduled pilgrimage, legend has it that they angered the weather God when they showed up unannounced. The skulls have dents, the size of golf-balls in them which are believed to be caused by hailstones resulting in instant death. At least, that's the theory. Fascinated with this story, I booked the Roopkund trek with a reputed trekking portal called IndiaHikes.
Being my first experience with the Himalayas, I was admittedly afraid, but feverishly excited. Not knowing what to expect, I trained for everything. Little did I know that nothing could prepare me for what lay ahead.