Roopkund: where death and silence prevail.

21st Aug 2019
Day 1

Roopkund Trek
Humans are attracted towards mystery like a bee towards a flower and to quench that never-ending thirst, we travel. While traveling we come across such things which cannot be explained or tied to logic, such places give birth to curiosity. Roopkund is something which can neither be explained by logic or by tales. A lake in the middle of nowhere, filled with rocks and skeletons, human skeletons. An aura of mystery and supernatural surrounds this place and ties one with nothing but astonishment. No one knows about how these skeletons got there or how these people managed to climb up to this height. Local folklore says that this lake was created by Lord Shiva for her wife Parvati as she wanted something like a mirror where she can see her reflection every day as she lived in a cave nearby. A local King then expecting a child from his Queen decided to go on a pilgrimage towards Nanda Devi and thought about getting some entertainment, some local dancers. Angered by this, Nanda Devi pushed the dancers into the rock and killed the rest of the pilgrims by a Halestorm. This story might differ as locals tend to exaggerate a bit but this might seem like a solution to this mystery. The trek is considered as a high altitude trek and needs proper acclimatization and willpower.

Day 1 (Arrival at Jolly Grant Airport)

Once you arrive at Jolly Grant airport, our representative will receive you and take you to the tour bus. The tour bus will then take us to the hotel nearby so we that we can rest and spend a day knowing about the trip and visit certain sights nearby such as Robber’s Cave, Sahastradhara and Tapkeshwar temple.
We will start our tour in Dehradun with Robber’s cave also known as Gucchupaani. This particular sight is quite famous among tourists as it is blessed with a unique environment. A river flowing through a cave which probably is the reason it is called Robber’s cave.
After spending some time at this place we will visit Sahastradhara a place famous for its natural beauty and Sulphur Springs. These Sulphur springs are at a lower temperature than its surroundings and help relax even the most hot-headed person.
After spending the day sight-seeing Dehradun we will wrap our day with delicious dinner and treat ourselves with a good night's sleep.

Day 2 (Arrival at Lohajung and a drive to the base camp “Wan”)

We will start our drive towards Lohajung early in the morning as it is a 12 hours drive towards Lohajung. This long drive towards Lohajung will take us through the village Tharali which is where we will stop for our lunch, this is a bustling city with an astounding view of Mt. Nanda Ghunti. Once we reach Lohajung we will then continue our journey towards Wan which is the last village we will across during this trek. Once in Wan, we will arrange tents and trekking sticks from a local store. Dinner will be served by a local chef who will cook us a meal which will be “Daal bhaat” or Chicken curry with some rice. We will call it a day and prepare ourselves for the steep climb day after tomorrow.

Day 3 (Trek to Ghairoli Patal from Wan)

This trek starts with a lot of houses on your way and you wouldn’t feel like you are getting into the wilderness but after 15 minutes or so these houses vanish and the woods start. We will strongly suggest carrying an ample amount of water because the nearest water source is quite far and this can result in dehydration even if you don’t want it. After few hours into the trek the path divides itself into two, one goes towards the local temple Latu Devta and the other towards the ridge. We will take a short detour and take blessings from the local temple as it is considered as good luck by the locals. The ridge is also known as Ranaka Dhar which roughly translates to blood flow and the folklore behind this is that the battle between goddess Parvati and demon Lohasur ended near this stream. A short descent towards Ghairoli Patal surprises us with Neel Ganga, a small bridge runs over this stream and this looks like a scene out of movies. A short break with some snacks here is something everyone on this trek loves. After this bridge, we enter into the woods filled with Rhododendron trees and different sort of shrubs. This path then leads to the beautiful meadow known as Ghairoli Patar. We will pitch our tent near this meadow and let the surrounding sink in. This particular campsite is famous for its beauty and the local wild horses here will make you feel like you are in Swedish Alps. We will sleep under a clear sky and experience a night filled with stars.

Day 4 (Ghairoli Patal to Bedni Bugyal)

We leave this meadow with a night spent under a clear sky and ascend towards Bedni Bugyal. We start with a trail filled with dense forest and after a few hours we will reach towards a trail made of stones and once we arrive at the diversion we will take the right towards Ali Bugyal. Bugyal in the local language means a meadow with nothing but grass. After a smooth ascend we will suddenly leave the dense forest and will come across Ali Bugyal, a clear garden like landmass with a soothing effect on your personality. We will then continue our trek towards Bedni Bugyal which is just 5kms away from Ali Bugyal. We will pitch our tents in Bedni and let the clean landmass without a tree to obstacle our view to sink in.

Day 5 (Bedni Bugyal to Patar Nachauni)

The locals say this is where the dancers were turned into stones and this might creep you out but this place is as heavenly as it can get. The ascend towards this campsite is not easy and requires whatever the strength you are left with. After a few hours, the trail will take us towards the other side of the ridge and this is the spot from where we cannot take our horses. We will have to carry our luggage with us. Once we reach Patar Nachauni we will be welcomed with an open terrain just like a Bugyal but a bit different from it as it is covered with rocks. We will camp here and have our dinner which might take some time as we have reached a considerable height.

Day 6 (Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabhasa)

The last towards this mysterious lake is Bhagwabhasa. A small site where even the forest department has set up their camps. This place is a bit rocky and windy and this might create a problem but the strong stone huts built by the locals can take the beating and are even warm from the inside. We will stay the night at this campsite and prepare ourselves for the summit tomorrow.

Day 7 (Bhagwabhasa to Roopkund lake to Junargali Pass and back to Bhagwabhasa)

As we leave Bhagwabhasa we start our trek towards Roopkund lake. This path takes a sudden ascend towards the lake and is covered with snow. This snow laden track is deficient in vegetation and lacks an ample amount of oxygen. We take this steep to ascend and reach our destination, The Mysterious Lake. This lake has been a subject of discussion for a while now and researchers have discovered the reason for these peoples death. They died under Halestorm which rules out the local folklore and myths. We will quench our thirst of curiosity and begin our ascend towards Junargali. Junargali is the summit of Roopkund lake which provides a view of mystical Nanda Devi mountain. A mountain covered with snow resembles the waist of a woman in white saree. Let that view absorb in and we will descend towards Bhagwabhasa which will not take more than an hour.

Day 8 (Bhagwabhasa to Ghairoli Patar)

This descends towards Ghairoli Patar is not as tedious as the ascend. We will bypass Bedni Bugyal and Patar Nachauni and head straight towards Ali Bugyal. This is a different route and opens up a broader spectrum of exploration for us. After we cross Ali Bugyal we will come across a route filled with trees and shrubs. This overwhelming feeling of achievement is boosted once we reach Ghairoli Patar in just a matter of seconds. There are numerous surprise checks from the Forest department officials for the permits so we might even mingle with these officials and they can provide us with a much better picture of ‘Eco-treks’ going on this region. We will then pitch our tents in Ghairoli Patar and rest.

Day 9 (Ghairoli Patar to Wan)

The last leg for this trek is comparatively easy and quick. We will reach Wan by evening and we will spend a night here as the trek will leave us with weak knees and a completely drained body. We will leave for Dehradun early in the morning.