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If you look at the Roopkund Lake, for a moment you would feel it’s just another picturesque glacial lake. But this lake in the Himalayas is much more than that, its clear waters has in store many mysteries. Yes mysteries which date back hundreds of years. The stories related to this lake have been a subject of speculation among the scientists, historians and mountaineers from across the globe. Let’s get into more details about this mysterious lake, The Roopkund Lake. Let’s explore this amazing lake and try to unlock few amazing secrets locked in its womb!

Skeleton Lake: Why Is It Called So?

roopkund photoPhoto by AbhijeetRane

Located in the Chamoli district, Uttaranchal the Roopkund Lake is set at an altitude of around 5,000 meters above the sea level. The Roopkund Lake is also known as the Skeleton Lake. Now that’s a scary name isn’t it? Thinking why such a name right, let me answer this mystery. This name is because of the fact that you can actually see hundreds of corpses floating around the lake when the glacial lagoon starts to melt. Yes corpses for real, no one knows where these come from. When this fact was disclosed, the world was actually shocked. There are end numbers of theories that revolve around this mystery, mystery of a terrible incident. But still no one knows whose corpses these are, who were these people, were they on some pilgrimage tour, and was the reason of their death an outbreak? So many questions surrounding this lake, sadly all remain unanswered. The corpses are the main reason why this lake got this scary name “Skeleton Lake”.

Mysteries And Unheard Stories About The Roopkund Lake

roopkund photoPhoto by AbhijeetRane

1. The Hailstorm During The 9th Century

An interesting story associated with the Roopkund Lake is of the hailstorm. This hailstorm occurred during the 9th century and according to the scientists the corpse found in the frozen lake belongs to the people of a 9th century Indian tribe. This tribe is said to have disappeared that time due to the hailstorm. The scientist also adds that in the year 1942 a British forest guard first discovered the skeletons.

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2. Soldiers Or Commandos?

It was also believed that the bones and skulls found in the Lake are of Japanese soldiers who died during the World War II. On the other hand some also said that the corpse were of General Zorawar Singh of Kashmir and his commandos. They died in the Himalayan region in the year 1841 because of the extremely bad weather conditions.

3. Goddess Parvati

Locals have their own story too. One of the most common stories you would come across is about Goddess Parvati. This story has a link with the name of the lake “Roopkund”, as in how this name arrived. The story goes like this, once upon a time Once Goddess Parvati was on her way to the Kailash with Lord Shiva after killing some demons. After this war Goddess was feeling very dirty, hence Lord Shiva created this divine lake with his powerful Trishul. When Goddess Parvati dipped into the clear crystal blue water she could see her clear beautiful reflection. This is why the lake was named as Roopkund.

4. Nanda Raj Jat Yatra

After every 12 years the Nanda Raj Jat Yatra takes place. This is an interesting belief and followed with lot of enthusiasm. According to locals a mysterious four horned animal appears before them very timely. In the Nanda Raj Jat Yatra thousand of devotees move to the Hem Kund Lake. The Hem Kund Lake is further ahead of the Roopkund Lake; they go there to pay worship to Goddess Nanda Devi.

5. Keeda Jadi, The Magical Mushrooms

“Keeda Jadi” as it is popularly called in the local language is the “Magical Mushrooms”. During every spring season, more than thousands of caterpillar fungus is found. The magical part about this fungus is that these contain unbelievable medicinal properties. These funguses are highly valuable, this is one reason the locals hustle in the tough climates and high altitudes to find these Magical Mushrooms.

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6. Reflection Of Nandaghunti

There are many peaks and spots in Roopkund, like Neelkanth, Maiktoli, Mrigthuni, Bandar Pooch, Gangotri, Chanyakot and many more. You can see these while trekking to Roopkund. On the way trekking there is one special spot; you can actually look for the reflection of Nandaghunti from here. There is a small pond at Ali Bugyan, this is where you can see the Nandaghunti reflection.

7. The Old Ganesh Temple

Old Ganesh Temple in Roopkund is also known as the snowline of the trek. To reach this place one has to trek for around 4 long hours towards Kalu Vinayak from Lotani. The location around this temple is totally awesome, a perfect place to spend the day amidst beautiful snow capped mountains. But take a note this place is extremely cold during the night time.

There are so many unheard stories associated with the Roopkund Lake, but do those stories give any answer? The world is still waiting for this age-old mystery to get uncovered. As I said no one know who were all those people originally from? And where were all they going to? Seems science still has a long way to go before all questions find an appropriate answer.  Unfolded in the clear waters of the Roopkund Lake are many stories and mysteries. But you need to make sure to visit this nature’s miracle at least once in your lifetime. Who knows you can un-wrap some mystery lying beneath the beautiful water bed.

Always remember the wonders with God do not have any end, they will he there till eternity. While the scientists and adventurers continue trying to search answers backed with logics, you have to witness this lake and understand the signs of God. 

Featured Photo by sundup2k

Also See:

Gurudongmar Lake: The Miraculous Lake In Sikkim

Stunning Legacy of Buddhist Monasteries in Himachal Pradesh

7 Most Offbeat Backwaters To Explore In “Gods Own Country” Kerala

Top Mountain Peaks Of India: The Jewels Of India


Roopkund Lake, A Mysterious Picturesque Lake In The Himalayas

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