Roopkund Trek is one of the most beautiful places for trekking in Uttarakhand Himalayas. The ‘Roop’ denotes beauty and the ‘kund’ refers to pool. It is a high altitude glacial trek located in the Trishul massif in the state of Uttrakhand in northern India. Roopkund Trek is located at 4,800 meters (16,00 ft) above sea level along the border of Nepal.
The skeletons are most visible during the month of August, September, October and in May and June, snow will be there but cannot see the skeleton. Roopkund Trek goes through moderate to difficult grades and also the best treks in Uttarakhand Himalayas.
Roopkund Trekking trail is famous for the celebration of the Nanda Devi Raj Jat, takes place once every twelve years at Roopkund. During which Goddess Nanda Devi is worshipped. The famous Nanda Devi lies near to the lake. Similarly, one can spot the snow leopards, Himalayan black bear, Chi pheasants and notice the myriads flower all along the trek.
Roopkund lake is also known as skeleton lake due to scattered bones everywhere near the lake. Certainly, has attracted many travelers all over the world. Getting to the Roopkund Trek, drive from Kathgodam Railway Station to Lohajung in a cabs. Roopkund Trek starts from Lohajung (a small hamlet in Chamoli district) to Didna village.
From the days of yore, most of the residents engaged in potato farming. Trekkers get a chance to stay in the mud. In addition, capture the view of the stone built houses. Roopkund Trek route leading to the Roopkund trek passes through the medows like Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal. Similarly, Roopkund Lake Trek is the best option for adventure trekkers.
Bedni Bugyal which is about 3600 meters. However, it is a very large alpine meadow. It is surrounded by the thick forest of Brich, Deodhar, Oak, Apple orchards and walnut trees. The surface of these bugyals is covered with natural green grass. Walking through the Ali Bugyals, trekkers can see the white Nanda Ghunti and Trishul peak in the east which, keeps you spellbound.
Day 1: Roopkund Trek – Kathgodam to Lohajung
Altitude: 7,662 ft
Distance: 210 km
Time Taken: 10 hours drive
Route: Kathgodam – Bheem Tal – Almora – Kausani – Gwaldam – Dewal – Lohajung.
The vehicles start at 06:30 am at the parking of Kathgodham railway station for Roopkund Trek. We begin with a 10-hour journey through scenic winding roads of Kumaon and Garhwal region. The route is almost always foggy or misty and goes through the vegetation of the coniferous forest.
The long serpentine road is full of curves and bends hence it is advisable to carry motion sickness pills if you frequently require them. While trekking in Uttarakhand Himalayas, roads are generally bumpy and the journey is cold. Woolens are advised to be kept in handy and the night spent in guest houses or lodges available nearby.
Day 2: Roopkund Trek – Lohajung to Didna Village
Altitude: 7,662 to 8,045 ft
Distance: 7 km
Time Taken: 5 hours
We start the trekking today towards Roopkund trek. The total distance of Roopkund Trek from lohajung is 54km.
An hour and a half later, we reach Kulling, located at a distance of around 6km from Lohajung. Kulling is a small village in the district of Garhwal, with a small population. One can find nature, found in its full glory here. Roopkund Trek is the most Revered trek in Garhwal Himalayas, India.
Exotic birds can be spotted easily, the air is crisp and cold. After a break at Kulling, we gradually descend towards a narrow concrete plain which cuts through the village and its vicinity and takes you to a small stream.
This small stream originates from the Holy Ganges and also called the Neel Ganga. We descend further to reach the bed of Neel Ganga. We cross the road on the right side of the bridge. The ascend moderately steep and ends at the village of Didna, situated at an altitude of 2450mts, 8000ft.
Highlights of the Day 2 Trek
After a climb of around two hours, under the canopy of evergreen alpine forests and towering trees, you reach the top of the ridge, the view from where is breathtaking! It is surprising to find huge open lands at such a high altitude on the lap of the mountains.
Nearby, one finds two sister villages, very close to each other Didna and Kuling. Didina is the last village of the Roopkund trekking route The first village is inhabited during the summer and monsoon months while the second one is popular during the winter. The day’s trek ends at around 3 pm, after which lunch would be served. We have covered a total distance of approximately around 10kms. And then, the night is spent in a traditional guest house.
Day 3: Didna Village to Bedni Bugyal / Ali Bugyal
Altitude: 8,045 to 11,320 ft.
Distance: 12 km
Time Taken: 7-8 hours
At a staggering altitude of 3400mts or 11000ft. Today’s trek takes us to the beautiful Ali Bugyal, which is one of the highest inhabited locations in the country. Seated on the top of the mountain, Ali Bugyal is clearly visible even from far off vicinity.
Roopkund Trekking trail will take you to the top of this mountain. On the way to Roopkund Trek, one can also find the temporary settlements of local shepherds known as Tolpani and their massive herds of sheep.
Take a break, wander around, share their food and make merry! As one ascends upwards, the tree vegetation gradually recedes, and the plain grasslands start. Before this, one could have seen Oak, Birch, and Rhododendron trees growing in plenty in the areas.
Highlights of the Day 3 Trek
If you have the fortune of visiting the place during the spring season, trekkers can see the magnificent view of the valley covered with thousands of Rhododendron flowers in vibrant colors.
The climb takes around 3 to 4 hours to reach Ali Bugyal and what view! Vast expanses of lush green meadows meet the eye and your heart is already tumbling and wandering playfully on their slope. During summer months, the bugiyal covered with a blanket of vast stretches of grass and flowers. It serves as pastures for wild horses and cows.
On the way to Roopkund trek the first view of the Himalayan mountain peak from Ali Bugiyal If the weather is clear, it is easy to spot the peaks of Trishul and Mrighthuni, the tallest mountain peaks in this part of the Himalayas. Another half an hour of trekking will take you to Bedni, the camping spot for day 3. After lunch, visit the nearby temple in Bedni Kund, and if the weather is clear, you also might be able to view the Garhwal Himalayan ranges.
Day 4: Ali Bugyal/Bedni to Patar Nachauni via Bedni Bugyal and Ghora Lotani
Altitude: 11,320 to 12,818 ft
Distance: 7 km
Time Taken: 4-5 hours
For today’s trek, we have the option and the leisure of starting slightly late after taking some much-needed rest. We head out for Ghora Lotani via Patat Nacholi. Ghora Lotani is an ideal place to camp and also the Roopkund trekking route is utterly picturesque.
We gain steep altitude today from around 12,500 ft to 14,500 ft. The high altitude might make you feel the effects of the weather changes, the long exhausting walks will make your legs hurt, and the thin air will make breathing difficult. But, together in a group, you shall persevere, inspired by everyone.
The scenic journey to Roopkund Trek and the rewarding destination are going to be motivating enough for you to keep going. After 10 km of trekking, finally reached the beautiful campsite. Get a good night’s rest, the next day is going to start early and is going to be eventful, to say the least.
Day 5: Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabasa via Kalu Vinayak
Altitude: 12,818 to 14,117 ft
Distance: 5 km
Time Taken: 5-6 hours
There would be snow on the roopkund trekking trail in the month of May and June and in September and October, it would be a rocky trail.
WAKE UP! It is the lengthiest day of the trek and the most strenuous one too. With this in the pocket, there’s nothing stopping you. You must stretch and do a mild work out before you leave for the trek. Feast and fill yourself over the breakfast and then head out into the heaven that awaits you.
We are to trek over a span of 10 km today. The road is going to be extensively curved and risky with plenty of chances of injuries to anyone who is careless enough to underestimate the terrain. Our initial destination is the Kalyuvinayak Temple, for which we climb a stiff 200 ft over 2 km.
Highlights of the Day 5 Trek
On the way to Roopkund trek, proper dressing gear and sturdy well-gripping shoes are advised. As you climb, the air gets thinner, and so the oxygen density decreases, this might lead to a headache and acute stomach pain, but some rest should do away with the problems. As you reach, you marvel as to how it was possible to even imagine a temple at this altitude.
The temple carved out of stone, with absolute intricacy and brilliant details. The view from the temple is a sight to behold. One can also easily see the Trishul peak and the bell-shaped Nanda Gunti on either side of the spot. We now begin the final approach to Bhagwabasa nearby. Reach, camp and then rest. The roopkund trekking trail ahead is challenging enough. And, then call it a day here.
Day 6: Bhagwabasa to Roopkund and back to Patar Nachauni
Altitude: 14,117 to 15755 ft
Distance: 11 km
Time Taken: 9-10 hours
In August, September, October the skeleton is clearly visible with no snow. In May and June, one can enjoy the snow but can’t see the skeleton.
We start early morning towards Roopkund Lake. The final destination of the Roopkund Trek, finally within our grasp. We are about to reach an altitude of 16,000 ft, the pinnacle of the trip. Roopkund Trek is not going to be easy. Thin air makes trekking simple 4 km seem like a dearth of a ‘Mushqill’ (difficult) task. But the merry spirits with you are going to get you there. Reaching the lake is a heavenly experience and also makes you feel elation beyond measures.
Highlights of the Day 6 Trek
Kissed by the bliss of the Himalayas, you stand in the guard of Sentinel Mountains towering above you. The Roopkund lake, said to have more than 300 skeletons of a king and his villagers. They were struck by a blizzard when they were traveling to Nanda Devi.
If you’re lucky enough, and the water is clear and not frozen, you’ll also be able to see the skeletons of Roopkund lake in the trill of Roopkund Trek. We then climb to the Nanda Devi Temple from where we decide if it is safe enough to begin on the Junargali pass trek, depending upon the weather conditions.
Hence the return journey begins. It is hectic for multiple reasons because you are exerting more force on your legs to break. We travel all the way down to Patar Nachauni and then camp for the night. It is a hard and long route on the way back. Get plenty of rest.
Day 7: Patar Nachauni to Lohajung via Bedni and Wan
Altitude: 12,818 to 7,662 ft.
Distance: 15 km trek (15 km drive)
Time Taken: 5-6 hours.
Route: Patar Nachauni – Ghora Lotani – Bedni Bugyal – Doliya Dhar – Ghaeroli Patal – Neel Ganga – Ranka Dhar – Wan Village – drive to Lohajung.
A relatively easy affair compared to what you’ve gone through. The descent is much quicker and you will get the opportunity to explore places much better now. As you pass through the villages and scattered huts, and then you’ll reach a diversion of the road into two.
Take the one on the right. Stick with the group and avoid unnecessary venturing and shortcuts. Our milestone would be Neel Ganga, a post in which we reach Ran Ka Dhar. The village welcoming and also gives warm vibes.
Stay a little and rest and then find cars waiting for you that will carry you to the Lohajung guest house. You finally have beds and warm blankets to sleep on.
Day 8: Roopkund Trek – Lohajung to Kathgodam
Distance: 210 km drive
Time Taken: 9-10 hours
Reach Kathgodam by 6:00 pm.
On the way to Kathgodam at Kausani, you can buy herbal tea and souvenirs.
As the journey draws to an end, you travel by cars back to where it all started. With memories and sweet nostalgia,and then bid everyone farewell as the cars drop you at the Railway station.
Carry some mint to prevent nausea during the car travel. Buy souvenirs and presents. Get excited. You may depart, but your heart shall forever be captured by the hills of Himalayas. The journey ahead is barely enough time to solve its mysteries…
- Meals while on trek (Veg., Egg).
- All entry fees and permits.
- Accommodation:- Guest house, camping during Trek.
- Qualified & mountaineering certified Trek Leader, Guide and Support staff.
- First aid medical kits
- Trek equipments (Sleeping Bag, Inner, Mattress, Tents, Kitchen tent, dinning tent, toilet tent).
- Transport to and from the base camp is to be paid directly to the driver
- Any kind of personal expenses.
- Food during the transit.
- Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the cost.
* Down Jacket
* Comfortable Trek Pants 3-4
* Trekking Shoes
* Sun Block for Lips
Day 1: Drive from Kathgodam to Lohajung; 10 hours, 210 km
Day 2: Lohajung (7,662 ft) to Didna Village (8,045 ft); 5 hours, 7.5 km
Day 3: Didina Village (8,045 ft) to Bedni Bugyal (11, 320 ft) or Ali Bugyal; 6-7 hours, 10.5 km
Day 4: Ali Bugyal/ Bedni Bugyal (11,320 ft) to Patar Nachauni (12,818 ft) via Bedni Bugyal and Ghora Lotni; 4-5 hours, 7 km
Day 5: Patar Nachauni (12,818 ft) to Bhagwabasa (14,117 ft) via Kalu Vinayak; 4-5 hours, 4 km
Day 6: Bhagwabasa (14,117 ft) to Roopkund (15,755 ft) and back to Patar Nachauni (12,818 ft); 7-8 hours, 10 km
Day 7: Patar Nachauni (12,818 ft) to Lohajung (7,662 ft); 6-7 hours, 15 km
Day 8: Lohajung to Kathdodam; 10 hours, 210 km.
A trekking requires a lot of preparations to make sure that are physically and mentally ready for adventure. Here you can learn some basic life and survival skills, planning and organizing in this phase. We are giving some suggestions to make sure you are safe and enjoy your trekking adventure, Because of the changing environment, altitude, and terrains you’ll be facing Climbing & trekking is no small undertaking, so it is necessary that you give some time to prepare before you going to trekking & expedition in Himalayan Mountain.
WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED TO DO BEFORE GOING TO TREK?
Prepare your body-
- Running, Walk, Running
Running & Walking is the easiest and best for good health and trekking. Since the daunting of trekking & climbing requires long hours of public walk, ride, or drive, you must practice running or walking ablest one hour daily. Long walks during trekking make you tired those times and walk increase your fitness levels.
The benefits of running-
- Loosing of extra pounds weight
- Lower risk of heart problem
- Improve and balance blood circulation
- Increase stamina
- Walking with solder-load or weighted bag
Since trekking requires long time walks with a bag 5 kilos on your solder, a sudden weight on your shoulders. Put 5-6 kilos bag and try to walk 2-3 minutes and repeat this 10 times in 24 hours. If you have weight vest the try to run if you have not weighted vest the fill your bag with some books and wasted newspaper to weight.
- Climb stairs Up & Down
A mandatory aspect of trekking is ascending and descending trek. Ascend and descend walking is the most difficult tasks one faces during such trekking. For fitness practice, you regularly climb stairs. Regular climbing stair provides stronger muscles and better mental reflexes. Every day 5-10 minutes of stair climbing or 45 min walk or 20 min running reduces the risk of heart problem and increasing your stamina.
- Leg Exercises
Sports like football and hockey which involve running can be the best exercise. Cycling is also best exercise to boost up your muscles. You also follow leg exercises.
- Leg Curls
- Dumbbell lifting
- Swiss Ball Wall Squat
- Stairs walk
- Leg Curls
Repeat those exercises 2-3 time in a day to prepared for trekking in Himalayas.
- Mental and physiological fitness
Mentally and physiological fitness is more important for fitness. If you find some time for yourself then meditate. Meditation is best exercise for the Mental and physiological fitness.
One of the most impotent things for trekking and maintaining is support and encouragement of your family and friends.
Some other type to exercise your body that would give advantages and more benefit during ascent and descent trek way-
- Yoga, stretching which helps maintain flexibility of your body
- Stretching helps maintain flexibility
- Aerobic exercise
- Stair up and down