The skeletons still swim here - Roopkund Lake

Attributes: Unusual Travel Places in India, Adventure

A mystery that dates back to more than 60 years and has begun to be understood only recently.

What’s this:

Beyond the beauty of this lake, located at 5029 meters above sea level in the isolated wombs of majestic Himalayas, is the spine chilling mystery. This lake is popularly known as the Skeleton Lake. Nestled in a valley with steep sides, Roopkund has that inscrutability and vagueness that has deceived multiple generations of fortune tellers.

When ice melts in the glacial tarn of Roopkund, in Chamoli district, Uttaranchal, hundreds of corpses can be seen floating. Thus gets exposed a mystery that dates back to more than 60 years and has begun to be understood only recently.

The Mystery Unfolds:
In 1942, a forest guard chanced upon hundreds of skeletons at this tarn.

The remains have intrigued anthropologists, scientists, historians and the local people ever since. Who were these people? What were they doing in the inhospitable regions of the Garhwal Himalaya?

Many speculated, initially, that the remains were those of Japanese soldiers who had sneaked into the area, and had then perished to the ravages of the inhospitable terrain. But radio-carbon tests on the corpses in the 1960s belied this theory. The tests vaguely indicated that the skeletons could date back to anytime between the 12th and 15th centuries ad. This led many historians to link the corpses to an unsuccessful attack by Mohammad Tughlak on the Garhwal Himalaya. Still others believed that the remains were of those of victims of an unknown epidemic. Some anthropologists also put forward a theory of ritual suicide.

Whatever be your interest point, Roopkund has it for all. The scenic beauty of the lake and the mystery surrounded by it has always attracted travelers from across the globe.

What to see?

Beautiful clear water lake, Religious event in Garhwal, Green hills, Varied flora and fauna, Resplendence of nature

How to reach?

From Old Delhi station, take the Ranikhet Express that leaves at 10.40 in the night. It will get you to Kathgodam which is its final stop at around 6. 30 am. Trekkers who come in from different parts of the country sometimes get worried about how to reach Lohajung. Lohajung is in the very interior of the inner Himalayas and can be tricky to access. There are pick up vehicles from Kathogodam railway station to bring you directly to the base camp at Lohajung. Kathgodam is the last train station and is in the foothills of Himalayas. It is 32 kms from Nainital, which as you know is a very famous hill station.

Tags: Unusal Travel Places in India, Adventure places in India

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