Mysterious Skeleton Lake Of India-Roopkund Lake

Location: Chamoli district, Uttarakhand

Roopkund Lake, also known as the Skeleton Lake of India, stands as a prominent destination for numerous trekkers seeking adventure and exploration. Most probably, due to its unraveled story about human skeletons. Another reason may be its location is at such an altitude that many trekkers take it as a challenge to cover it through many difficulties. Because it’s not an easy trek to reach the lake. Let’s explore the Lake virtually through my blog…

Skeleton lake of India
PC: source

Where Is Skeleton Lake Of India?

Roopkund Lake, popularly known as the Mysterious Lake of India, is a glacial Lake in the lap of Trishul Massif and the virgin Nanda Devi forest range. It is situated above 5,020mtrs from sea level in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand surrounded by snow-clad mountains, strewn rock glaciers, and human skeletons. The human skeletal remains are visible in and around the lake about 3 meters depth, when snow melts in summer. not every day, do you get the chance to see these skeletons.

How These Skeletons Came To Limelight?

Back in 1942, during the winters, on a sunny day high in the Himalayas, a British- Indian Forest guard of Nanda Devi National Park, namely H.K Madhwal came across hundreds of human skeletons and some weapons hoarded inside and outside of the Roopkund Lake. He instantly reported about 300-400 skeletons to the Government and then Lake came into the limelight. After that many research personalities, Anthropologists, and trekkers lined up to visit and solve the mysterious skeletons. But the accurate information is yet to unravel.

Some Stories And Mysterious Survey Facts About The Skeletons:

In the 1950s, the researchers of the Anthropological Survey Of India stated that some round objects injured these skeleton heads. According to some sources, the victims met a sudden hailstorm, as mentioned in local Garhwali songs and legends statements.

According to Oxford University researchers, the bones are radiocarbon-dated. The radiocarbon accelerator group of officials stated the time of death of these skeletons was around 850 CE or – 30 years. By examining 38 groups of skeletons, found that the remains were from different eras and belonged to 3 distinct groups. Among them, a group of 23 individuals was very similar to typical South Asian ancestry from 800 CE, with 1 individual from Southeast Asian ancestry of 1800 CE, and 14 individuals from 1800 CE, but belonging to typical eastern Mediterranean ancestry specifically from mainland Greece and Crete. These findings are contrary to the theory that these human skeletons died from a single hazardous event.

Excluding the above scientific survey results, the most famous story about these skeletal remains is, the local legend says, during one winter, the king of Kanauj, Raja Jasdhaval, with his pregnant wife, their servant groups, dance troupe, and some other villagers went to Nanda Devi Shrine on pilgrimage, there they faced a sudden storm with large hailstones. Unfortunately, all of them passed away near the Roopkund Lake. So, these skeletons belong to those people.

skeleton lake of India
PC: Source

Best Time To Visit Roopkund Lake:

It is the best time to visit a place where nothing exists. Whenever someone plans to cover one place I think the best time is this. But, not always unplanned visit gives you the best result, as, we can’t play with nature. Due to the harsh climatic conditions in the Himalayas, we should plan a date before we visit the Roopkund Lake.

The Roopkund Lake can be trekked between May and July, August, and Mid October. Summer and mid-rain are the perfect months to trek around Roopkund Lake. Because in these above months, ice is melted and skeletons are visible to the naked eye. June is the perfect time to witness both the Meadows of Ali and Bedni in their spring. The last week of August and 1st week of October are also good options to trek.

How To Reach The Skeleton Lake:

There is no such direct road to reach the Lake yet. One has to reach Gwaldum and undertake a 3-4 day trek( about 33km) to reach Skeleton Lake. I am giving you information about how to reach Gwaldum in different ways of communication in the below paragraph.

By Air: If you are traveling from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore then direct flights are available to Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. If you are from another city then reach the first in one of the above cities and then take flight to Dehradun. After reaching Dehradun, book a cab or bus to Gwaldum which is about 280km from it. If you are specifically traveling from Delhi then there is 4 round flight every week to the Pant Nagar airport( about 205km from Delhi) which is a domestic flight. Then book a taxi to reach Gwaldum.

By Train: By train though is not a good option still the nearest railway station is Kathgodam which is 169 km from Gwaldum. After reaching Kathgodam, you can easily get a taxi or bus to Gwaldum.

By Road: Gwaldum is easily connected by roads from major towns of Uttarakhand. One can easily get busses or taxis to reach Gwaldum. For example, the village is 149km from Nainital, 36km from Kausani, and 45km from Bagheswar,etc.

Some Important Information Before You Travel To The Lake:

  • Before planning the Lake trip, make sure the weather conditions are good.
  • The total trek is around 15 km, it will take 8-10 hours. So, make sure you take sufficient water, food, and warm clothes. Sometimes, the weather condition is bad, then you may have to return to Bedni Bugyal and camp at night. Make sure you have basic camping necessities.
  • Make sure you have a first-aid box and some common medicines like cold, fever, cough, and other medicines you have as per your health condition.
  • Mobile network is another issue at such height. Mostly, Airtel sim works sometimes there.
skeleton Lake of India
PC: source


Many travelers, researchers, and scientists visit the Roopkund Lake. But, one thing common in everyone’s mind, is, how these skeletons came to the lake. The place is Trekker’s favorite destination as it is at such a high altitude. Many tourists come just to see these skeletons and curiously return with their own stories. Isn’t it funny?… Don’t know when these skeleton stories will be solved…But still, the beauty around the lake will pull the world to visit it at least once in a lifetime.


1. Where is Skeleton Lake of India situated?

Ans: It is situated in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand State.

2. What is the best time to visit Roopkund Lake?

Ans: The best time to visit is the month of June. You can also visit between May and July. August and mid-October are also other options to travel the Lake.

3. Is It safe to travel the Roopkund Lake?

Ans: Yes, it is a safe travel option, as no such criminal activities found in the past. The only concern is weather conditions. One can’t guarantee that everything will be okay if by chance natural disaster happens.

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