Roopkund the glacial lake, at an altitude of 5,029 meters in the lap of Mount Trishul and Mount Nandgungti, in the Chamoli district of Uttrakhand ,makes its way through exotic landscapes , untouched oak forests, long stretched meadows, snow capped mountains and the list goes on.
The roopkund trek holds in the mysteries and myths, that no less gives it a feels of treasure hunt in a mystical land , with extreme and untold natural changes. According to a folklore, a king with his annual pilgrimage procession, had not performed the prayers in an orderly manner, distracted by the royal dancers, which infuriated the Goddess ,and to relinquish any sort of similar incident the deity transformed the dancers into boulders ,and a few huge stones seen till date does seem to have an affinity with the legend, hence named to be "dancing stones" and Pathar Nachni" in the local language.
"The Skeleton Lake" as the name so goes the legend .There have been many stories to the human remains found near the lake, some say it to be of, the traders or Tuglak's army of losing their way, the others believe it to be of the King of Kannauj ,with his wife and a procession to the Nanda Devi , delivering a baby on the way made the goddess ferocious on account of spoiling her holy land, and so a hailstorm was casted on them. Being no such trade route, absence of any pilgrimage in that specific direction and the presence of human remains does brings these deeply believed stories to an unexplained end.
The ranger who first stumbled into these skeletons in 1942, the mysterious lake propagated a few more interesting theories. To demystify it "The National Geographic" channel produced a documentary "Riddles of the Dead ". During this period a lot of bones with flesh (the cold and snow being the natural preservers of the dead) were discovered and hence pointed to a mass destruction around the 9th century. The cracks on the skulls and the other studied injuries finally explained and concluded that the destruction would have been in a form of hailstorm with a size of a cricket ball. But it is still unsure, who these people were, where were they headed to, what were they doing there, and how did actually they meet their end.
The magnificence and astonishing view that the Roopkund Trek holds , is enchanting and is no less than a treasure in itself. Talking of treasure the "Brahma Kamal" named after a Hindu God of creation is a rare, sacred and seasonal flower to be found in high altitudes, and the "Keeda Jadi" meaning "insect plant" (literally),a medicinal mushroom in search of which innumerable people head towards the higher altitudes in the springs. This sublime variant- half caterpillar and half fungus has medicinal properties like -a natural aphrodisiac and also an energy stimulant which is why people neglect the extremities and bleak weather, both of these add to the enthralling quotient of the roopkund trek.
The trail to the trek goes through Asia's finest and the largest high altitude meadows, Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal, widely spreading a lush green carpet, steep climbs and impeccable rainbows forming in the most unlikely angles would fill you with wonderment. Do pick an eye out for the bearded vulture a high altitude bird, with an wing expansion of 2-3 meters an intriguing vision in itself, slow down and notice the different and numerous colours, shapes and types of myriad flowers along the path.
Wan the only place in India which is the home to Gigantic Cyprus trees which needs 7-8 people to actually scale its bark cannot go unnoticed, adjoining with around five hundred years old ,virgin and mighty oak trees. Kalu Vinayak -spirituality at its best, makes u feel humbled by its presence in that solitude, the peaks which are sometimes clouded allows the sunrays to dance and create a magic of its own ,like Chaukhamba range,Gangotri,Trishul,Nandghungti,Neelkanth, Bandarpoonch and then unearthing them during the trek, just gets you even more delighted and frantic . The lake is girdled with outcropped glacial rocks and snowy summits. The freezing raw nights and thinning of air with the ascending altitudes makes it all the more difficult and altogether creates this trail to be a trail for what it is worth.
The roopkund trek's heart-stirring views, spine tingling heights, grandeur of the mountains and the mysteries lying beneath them and much more is what roopkund trek holds within. This peril to roopkund will touch your heart to the roots with the fireworks of the learning and enchanting experience of journeying to the skies.