Perched at an elevation of 5,029 m above the sea level in the lap of Trishul Peak and Nanda Ghunti is a place full of mystery, Roopkund. Also called as ‘Mystery Lake’, the place is synonymous to its name owing to the discovery of human skeletons and horses remains from Paleolithic age at this very place.
Surrounded by mesmerizing scenic beauty of lush green mountains and rocky glaciers, the place presents a perfect package as a trekking trail. The human and horse skeletons found around Roopkund are believed to be about 500-600 years old. The place remains frozen almost throughout the year but offers a great view of beauty.
The trekking trail to Roopkund in itself is quite fascinating including the trek through rustic villages, the bewitching alpine meadows and a beautiful sacred pond, BedniKund with its crystal clear water. The trek gets steep from Bedni Bugyal to Roopkund. Almost 5 kms before the final destination lies Baguabasa situated 4,100 m above the sea level. If you are looking for some adrenaline pumping activity, while enjoying the panoramic scenic beauty, this place serves as a perfect trekking trail for you.
Rail: Kathgodam serves as the nearest and one of the main railway station of the district. It is well connected to various main cities including Delhi, Lucknow etc. However, make sure to book your tickets quite well in advance, at least one month, as this route is almost always busy.
Road: Another good option of reaching Kathgodam is through bus. Regular bus services including private and government owned run regularly to the state. You may also find buses to the famous hill station of the state Nainital that also stops at Haldwani, the twin city of Kathgodam.
Approx trekking distance (Both sides) : 53 kms
Base Camp : Dhaula near Naitwar
Difficulty : Mderate to Challenging gradient
Highest point of trek : 15,696 feet
Nearest Airport : Bhuntar, Jolly Grant Airport
Nearest Railhead : Chandigarh
Region : Mandi Dsitrict
Snow : If you look forward to snow and a challenging trek trail, May and June is perfect timing for you.
Starting point of trek : Dhaula near Naitwar
Day 1 : Dehradun to Mori to Dhaula
Distance: Drive 195 km , Duration: 7-8 hours
Arrive at Dehradun and drive to a small hamlet of Mori. The village is basked under the glory of nature while resting on the banks of Rover Tons. From here proceed towards Netwar through a passage of pine forest. You can pay your homage to Pokhu Devta here, an ancient place of worship exhibiting an exquisite form of local architecture. Head for Dhaula Village from here, located near Rupin Gad, the point where your actual trekking begins. Rest for the night at your tents as you trekking commences tomorrow.
Day 2 : Loharjung to Didna Village
Distance: 8 km , Duration: 5 hours
On second day commences the actual trek and adventure. Look for a trail behind the Loharjung bus stand that will lead you to Raun Bagad. The path is fairly marked and passes through mixed forests. The trek is not a difficult one and will take you 2-2.5 hours to reach Ruan Bagad where you will find an iron bridge there right across the famous Neel Ganga River. An easy walk of 6 km will take you to Kulling Village and steep ascent thereafter to Ruan Bagad. Once you have crossed the iron bridge, a climb towards Didna begins. The climb is a bit challenging and may tire you to your bones. It will take you around hour and half to reach Didna. However, the experience of mountaineering you will get is great.
Day 3 : Didna Village to Ali Bugyal
Distance: 8 km , Duration: 6-7 hours
There are two separate trails from Didna that leads to Ali Bugyal. The first one in the direction of valley, where you will notice Tolpani, a cluster of shepherd huts situated about 3 km away and 1000 feet high. From that point, ascend up a path towards Tolkaan in the northern direction. The track passes through meadows on and off and grassy oak mountains. As you reach Tolkaan, take a sharp left towards south through the ridge to arrive out of forest at Ali Bugyal. The other route takes you directly to Ali Bugyal by a climb without going through Toplani. The route will help you save some time but is quite steep and will consume a lot of your energy. By this route, it will take about two and half hours to reach Ali Bugyal. However, make sure you reach the place before afternoon to enjoy the remarkable scenic views. The trek is perfect while pre and post monsoon. Your final destination of the day is Chang Ma. The trail is a difficult one and you may get to experience the snow trek. Pitch the tents for the night in the open land under the starry sky.
Day 4 : Jakha to Suruwas Thatch via Uduknal
Distance: 6 km , Duration: 5-6 hours
Today, your final destination is a dewy and beautiful meadow of Suruwas. As you leave Jakha Village, make sure you are well stocked with food as this is the last place to replenish your food list. The trail you need to follow from there is quite well defined. Cross the river to enter into a magnificent fir forest, also adorned with few maple trees forming an attractive picture. A V-shaped valley awaits on the other side of the trail giving way to the highlight of the day i.e. an amazing snow bridge across Rupin. As you continue with your trek, you will also come across a cascading waterfall presenting a bewitching sight. Trudging along the trail through grasslands, dense forests and gushing streams along the way, you will arrive at your final destination of Suruwas Thatch. The place with its salubrious weather is pretty charming to spend night. Pitch your tents at the campsite and rest for the day.
Day 5 : Suruwas Thatch to Waterfall Camp
Distance: , 6 km , Duration: 6-7 hours
Fifth day of the trip is long one but absolutely exhilarating as you will stumble across the various marvels of nature. Begin your ascent through a picturesque meadow, which offers a beautiful treat to your eyes. As you progress, the snow patched on the mountain sides gets larger in size around you. Soon you will stumble across a meadow dotted with yellow marigolds followed by a rush vibrant shades of wild flowers. While on the way, you will come across hundreds of waterfalls cascading down the hills. Trekking amid the steep slopes and lush green valleys, you will soon arrive at the upper waterfall camping area, which will leave in complete awe. Spend the night under the shades of twinkling stars and rest for the night.
Day 6 : Bhagwabasa to Roopkund to Bedni Bugyal
Distance: 12 km , Duration: 9-10 hours
Begin your sixth day trek early in the morning at about 5 AM. The snow will be hard in the morning as compared to later in the day when the snow will be soft and difficult to walk upon. Roopkund is almost 5 kms from Bhagwabasa and can be reached through a steep climb towards the end. It will take around 3 Ð 3.5 hours to reach there. Once reached, another climb from Roopkund will lead you to Junargali. The trek is a short one, around 200 feet and trekkers must visit there unless the weather conditions do not permit. It will take about 25-30 minutes to reach Junargali. Make sure you start off early to get back to Bedni Bugyal passing through Bhagwabasa. Be careful while climbing down as the snowy slopes might be a bit tricky to trek upon.
Day 7 : Waterfall Camp to Rupin Pass to Ronti Gad
Seventh day accounts for one of the most adventurous day of the trek. To reach the final destination on time, make sure to begin early, preferable before 5 am. Carry breakfast along to replenish your energy from time to time. The overall trail begins with a steep ascend to the pass followed by a sharp descent. While on the way, expect several challenging section of trails, steep snowfield, rocky path and trek through gully over loose rocks and boulders. Depending upon the snow, it will take about 4 to 6 hours to ascend the climb. As you get closer to pass, the trek becomes quite challenging while passing through the gully. As you get closer, you will realize the ridge line cutting right through the Dhauladhar range. It is the first time that you will witness the Sangla side of the mountain offering a picture that will bewitch you completely. While enjoying the panoramic views of Himalayas, you will also witness the admiring views of Kinner Kailash range. Rest here for a while and soak in the beauty of Mother Nature. Start climbing down the slope for couple of hours to reach Ronti Gad. This is your campsite for the day, so pitch your tents and rest for the day.
Day 8 : Loharjung to Kathgodam
As you drive back to Loharjung camp, finishing one of the most amazing treks, you might as well want to spend a day at Loharjung. With perfect weather and beautiful scenery, the place is a perfect ending to a perfect trip.
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