The Roopkund Trek in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand is inarguably one of the most popular Himalayan treks in India. You ask what makes it so popular amongst trekkers? The deep forests, the snowy mountain views, the high altitude lakes, the undulating meadows(bugyals), the quaint villages and not to forget the highest altitude finish at 16,000 ft in 5 days.
The Roopkund lake, the summit point of this trek, is a glacial lake at an altitude of 5029 metres lying in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand within Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in the lap of Mt Trishul Massif. Roopkund is famous due to the skeletal remains of humans and animals found at its banks which date back to the Paleolithic era. Although the exact cause of the death is still unknown, it is believed that a natural calamity like blizzard, landslide or hailstorm would have caused the catastrophe. Rightly, Roopkund has been christened the “Mystery Lake” and entices hoards of trekkers and mountaineers every year in their quest for adventure and thrill.
If you are looking for a trek with immense natural beauty and an adventurous journey to make it to the coveted “15000 feet Club”, Roopkund is the ideal bet for you!
Batch 1 : Sat, 15 Jun, 2019 to Sat, 22 Jun, 2019
Day 1: Drive from Kathgodam to Lohajung ; 220 Kms; 10-11 Hrs
Day 2: Drive from Lohajung to Wan(1 Hr);Trek from Wan to Ghairoli Patal; 4 Kms; 4-5 Hrs
Day 3: Ghairoli Patal to Bedni Bugyal; 4 Kms; 2-3 Hrs
Day 4: Bedni Bugyal to Patar Nachauni; 5 Kms; 4-5 Hrs
Day 5: Patar Nachauni to Bagwabausa; 5 Kms; 5-6 Hrs
Day 6: Bagwabausa to Roopkund, further to Junargali, Return to Patar Nachauni; 16 Kms; 8-9 Hrs
Day 7: Patar Nachauni to Lohajung; 14 Kms; 6-7 Hrs
Day 8: Drive from Lohajung to Kathgodam
Day 1: Drive from Kathgodam to Lohajung ; 220 Kms; 10-11 Hrs , Altitude: 7,700 Feet
It is a 10-11 hour journey from Kathgodam to Lohajung. After a glimpse at Tharali, the sight of Mt Nanda Ghunti welcomes you to Lohajung. A village with wonderful views of Didina valley, Lohajung is a nerve centre of 12-15 villages.
The name, as the locals say, comes from the myth that Goddess Parvati had a war (jung) with a demon Lohasur here. There is one local store where you can buy jackets, hand gloves, caps, shoes etc. if need be. However, it is advised that you carry all required things for trek beforehand and not rely on this shop. You will have mobile network in most parts of this village.
Day 2: Drive from Lohajung to Wan(1 Hr);Trek from Wan to Ghairoli Patal; 4 Kms; 4-5 Hrs , Altitude: 7,700 Feet to 10,000 Feet
The initial trail is cemented and through a cluster of houses. Soon, you will see two trails, one goes to the temple of Latu Devta, a local deity and the other being the one we take. Ring the temple bell here for a safe trek before going back to the ascending trail to ridge – Ranaka Dhar. A short descent and we get to a small bridge over Neel Ganga.
Now, begins the beautiful ascent towards Ghairoli Patal. he trail now winds through Oak and Rhododendron forests and the path is strewn with dry leaves that crunch and crackle beneath your trekking shoes. There are walnut, pear, Himalayan roses and other flora you can find on this climb.
This is a trek of about 3 hours that brings you to a clearing with a green trekker’s hut and a welcome sight of Trishul. This is Ghairoli Patal.
Day 3: Ghairoli Patal to Bedni Bugyal; 4 Kms; 2-3 Hrs , Altitude: 10,000 Feet to 11,500 Feet
The trail begins to climb steeply into an oak and rhododendron forest. And after half an hour of ascending stoned steps, the trail opens up to a huge meadow. Suddenly, abruptly, the oak and Rhododendeons fall behind you and stretched in front of you is a largest, greenest rolling carpet ever laid out for you. You’ve arrived at Bedini Bugyal.
All tiredness forgotten, soak in the mesmerising sight of the undulating meadows of Bedini Bugyal. You are on the top of a ridge that spreads in every direction – acres and acres of green meadow scooped out of the mountainside.
Day 4: Bedni Bugyal to Patar Nachauni; 5 Kms; 4-5 Hrs , Altitude: 11,500 Feet to 12,700 Feet
The trail to Patar Nachauni climbs out of the Bedni campsite in a gradual, easy meander before it disappears into a saddle in the mountain. When you cross the saddle, the trek exposes you to the other side of the ridge. The scenery is differently mesmerizing. For the first time you also see remnants of the winter snow on the mountain flanks (on the other side).
We continue our walk towards the other side, as we gradually traverse into the meadows ahead which are called Patar Nachauni. It’s as beautiful as Bedini Bugyal with an added factor of a fabulous sense of isolation.
Day 5: Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabasa; 5 Kms; 5-6 Hrs , Altitude: 12,700 Feet to 14,100 Feet
The climb to Kalu Vinayak is a steep zig-zag up the mountain side and will take you to 14,500 ft. The distance isn’t much, and the zig-zag trails makes you gain height very rapidly. Climbing to Kalu Vinayak is a thrill and every time you look up and take a bend on the trail, the ridge line gets closer, drawing you, inspiring you. Around you are the green, sheer mountainside. Below, you can follow the trail that you took from the first saddle over Ghora Lotani and finally to Kalu Vinayak.
The trail from Kalu Vinayak to Bhagwabasa is easy and gently sloping downwards. The trail meanders through snow patches. Be careful on these snow patches. In June, by mid-day, they get soft and you can find yourself sinking to your knees in them. Step gingerly, quickly and skip your way across them. Better still, skirt around them. Bagwabausa, a relatively cold night awaits you.
Day 6: Bhagwabasa to Roopkund, further to Junargali, Return to Patar Nachauni; 16 Kms; 8-9 Hrs , Altitude: 14,100 Feet to 15,750 Feet, Descend to 12,200 Feet
You need to start your push to Roopkund at 4:00 am. The sooner the better. You need to climb up to Roopkund while the snow is still hard. From Bhagwabasa it is a 5 kms gradually ascending walk to Roopkund. Towards the end the trail climbs sharply through a series of switchbacks and a steep climb over a snowy flank to reach Roopkund. The stretch isn’t long,
but the entire stretch is on snow patches. The climb is deliriously exhilarating. The last stretch of climbing over the snowy flank on the left requires support of all four limbs, but is over in 10 mins. Roopkund is right over the edge, two minutes away and yet you can’t see it unless you get there.
Roopkund is a crater on the mountain face, a dip at the cusp of the mountain. It is much bigger than what most internet pictures suggest. All around are snowy flanks of the mountain. From Roopkund, the sharp ridge line that towers above you is Junargali. It doesn’t take much time to get to Junargali. This must be attempted, unless the weather doesn’t permit to do so.
he snowy slope looks tricky and dangerously sloping. You may need to squat on all fours to negotiate the immediate flank of snow as you get off Roopkund. This is the difficult part but the lower you get, it gets easier progressively. Once out of the switchback descent, it is a easy walk back to Bhagwabasa. We halt for a breather and eat our lunch, before we move down to Patar Nachauni.
Day 7: Patar Nachauni to Lohajung; 14 Kms; 6-7 Hrs
There is a sense of elation as you return through Bedni. And the oak forest over Wan is just the icing on the cake that you want. As you see a lot of greenery and the tree line, just about 15 mins under you, the oxygen gets much higher. Chill at Bedini for a while, then run down into the forest and out, at Wan.
Day 8: Drive from Lohajung to Kathgodam
After getting a well deserved rest for the night, it’s time to bid goodbye to the land of Roopkund and the village life of Lohajung. Post breakfast, we leave in the morning for Kathgodam.
The trek ends, but the beginning to the blossom of bonds created over the past days!
We will be departing from Kathgodam by 7 am.
You could arrive at Kathgodam on the morning of 2nd from Delhi by 15013 – Ranikhet Express (9 hours) or by the night of 1st June via 15035 - Utr Sampark Kranti (6 hours) and stay the night in Kathgodam
You can travel through 15014 – Ranikhet Express from Kathgodam, which departs at 20:40.
Things to Carry:
- A photocopy of your Identity Proof (Passport / Voter ID Card/PAN Card/Aadhar Card/ Driving License)
- Rucksack – If you are offloading your Rucksack, you will need a small daypack to carry your basic essentials
- Good trekking shoes and a pair of slip-ons, if required for use at campsites
- 2 Water Bottles (1 litre each)
- Woolen or Fleece Gloves and a pair of waterproof gloves
- Cotton socks and woolen socks (2 pairs each)
- Balaclava, Woolen scarf – If you do not have a Balaclava, you can carry Monkey cap instead
- Thermal Inners
- Fleece Jacket, Snow Jacket or Padded Jacket (1 each)
- Windcheater or Poncho
- 3-4 pairs of trek pants
- 2 collared and full sleeved t-shirts – Do not carry loose t-shirts as they tend to make you feel cold
- Camera or Binoculars (optional)
- Ready to eat snacks, Enerzyl Powder or Glucon D Powder – Carry nuts, dry fruits, energy bars to munch on during the trek. They provide instant energy whenever it hits the lower base.
- Cap, Sunglasses - Do ensure that your sunglasses are UV Protected. Do not carry reflectors.
- Headlamp/LED Torch – Mandatory
- Toiletries – Sunscreen, Moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, wet wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, Hand Sanitizer, Mosquito repellent, if required
- Polythene Bags or Zip-lock Bags – These help to segregate wet clothes, used wet wipes or sanitary napkins on trek
- Any medicines that you normally consume - Please consult your doctor in this regard
What is included in the tour
- Traveling from Lohajung to Lohajung
- Accommodation in tents and homestays on triple sharing basis.
- All meals during the trek only. ( Day 2 Breakfast to Day 7 Lunch )
- Guides and Trek Lead Expertise Charges.
What is NOT included in the tour
- Meals during road journeys.
- Traveling Till Lohajung and back to Kathgodam
- Any miscellaneous expenditure incurred during the tour.
- Expenses for offloading of bags.
- Anything not mentioned in the inclusions.
- 5% GST
- High altitude trekking through snow
- The Mystery Lake - Roopkund
- The Kalu Vinayak Temple
- Witnessing the grand Himalayan Vistas at 16000 ft
- Crossing deep mountain forests of rhododendron and oak
- Views of magnificent peaks of Garhwal region
- Interacting with the locals and getting a sneak peek into their traditions and culture