Located roughly at an elevation of 16,470 feet (5,020m), Roopkund Lake is a glacial lake in the Chamoli district of state Uttarakhand. It is locally known as the Mystery Lake or the Skeleton Lake due to the hundreds of skeletons found near the lake. The lake is situated in the laps of the Himalayas and the area around the lake is not inhabited. It is surrounded by rocky glaciers and snow covered mountains and is a popular trekking spot of Uttarakhand.
With a depth of around 3 m, Roopkund is popularly known for the remains of several hundred ancient humans scattered around its shores. The skeletons are widely visible in one month when the ice melts.
According to the local Legend, Raja Jasdhaval, King of Kanauj along with his pregnant wife Rani Balampa and their servants went on a pilgrimage to Nanda Devi shrine and there they faced a heavy storm. And thus the entire group disappeared near the Roopkund Lake. The skeletons were first found by a British guard in 1942. The researchers have now found that the remains were of pilgrims and the locals which date back to 840 AD.
The lake has many conservation issues. The major concern is the regular disappearance of Skeletons, and if adequate steps are not taken, the remains might vanish in the years to come. It is being reported that the tourist take back the remains with them. Curious researchers and scientists are also transporting the skeletons on the back of mules for evolutionary research purposes. So the concerned authorities have decided to transform the area as an eco-tourism spot for the preservation of skeletons.
Roopkund is picturesque and scenic lake that is an amazing tourist destination in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand near the base of two peaks namely, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti. Every autumn a religious festival is celebrated at Beedhi Bugiyal with full enthusiasm by the villagers. The Nanda Devi Raj Jat is also celebrated once in every twelve years in Roopkund in which Goddess Nanda is worshipped. Roopkund is an awesome place for Adventure junkies to trek in the autumn season.