Monday, 4 July 2016

Roopkund: Where even angels fear to tread

Here when the glacial ice melts at 5000 meters above sea level then human skeletons comes out

Roopkund lake

The beauty which lies in the water is always out of our imagination. Colours which don’t fade in the water and makes best scene inside. But what if that is not inside and your imagination is just a dream. What if you find skeletons and only skeletons inside the water?

Here when the glacial ice melts at 5000 meters above sea level then human skeletons comes out. Yes you are reading and it is not that I am making this story but it is true. This is one of the creepiest places in India. When good things have place in this world then why not such beliefs.  

Well I am talking about Roopkund lake situated in Uttarakhand. It is located in uninhabited high mountain region of Chamoli district. The Roopkund lake cuddles in the isolated wombs of the majestic Himalayas at a height of 5029 meters above sea level. This staggering place is also known as the Roopkund Skeleton lake.

HK Madhwal who was then a Nanda Devi Game Reserve ranger discovered the floating skeletons at Roopkund in 1942.

The Roopkund lake has a lot of traditional myths intact in it and the Pandora's box could only be opened once you visit it. This lake has recently moved eyeballs with surprise due to the presence of a large number of human bones precisely about 300 - 600 skeletons.

Human skeleton
Reports said that these bones were from late 19th century but the carbon dating samples collected from skeletons in 1960 revealed that these people were from 12th – 15th century. The cause of this mass death is assumed to be a massive landslide or blizzard. But there are many other tales also which says some different stories. Local legend says that the King of Kanauj, Raja Jasdhaval, with his pregnant wife, Rani Balampa, their servants, a dance troupe and others went on a pilgrimage to Nanda Devi shrine, and the group faced a storm with large hailstones, from which the entire party perished near Roopkund Lake.


But such places have fear of being lost in the time. So there is a growing concern about the regular loss of skeletons and it is feared that, if steps are not taken to conserve them, the skeletons may gradually vanish in the years to come. It is reported that tourists visiting the area are in the habit of taking back the skeletons in large numbers and the district administration has expressed the need to protect the area. The district magistrate of Chamoli District has reported that tourists, trekkers, and curious researchers are transporting the skeletons on mules and recommended that the area should be protected. Government agencies have made efforts to develop the area as an eco-tourism destination in an effort to protect these skeletons.

Roopkund is one of the most beautiful and picturesque tourist destinations in Himalayan kingdom. It is located near two popular Himalayan Peaks namely Trishul which is 7120 m high and the other is Nandghungti which is 6310 meter high. It is rerouting to one of the popular pilgrim site in  Uttarakhand named Nanda Devi. The skeleton lake is covered with ice for most of the year. However, trekking to Roopkund is a breathtaking experience and at the same time one of the most difficult one. If you want to see these skeletons visit in Summer as the ice melts and you can see them.

Whatever may be the case the conclusion remains undrawn and this lake is not ready to demystify its existence. But nobody knows when and how we can explore something known out of the unknown. Therefore, a trip to this alluring Roopkund lake is a must. 

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