Roopkund trek

This trek in Uttarakhand takes you through various snow clad peaks and when you reach a small pond, you start to notice strange objects – these are human skulls – many in number, strewn across and various mysteries surround this area on how skulls came to this place. Want to experience something extraordinary being ordinary. Hop into trekking gear and start exploring.

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Overview


Roopkund, situated at an altitude of 16000ft in the district of Chamoli in Garhwal region (State of Uttarakhand), is often called Mystery Lake or Skeleton Lake. This magnificent route not only unfolds the mythological characters and related stories while walking from one ridge to another but indeed delivers stunning views of snow clad peaks like Trishul, Nandaghunti, Chowkhamba, Neelkanth and others. It also offers dense forest of Conifer/ Rhododendron and a vast stretch of lush green high altitude meadows (Bugyals) while you enjoy the rich Himalayan flora and fauna.

Roopkund is a mysterious lake in the interiors of district Chamoli.The lake is rather shallow having a depth of about 2m with the edges covered with snow for most parts of the year. When the snow melts;human and equine skeleton remains can be seen, some of them with flesh attached. These remains have been preserved in the alpine conditions for centuries. It is believed that these are the remains of about 300 persons who died about 500-600 years ago. There are many theories about these findings but none are satisfying. Hence the lake is known as the Mystery Lake. Some believe them to be those of General Zorawars’ soldiers who died here in a vain attempt to conquer Tibet, while others maintain that they are the skeletons of the zealous pilgrims, who went on the Raja Yatra to the base of Trishul. It is however one of the popular treks in Garhwal as it abounds on spectacular mountain scenery. The trek to Roopkund is very scenic and passes through the magnificent Bedni Bugyal. The trek goes through the outer periphery of the Nanda Devi national park and is one of the best treks to view the magnificent peaks of the Nanda Devi Park.

Depending upon the trek members we can arrange a pickup and drop either from Kathgodam or Haridwar to Lohajung and back. This will be shared by the team members on actual basis.
Otherwise if a trekker wants to reach Lohajung by public vehicle then there are two options:
1)Reach Rishikesh by night (23 Km from Haridwar) and board the bus for Mandoli/Lohajung which starts from Rishikesh at 5 am in the morning and takes around 12/14 hrs to reach Lohajung. This is a privately operated bus and may not operate during the high Chardham yatra season. The route is via Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karanprayag, Tharali and Deval.
2)There is a regular Uttarakhand Parivahan state operated bus service from Delhi to Lohajung (named as Delhi Deval service) which starts from ISBT Anand Vihar ( In Delhi ) around 4 pm in the afternoon and reaches next day in the evening to Lohajung. The journey is a tedious and hectic as it takes around 24 hours. The route of this bus is from Delhi via Haldwani, Kathgodam, Alomora, Kaushani, Gwaldam, Tharali and Deval.
3) From Lohajung the bus for Kathgodam and Rishikesh start early in the morning by 6 am and reach by 5 pm and 7 pm respectively.

Itinerary


Duration: 6 Days | 5 Nights
Trekking Days: 4 Days
Best Season: May – Nov
Level: Medium
Total Distance: 48 km
Maximum Elevation: Roopkund Lake – 5100m
Weather:
Very cold at nights, days will be pleasant

Restrictions: None
Getting from/To: Nearest road head is Mundoli which is 7hrs drive from Rishikesh
Equipment: None for walking

Itinerary
Day 01 : HARIDWAR – KARNAPRAYAG – MUNDOLI
Morning after breakfast we drive to Rudraprayag (173 kms – 6 to 7 hrs) and 70kms later reach Mundoli. Lunch en route. On arrival check into guest house.Overnight in Mundoli.

Day 02 : MUNDOLI – WAN- BEDNI BUGYAL
In the morning drive 10 kms to Wan, which is the road head for the trek. Today we will trek 11 km (5-6 hrs) to reach the Alpine Meadow of Bedni Bugyal (3350 mts), probably one of the best camping sites in the Garhwal Himalayas. Dinner and overnight stay in tents. Alternate route to Bedni Bugyal is via the scenic Auli Bugyal. However this will add one more day to the itinerary.

Day 03 : BEDNI BUGYAL – BHAGGUWA BASA
After breakfast we trek to Bhaguwa Basa. Bhaguwa means flowery park and Basa means place. And rightly the place is full of variety of flowers including the rare Brahma Kamal(state Bird of uttarakhand), a special godly lotus found only between altitudes of 14000 – 15000 ft. Today we will trek 10 km, taking about 4-5 hrs to reach today’s campsite at Bhaguwa Basa. Dinner and overnight in tents.

Day 04 : BHAGGUWA BASA -ROOPKUND LAKE – BHAGGUWA BASA/BEDNI BUGYAL
It is an easy day and by mid-day we are at Roopkund (5029 mts). Roopkund is a picturesque and beautiful tourist destination in the Himalayas, located near the base of two Himalayan peaks: Trishul (7120 m) and Nandghungti (6310 m). In the afternoon we trek back to Bedni Bugyal or Bhaguwa Basa for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 05 : BEDNI BUGYAL/BHAGGUWA BASA TO WAN
Today we retrace our steps towards Wan. This will take 3-4 hrs. Dinner and overnight in tents.

Day 06 : WAN – MUNDOLI – RUDRAPRAYAG- RISHIKESH
Today, after breakfast, we return back to Mundoli drive back to Rudraprayag. Wevisit the confluence of rivers Mandakini and Alaknanda. Continue the journey to Rishikesh.

 

Price


* Rs 14,600 (Rishikesh to Rishikesh)

Fixed Departure Days: (You can choose from the following days)

Will be publishing soon

Cost Includes:
Fully Catered Camping Trek, tents, toilet tents, Mess Tents, Porters, Yaks, Cooks, Guides, Trekking Permits with fees, Environmental Fees, National park fees ,hotels on twin sharing on Half Board (MAP) in Yuksom .

Cost Does Not Include:
Personal expenses, Insurance, Airfare and Camera Fees  tipping and porterage.

Meals on the trek:

Breakfast:
Bread/Butter/Jam/Eggs/Tibetan Bread/Honey/Tea Momo + Egg,   Corn, Veg Soup/Baked Beans/Tea/Coffee/Fruits or Porridge with fruits. Drinking Chocolate at bedtime. Tea / Coffee at early morning.

Meals:
Soup/Rice/Dal/Vegetables/Salad/Non-Veg/Dessert (Indian Meals)
Soup/Chowmein/Fried Rice /Tea Momo/Momos/Noodle Soup (Tibetan)

100%-Boiled water will be supplied before the trek every morning and refilled at lunch break. Please bring your own purifying agents for personal safety and satisfaction. Packaged drinking water (bottled water) is not allowed on Himalayas.

T&C


 TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Himalayan Fantasy always strives for cost effectiveness and better coordination by having a maximum team size of 9-10 participants. Thus initial fees collected assume a group size of 9-10 people. However, in case the group size is smaller than expected, Himalayan Fantasy representative would inform participants a month in advance of the departure date, the group size of the program. The participants would be requested to pay “the difference amount as applicable” reflecting the current size of group.

Booking must be confirmed 30 days prior to date of departure by paying the full amount – It takes lot of effort, time and money in planning the trek in remote locations. You would appreciate that this time is required for us to arrange for logistics in these remote regions.

All expenses accruing from change in schedule due to weather conditions or health issues are to be borne by the participants. Himalayan Fantasy would not be responsible for the weather changes or your personal health issues.

Cancellation policy – While we strive to plan everything for you well in advance, enabling your trip to be hassle-free and fun filled. Implication is that porter fees, permits, accommodation expenses need to be paid in advance. Any cancellation would be inconvenient and loss to all those who were involved in making your journey memorable. Considering the cascading effect you would appreciate that it is fair that the cost has to be borne by you. However, our policy on cancellation would be as under:

  1. Cancellation prior to 30 days from date of departure : Full Refund
  2. Cancellation between 30 days to 20 days prior to date of departure: 50% Refund
  3.  Cancellation between 20 days prior to date of departure and departure date: No Refund
  4. No Show : No Refund

FAQ


What is trekking?
A trek is a mountain walk from place to place, rather than just rambling or day walking from a fixed base. A trek is not necessarily more arduous or uncomfortable than centre-based sojourns; we believe they are more interesting and rewarding. Trekking appeals to different people for different reasons. Most are drawn to the healthy exercise and magnificent mountain scenery, both of which are fully guaranteed. Because of the type of treks we operate, Himalayan Fantasy particularly appeals to those who are seeking unspoiled areas and an opportunity to experience the indigenous culture, history and traditions of a region. For some- certainly not everyone the lure of trekking is the desire to take on a strenuous, testing high-altitude route. Trekking is a way of life in the mountains-one needs to walk to live.

How long is the trek and how far each day walking?
Generally the trek duration depends on your interest and location of trek. Your trek can last anywhere from 2-3 days to an entire month or longer if you wish. We can accommodate day hikes, cultural visits to local villages, and relaxing rest days on your trek. The decision is up to you. It is difficult to reply you when you ask how far each day walking but it is best answered in terms of time rather than distance, as mileage is dictated by altitude and terrain. Walking time, including rests, ranges from four to eight hours but there is no hard and fast rule.

How difficult are the treks?
The difficulty of our treks depends on where you want to trek and how long you want to go. The shorter Treks tend to be easier while the longer ones require some physical fitness. Be prepared for some steep trails leading to amazing views. The pace at which you hike is up to you. We have friendly and dependable porters to assist you with your personal gear.

Where do we stay on trek?
Where acceptable Trekkers Huts facilities exist, we normally use them. Tea houses are a way of life for almost all trekkers. They are the combination of guest house, restaurant, and social hang out. We encourage all trekkers along the Dzongri, Goechala, Jholomolari, Everest, Langtang, and Annapurna treks to try our routine treks and tea house treks. Our many years of experience along these routes have helped us find the friendliest, cleanest, and most enjoyable camps/huts and tea houses with the best views.. Many have hot water available for bathing. But we discourage our groups from using water heated by wood fires due to lack of firewood in most villages and Himalayas. Deforestation is a big environmental concern in OUR HIMALAYAS. These are also great way help support local villages. In remote terrain, we camp in tents. Even if you’ve never camped before, you don’t need to worry: the tents we provide are roomy, the sleeping pads/mattresses are comfortable. On all of our treks there is a bathroom tent and a dining tent with tables and camp stools, providing a cozy, comfortable atmosphere to eat and chat with fellow trekkers during the evening.

Where and what type of food is served?
If you are on a tea house trek you will eat breakfast and dinner at your tea house. We will stop for lunch at one of the various trail side for mid lunch prepared by our cooks. If you are on a camping trek we will prepare all meals and snacks. Almost every tea house serves the traditional meal, Dal Bhat (rice and curried lentils).. Some have versions of western food such as pizza and French fries too. The choice is yours.

How safe is the food?
Food safety is always a big concern when visiting a foreign country. This is why we do our best to choose tea houses and restaurants with clean and sanitary kitchens . On our lodge treks, we provide a cook to prepare safe and tasty meals with our own set of cookery as well as hygienic cleaning facilities. The food we serve on camping trips is completely safe. Our cooks have undergone high altitude diet preparations trainings to minimise the usage of excess fuel and combined cooking.

Where do we get water during the trip?
All tea houses have boiled water for trekkers. Your guide will provide you with all the water you need during your trek. We discourage the purchase of bottled water while on the trail. The plastic bottles are difficult to dispose off and have become an environmental problem. In a camping trek, we boil water in the morning and you will have enough boiled water in your bottle (Highly practiced in Sikkim).

Is the water safe to drink?
Your guide will be in charge of all your water needs. He will make sure all water is boiled and treated with iodine. Iodine is 100% effective in killing the bacteria in water. We recommend you get your own water cleaning tablets if you feel so about it.

What equipment and clothing should I bring including medicines?

Personal belongings for trek:

1. Backpack (55 – 65 L) with sturdy straps and supporting frame. Quechua Forclaz 60 is a good choice.
If required,  Daypack (20L) in optional.

2.Trekking shoes –A good trekking shoes with rubber sole or PVC sole required. Please don’t wear leather or sports shoes like Nike, Rebok, Adidas etc., These shoes will not support in snow.
Ladies with smaller feet size find it a problem to get a shoe. Quechua Forclaz 500 has special trekking shoes for women.

3.  Sleeping bags. They are required to be brought by you due to hygiene reasons.

Personal belongings for trek

1. Backpack (55 – 65 L) with sturdy straps and supporting frame. Quechua Forclaz 60 is a good choice.
If required,  Daypack (20L) in optional.

2.Trekking shoes –A good trekking shoes with rubber sole or PVC sole required. Please don’t wear leather or sports shoes like Nike, Rebok, Adidas etc., These shoes will not support in snow.
Ladies with smaller feet size find it a problem to get a shoe. Quechua Forclaz 500 has special trekking shoes for women.

3.  Sleeping bags. They are required to be brought by you due to hygiene reasons.

Trousers & Other dresses

a. 3 pair of track pants (at least one should be synthetic (quick-dry) kind). Or 3 pair of cotton pants with lots of pockets. Track pants are light and would be better.  Also bring thermals where you can wear the pants on top of thermals. No Jeans pants or any other type of pants.

b. 3-4 cotton tees with collar. No bright colours like reds and fluorescents. Stick with lighter tones. There are plenty of birds to be seen on the trek and you don’t want to scare them with your sense of dress.
Avoid loose fitting clothes. They restrict your movement. Plus you are going to lose weight while on the trek. Full sleeve light sweater. A light fleece jacket would be ideal.

A full sleeve feather jacket or something similar.

c. 2-3 pairs of cotton inners (optional)

d. 1 pair of thermal inners. Best to tolerate temperature when we pitch tents on snow.

e. 3-4 pair of usual sports socks, at least one woolen pair.

f. A pair of trekking pole is mandatory.

g. Wind cheater (to escape a quick burst of rain). Or a light rain coat.

h. Woolen hand gloves + synthetic glove (water proof) – if you have one.

i. Sun glasses – curved ones will cover your eyes well. No blue coloured sunglass — they don’t block UV. Blacks, greens, browns are fine. Avoid multi tone sunglasses. Sunglasses prevent snow blindness.Sunglasses are mandatory for this trek.

People who wear spectacles, choose one of these:
a. Use contact lenses.
b. Photochromatic glasses
c. If either of the above is not possible, wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.

j. Woolen monkey cap/balaclava.
k.Light towel (should be thin, quick drying kind).
l.Chapstick or lip balm.
m.Cold cream & sun screen lotion (SPF 40+).
n. 2 Water bottles (1 L each). Do not get any packaged water bottle like Bisleri, Aquafina and others.
o. Torch with 2 extra set of cells. Buy LED torches. They last longer, are more durable and give good light.
p. Personal toilet kit (minimal) & toilet paper.
q. Personal medicine kit containing:

Crocin – 5 tablets
Avomine – 4 tablets
Avil 25mg – 4 tablets
Diamox – 8 tablets
Brufen 400 – 5 tablets
Combiflam – 5 tablets
Disprin – 10 tablets
Norflox – 10 tablets
Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
Band aid – 10 strips
Digene – 10 tablets
Gauze cloth – 1 small role
Leukoplast – 1 small roll
Cotton – 1 small roll
ORS – 5 packets
Betadine cream
Moov spray

r. Some trekkers feel loss of energy more than others. While there is adequate food provided on the trek, carry lots of dry fruit combinations as snacks.
s. Small repair kit consisting of safety pins, thread and needle and a string is good idea to carry.
t.  Camera, spare films/memory-cards, batteries etc.
u. While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags.
v. Slippers/sports sandals (for walking around campsite).
x.  Sun cap and/or head-scarf.

MISCELLANEOUS BUT IMPORTANT TO NOTE;

A. Leave your denims behind – these are ill suited for treks and add weight.
B. Snacks, colas, alcohol and personal food – No need to overburden yourself with food.
C. Do not carry any disposable plastic bottles like (Bisleri, Aquafina), plastic wrapped/packaged items. Do not bring any non bio degradable material.
D. After packing, weigh your gear. It should be in the range of 8-9 kg – preferably on the lighter side. Anything heavier, you will need to iterate and remove what is not essential.
E. carry light and what is essential. As an example, toothpaste should be bought in small size (that can last you 10 days). Do not plan for “if” situations. The list of things mentioned here are exactly what you need and nothing more.
F. Dressing in layers is the mantra. So two T-shirts worn one over the other is warmer than a T shirt that is thick. This is just a guideline. Mileage vary based on your physical condition, threshold to cold etc.

Along with the above list, please ensure you also carry the following documents

1. An identification card (like driving license, voters ID card etc), along with a photocopy.
2. A passport size photo.

What happens if there is an emergency?
Himalayan Fantasy prides itself on being prepared for any emergency situation. Our guides are trained in first aid and can deal with most of the basic ailments that occur during a trek. But if a serious emergency occurs, then outside help is needed. Every client should have their own insurance before coming to Himalayas in-case an emergency occurs.

Is there a doctor on the trek?
We can’t guarantee a doctor on every trek, but we do try to encourage suitably experienced medical personnel to join our high altitude treks by offering a discount in return for looking after the medical needs of a group. In addition to trek doctors, our group leaders are trained in first aid.

Could you tell me how much money do I need?
This is bit of difficult to explain to you without knowing your proper holiday plan. But you can make always easy with explaining about your interest- that you like to do tour, trekking, rafting, wildlife safari, shopping etc. or with explaining about the categories of hotel that you’re going to accommodate and nature of tour you’re going to do, and total days for HIMALAYAS. We will tell you want cost for what! Then you will know the how much money should have to bring with you! Be sure while you’re in trekking or in tour- we have a safe in our office where plane tickets and money can be kept and other stuffs on our store.

What sort of experience do your guides have?
Himalayan Fantasy has some of the most dependable and experienced guides in Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan and Darjeeling. All of our guides have spent years exploring the mountains and countryside of Our Himalayas. All guides speak English and have a deep knowledge of the various trekking routes. Our guides are trained in first aid and know how to react in any situation. And most importantly our guides are friendly and enjoyable and want to share with you the true beauty of Our Himalayas.

What would be when I am single or with my family?
On your interest, we do the both single guided trek/ tour and group tour. If you are alone and willing join with other people, this is always possible. On your request we will give all the details of the member and size of the groups that you’re joining. People traveling with us may be of any nationality, either sex, alone or accompanied, experienced travelers or complete beginners. Groups are always small (in general 10 or less). English is the common language, and there can be a wide age-range. We apply no upper age limit, though we ask those over 70 for their doctor’s confirmation of their fitness to participate. Generally speaking, we regard our trips as being for adults: unaccompanied minors are not accepted, but of course we will accept accompanied minors. Our family Trek is designed to accommodate younger children.

Will we have private rooms and bathrooms?
Private rooms are available in most tea houses except for those at very high altitudes in Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Darjeeling, toilet tents will be used. Most bathrooms are shared. On our lodge treks we also provide someone to clean all bathroom facilities for our groups. Our lodge treks also include bed and pillow covers.

How difficult is the trek?
We can absolutely assure you that you do not have to be young, very experienced, or super fit to enjoy most of our treks. Our trekkers range from 17 to 70. Previous walking experience, though useful, is not essential: the great majority of our treks could be undertaken by anyone who is in good health, enjoys outdoor life, and is reasonably fit. Many of our guests casually participate in a sport such as swimming, cycling, tennis or golf.

What we do every day in trekking?
A trek day begins around 6 a.m. with a mug of coffee or tea served through your tent flap. Hot water is provided for washing and shaving, followed by breakfast. Water is provided for your water containers. We strike camp and begin walking in the pleasant cool of the morning for 3-4 hours before stopping for lunch. This two-hour break offers an opportunity to write in your diary, read and relax. The full meal typically includes fresh fruit, tinned meat, cheese, rice chapatis or biscuits, cooked vegetables, and tea or coffee. We usually reach our campsite by 4 p.m. and have tea and biscuits shortly afterwards. There is time to rest or explore before our evening meal at 6 p.m. This is the social event of the day. It begins with an appetizer and soup, followed by the main course and dessert with tea or coffee. The variety and quality of our “camp” food will delight you. Guests keep threatening to take our cooks home with them! As we mainly camp near villages, there is usually plenty of time to visit with the locals before or after dinner and sample their home brews. As night approaches, most people retire to their warm sleeping bags and are fast asleep by 9:30 p.m.

Environmental awareness?
Our approach is to raise environmental awareness in visitors to Our Himalayas. We also give information to our valuable customers on how to minimize the negative effects that their ignorance may have on Our Himalayas. We guide and help them how to trek gently and to support positive effects at culture and environmental conservation. We are also trying to protect the fragile environment and indigenous cultures of the Himalayas. We cook food by kerosene stoves, suggest you to stay in lodges that use kerosene or fuel efficient stoves/LPG’s and advise you to take hot showers when the water is heated with solar energy or hydroelectricity or black coal stove etc. We always take one extra porter to carry and manage all the garbage that our groups make in their campsite. Yearly we invest 20% of our net profit for above purpose and further more social work in the different approach of Our Himalayas. We always hearty welcome and enchant your comments and suggestions for a better way to serve our customers, environment and nature.

Why should I travel with Himalayan Fantasy and Treks?
There are many reasons. In a nutshell, we go out of our way to make sure your experience is a positive one, there will be no negative impact on the region we are visiting: after all, we live here. We give you more for your money than anyone else. And our safety record is unsurpassed. We also provide warm clothes, good walking shoes and other necessary trekking equipment for our Guide and Porters. They will get good accommodations along the way and food same as you are having on the way. All our trekking staffs are insured.

What is Altitude Sickness (AMS)?
Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:
1. Nausea,
2. vomiting
3. Loss of appetite
4. Insomnia/sleeplessness
5. Persistent headache
6. Dizziness,
7. light headedness,
8. confusion Disorientation,
9. Drunken gait Weakness,
10. fatigue,
11. lassitude,
12. Heavy legs Slight swelling of hands and face
13. Breathlessness and Breathing irregularity

Reduced urine output
These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of appearance of any of the above symptoms any further ascent should be reconsidered; otherwise more serious, even life-threatening problems can occur. The only cure for Altitude Sickness is to descend to lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters, and the proper amount of rest and re hydration are the best methods for prevention of AMS.
If you follow the simple advice of our trained guides, you won’t have to worry about complications from mountain sickness. We design our tours to ensure clients are ready for high altitude, and arrange alternative itineraries for those at risk.

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Have questions on Uttarkhand or Roopkund trek? Call us at +91 94821 36960 or email us at info@himalayan-fantasy.com

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