Roop Kund, a small remote lake deep in middle of Himalayas wilderness became suddenly famous when bones of a number of people were discovered there. There are a number of theories about the identity of people who died there and how did it happen. Some people believe that those are the remains of pilgrims who lost their way and were caught up in a freak storm or avalanche. Others believe that the victims were part of General Zoravar Singh of Jammu who were returning after a raid on Tibet. Apart from this mystery, this lake is situated in a very picturesque setting at an altitude of more than 5000 meters in a mountainous feature called Trishul in Garhwal region of Uttrakhand. This trekking route passes through some lush green grasslands, dense forests and countless small mountain streams. This trek is not too tough but some previous experience of trekking in mountains is required due to amount of walking and altitude. It’s common to encounter snow in some locations during trek.
We’ll drive towards Mundoli village while passing through Rudraprayag, Devprayag and a few small towns and villages along the way. The drive takes approximately 8-9 hours and we’ll stop at 2-3 places for rest, breakfast and lunch. We’ll stay in our campsite in Mundoli for the night.
In the morning, we’ll drive about 10 km to Wan which is the place from where actual trekking begins. After getting our gear off from car, we’ll take the trail leading to Bedni Bugyal (altitude 3350 m) which is a trek of 11 km and takes around 3-4 hours to cover. Bedni is an extremely picturesque place with rolling grassy slopes stretching for miles interspersed with colourful flowers and dense bunch of trees. It’s a great site for camping and an important site for local shepherds as their summer grazing site. We can spend one extra day here enjoying the sights and getting acclimatised to the higher altitude.
BaguBassa (altitude 4100 meters) in local Gharwaali dialect means place of flowers and reaching there you’ll realise why.There are dozens of species of wild flowers in the place including the rare Brahma Kamal ( a type of lotus) which grows only at this altitude. Due to the increasing altitude, trekkers will begin to feel the effects of rarefied air and each step will require more energy. We’ll have to walk around 10 km on this day to reach our next camping site. Altitude will keep on increasing till the rest of trek till Roopkund, so we’d like to reach Bagubassa as early as possible to get acclimatised. We’ll stay there for 2 or more nights depending upon the weather.
Day 4 will begin with trek to Kaluka Vinayak Pass and passing through Pathar Nachwani. We’ll have to start early morning otherwise the snow gets soft as the sun rises making the walk difficult. Walking on this route, we’ll see some amazing sights which include magnificent views of high Himalayan peaks such as Badrinath, Trishul, Nanda Devi and a few more. The route will also pass through some high altitude pastures which remain covered with snow for better part of the year. When we reach near Roop Kund, we may be able to see remains of some humans and horses who died here mysteriously 4-5 centuries back.
A must do thing during a visit to Rookund is the climb to Junargali, a peak on the ridge about 100 meters. It can be done on most days except if the weather is really bad. The trekkers get a really good view of the lake and surrounding scenery from here. After this, we walk down the slope to our camp at Bedni Bugyal or Bagubassa for rest and dinner.
This day, we retrace our steps back to Wan via Bedni Bugyal if we stayed for the night in Bagu Bassa. The journey will be easier as the path is comparatively easier and air gets thicker with decrease in altitude. We’ll pass through some beautiful Rhododendron forests and will have to climb a ridge to reach Wan village and our campsite for the night.
Early morning breakfast and we say bye bye to the Bugyals, meadows, forests and river streams of the region to retrace our steps back to Rishikesh.