All photos by Indiahikes Trekkers
Roopkund: An unusual trek in the Higher Himalayas
"If you are into trekking and hiking and haven't done the Roopkund trail, then you need to start planning for it right away. It is one trek that is a must-do.
Its got everything going for it. Deep virgin forests, gurgling brooks, breath-taking campsites, miles of undulating meadows, snow and ice and the taste of a great adventure as you climb from 8,000ft to 16,000ft in 5 days"
Complete Roopkund Trek Details
Each days complete details of the trek...
Roopkund Vs Rupin Pass - Which is a better trek
Why we finally choose Rupin Pass as the better trek...
How to train for the Roopkund trek, AMS and other issues .. .
What to expect on the Roopkund Trek
Roopkund is more than just a trip...
Things to get for the trek
Backpack, shoes, equipment ...
How to get there
How to get to Roopkund trek base camp ...
Maps and Trails
Maps, distances, altitudes ...
Risks and Precautions
What are the risks on the page and what precautions to take...
Arjun Majumdar reviews the Roopkund trek. Here's why he gives it a score of 4.5/5. Read more
Keerthy from September 2014 Roopkund trek batch writes:
It was a bright and sunny morning. The day started at 5:45 am. No bath; only brushing and washing up, followed by a hot cup of tea. We had a session about how to efficiently pack stuff for treks – a comprehensive demonstration that lasted one full hour. Then we were asked to do the same in 30minutes!
Vikram Ramachandran who trekked to Roopkund in 2014 writes:
A hidden jewel in the Deep Himalayas is the Roopkund Lake, which has a notorious past. At a height of 16000 feet, this lake is not accessible for most part of the year, unless you are ready to take on the Himalayas.This lake is guarded by two Himalayan peaks Trishul, and Nanda Gunti
The journey to this place is a memorable one passing through Himalayan Forests, some of the most beautiful meadow lands in Ali Bugyal and Bedni bugyals and then the rocky terrain of Himalayas, making the journey a memorable one.
This trek is tough for a normal person.With some good luck with the weather, you can complete the trek between 6 -7 days from the starting point.
The night sky on a clear Himalayan night is breath-taking with spectacular views of the milky way.
Roopkund Trek is considered among the best trek routes in India testing your patience and your physical abilities all along. May-June and September-October is the best time to do this trek. Monsoon is a strict no-no.
Fadi Azzi from October 2013 Roopkund trek batch writes:
We all dream of that picturesque place that is far away from our city, where we don’t have to worry about emails, phone calls and daily tasks. We would just want to enjoy a peaceful day looking at mountains, valleys and rivers and breathe fresh unpolluted air. The Roopkund trek was the best choice I had made, and apparently it was the same for 21 other people that week...
Ankit Arora from May 2013 Roopkund trek batch writes:
Roopkund – ‘The’ Journey....Our journey debuted on a warm sunny day. With almost every trekker from a different state, this 8-9 hrs initial trekking was completed handsomely with chit chats and respective regional stories. Bridges, rivers and rich tree line, were the key scenic elements. Second day zipped through dense forests(literally dense), with almost every trekker shuffling partners, this day again went smoothly with new stories and comic entries. This particular trek marked our first real sight of distant beautiful meadows and the mammoth white mountain range. In the midst of two checkpoints, came "Ghora lautani". A sight providing a visual treat to Photographers and a sense of satisfying pleasure to every single trekker !
Arnab Dhabal from May 2012 Roopkund trek batch writes:
The climb from Lohajung to Roopkund of over 8000 ft is spread over 3.5 days and the return over 1.5 days. The climb is gentle in some places and steep at some others. The micro-steps that we were taught by Arjun Majumdar of Indiahikes came in very handy for many of us, especially at the higher altitudes where the atmosphere becomes rarer.
Ditisha from May 2012 Roopkund trek batch writes:
Roopkund trek has been some experience!! It was one of those trips where I actually missed the hills, after I came back home.Being a first time trekker, the 5 day long trek was full of learning & new experiences in the wilderness.
Here is a collection of awesome clicks by Indiahikes trekkers.
Sarath Champati, who did the Roopkund trek in June 2013 says that Roopkund provides one of the best opportunities for sighting rare birds.You can spot more than fifty species of birds on Day 1, 2 and 6. Check out these exotic species of birds and see if you can spot them on your trek.
1st Prize: Chaitra - Trek voucher worth Rs.5000
2nd Prize: Vivek V - Trek voucher worth Rs.3000
3rd Prize: Tejas K - Trek voucher worth Rs.2000
- Roopkund Photo Contest 2014 - Nominee's
- Sept/Oct 2013 Photo Contest
- May/June 2013 Photo Contest
- Sept/Oct 2012 Photo Contest
- June 2012 Photo Contest
- May 2012 Photo Contest
Roopkund is a pristine high altitude lake at 4800m. Situated at the base of the massive Trishul Peak (7120m) this lake has an interesting history and tradition associated with it. Roopkund is located on a popular pilgrimage route and is part of a popular fest held every 12 years called the "Nanda Devi Jat Yatra". Several hundreds of skeletons are found here, believed to be from a pilgrimage party (consisting of nearly hundred people) which perished here several centuries ago in a single calamity, possibly a hailstorm. This skeletons are seen floating in the lake and surroundings when the snow melts. Read full blog
The idea of trekking in Himalayas came to me while browsing the Internet 4 years back. The thought of walking through tall trees, meadows, streams, and snowy slopes was captivating. I don’t know what kept me away from it for so long, but when the discussion on this year’s vacation came up, it was only a matter of packing a backpack and getting out there. What I didn’t know back then was that this was going to be challenging, yet one of the most memorable tasks of my life! Read full blog
“I want to go on a holiday all by myself “ I told my friend over a family dinner. “Lets go on a trek. I ‘ll come along too ”told my friend. So it started just like that on a casual note. Finally after a lot of research we zeroed in on the ROOPKUND TREK with some help from the India Hikes company website.. It is one of the top three treks in India and supposedly quite scenic too. Soon the D day arrived and though Vijay and little Kavya were a little worried about my choice of a Himalayan trek as a holiday they pretended to be excited just to keep my spirits up. My friend and me bade our families good bye and went on our first trek and also the first ‘me myself outing’, sans our families. Read full blog
The rich experience of going on such a high altitude trek inspired me to document the various details of the trek for the benefit of others who wish to trek to Roopkund and also as a fond recollection of the trek for those who already had an opportunity to be there. Read full blog
The trek to Roopkund lake, snugly hidden among peaks in the deep Himalayas is a fairly tough but do-able one. The Indiahikes team quite rightly considers you fit to attempt Roopkund if you can run 5km in 30 minutes. I would say that to train for this trek you should also do the treadmill at an incline, and without messing your knee from overkill, improve your stamina by climbing stairs to say the 15th floor of a building.
This trek was done with a group of around twenty trekkers, managed by Indiahikes . The organizers were masters in this route and their team of guides, porters and cooks were the best one could possibly get. Without the incredible help offered by these extremely professional hill men, especially at the high altitudes, the lake would not have been reachable for most of us.
"A tiny jade oval concealed in a fold almost at the top of a sheer ridge, that drops down on its far side to the glacier whence the river Nandakini issues." describes Bill Aitken in a poetic vein.
Best season to do Roopkund
The trek starts from middle of May. It is not possible to do Roopkund in the first two weeks of May because the snow is too high. First time trekkers to high altitude trekking must target June rather than May to do Roopkund. The best season in summer to do Roopkund is in June. Monsoon hits the Roopkund slope after first week of July. Any group departure until the last week of June is safe.
Whether you're standing atop a 15,000 feet mountain and watching the clouds float below you, or running after wild horses on velvety green meadows, there's nothng else you could possibly say...than "Blooooddyyy Hellll"
Here are a few of our trekker's "Bloody hell moments"
Mohit Rahalkar'sBH moment!!!
First one when we were approaching the basecamp from kathgodam.
"bloody hell!!!! where are we going.. "
and then at the summit
"bloody hell!!!!! we did it..never thought we could.."
and the last 1 when we were heading back to the home..
" bloody hell!!! its over..."
It was an awsum xperience wid u guys. loved the trek. the location was just too gud..the arrangements really well..the guides..silvet aka quick silver ...the food...the whole xperience was really awsum...
bloooodddyyyy hellllllllllllllllllllllll......I want to do it again....
Artika Takur'sBH moment!!! (June-3 batch)
Arjun Majumdar puts down a handy ready reckoner on how to choose a trek for a particular season. Click to read the full article
Download pdf here: Season Trek Guide
per person (Lohajung to Lohajung)
Book for 3 and get free travel from Delhi to Kathgodam
(3 A/C train)
Book for 5 and get free travel from Delhi to Kathgodam and return (3 A/C train)
*Service Tax of 3.5 % applicable on Trek Fees
Also Note: Indiahikes does not book any train ticket from Delhi to Kathgodam or return. Instead, for booking of more than 3 or 5 participants, the 3 AC train fare is deducted from the trek fee payable. Participants have to make the train booking themselves. Note: Bookings need to be made from the same ID.
19 Sep to 26 Sep 15 (full)
20 Sep to 27 Sep 15 (full)
21 Sep to 28 Sep 15 (full)
25 Sep to 2 Oct 15 (open)
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27 Sep to 4 Oct 15 (full)
28 Sep to 5 Oct 15 (full)
2 Oct to 9 Oct 15 (open)
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4 Oct to 11 Oct 15 (full)
5 Oct to 12 Oct 15 (open)
10 Oct to 17 Oct 15 (open)
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12 Oct to 19 Oct 15 (full)
21 Oct to 28 Oct 15 (open)
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Roopkund Trek Itinerary
Day 1 : Pick up from Kathgodam Railway station at 6.30 am. Drive to Lohajung base camp. Apprx arrival time at Lohajung 6-7 pm.
Day 2 : Trek starts. Lohajung to Ghaeroli Pata
Day 3 : Ghaeroli Pata to Bedni Bugyal
Day 4 : Bedni Bugyal to Patar Nachauni
Day 5 : Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabhasa
Day 6 : Bhagwabhasa to Roopkund to Patar Nachauni
Day 7 : PatarNachauni to Lohajung via Wan
Day 8 : Depart for Kathgodam. Approximate arrival time at Kathgodam: 6-7 pm.
Note: Pick up on Day 1 is linked with the Ranikhet Express. The pick up transport will wait until the train arrives at Kathgodam.
Acute Mountain Sickness
Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS is the body's reaction to a lack of oxygen, caused by ascent at a faster pace than acclimatisation. Here's a guide to help you be better prepared. Read more
Trekker Photo Albums
Moderate-Difficult. See link for details.
Circular; returns to base camp.
Roopkund: 15,750 feet (4,800 mts). Junargali 16,000 ft (4,878 mts, highest point)
Kathgodam. You can reach Kathgodam by an overnight journey from Delhi. Ranikhet express leaves Old Delhi station at 10.40 in the night to get to Kathgodam by 6.30 in the morning. Indiahikes pick up is lined up with the Ranikhet Express.
Village Lohajung (Chamoli District, Uttarakhand)
May 3rd week to June end; Mid September to October end.
Temperature in May, June
Day: 15° to 20°C. Night: 4° to 7°C. Temp at highest camp, Bhagwabasa: Day 5°C to 10°C. Night: 3° to -2°C.
Rainy season is from the second week of July to mid September. May/June is not the rainy season but afternoon showers are very common in the mountains. These are not the monsoon rains.
Temperature in Sept and Oct
Day: 13° to 20°C. Night: 2° to 7°C. Temp at highest camp, Bhagwabasa: Day 3°C to 10°C. Night: 3° to -4°C.
High snow in May from Kalu Vinayak onwards. Decreases in June. Comfortable snow during the last half of June. September has little snow. In the first week of October, the first winter snow is likely to fall in the upper reaches. Usually melts in a few days.
Physical preparation mandatory. See link for more details.