Front Page Introduction
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"
Front Page Index
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...
What trekkers say about their Roopkund trek experience
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 Bhabhal 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. Every step that I took just made my belief of never giving up, even stronger.
Nidhi Agarwal from Bangalore, who did the Roopkund trek in May 2010 writes:
From flower sprinkled meadows and gurgling brooks to snow blizzards and hailstorms, nature showed me its myriad faces. From its fury to its glory, it showed it all. An experience that humbled me and at the same time fulfilled me. A catharsis, a chrysalis, a genesis.
Sandeep Janardan who did the Roopkund trek in June 2009 writes:
The Roopkund trek has given me the best and happiest experiences of my life to date, it has made me fall in love with the Himalayas. Words cant describe the views I got, or the feeling of crossing new terrain every day. Every day my mind was given a bath and a massage - leaving it completely rejuvenated at the end of the trek. On the physical front, i have a new confidence and know that my body is capable of much more than i thought. Especially the trek on the ice, this was most exciting.
Shubhankar Biswas who trekked to Roopkund in 2007 and 2009 writes:
Best Of Roopkund
Here is a collection of awesome clicks by trekkers from May, June 2013..
Birdlist on the Roopkund trail
Sarath Champati shares his Bird checklist on the Roopkund trail here..
Sarath did the Roopkund trek in June 2013. He says birding was very good in the forest trails on Day1,2 and Day 6. Check out the Bird-list here...
Roopkund Photo Contest
First Prize: Aritra Sil - May/Jun - 2013 photo contest
Second Prize: Pragalbh - May/Jun - 2013 photo contest
- May/June 2013 photo Contest
- Sept/Oct 2012 photo Contest
- June 2012 photo Contest
- May 2012 Photo Contest
Trekker's Photo Links
Madhujith from 22nd September 2012 Roopkund batch shares his photos
Roopkund Trek Blogs by our trekkers
Mukul Mhaskey from June 2013 trek batch blogs here - To infinity and Beyond..
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 the full blog
Pragalbh Vashisth from May 2013 trek batch blogs here - Trekking the Himalays: Why I Did it + 5 reasons why I will do it again.
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!
Mahathi from May 2013 trek batch blogs here -The Roopkund Experience..
“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 the full blog
Puneeth N C from October 2012 trek batch blogs here - Chronicles of Roopkund trek..
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 the full blog
Malvika Jain from May 2012 trek batch blogs here - Roopkund for whoever's going next..
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.... Read the full blog
Shashank writes about his Roopkund experience in June 2010
This was going to be the longest day of the trek. As if the heavens had blessed us, the weather was crystal clear.There were no clouds in the sight. We could clearly see Roopkund and beyond from our camp. We took off with a great determination to do Junargali, come-what-may. We marched on... Read the full blog
Saiganesh - Trekked to Roopkund in September 2009
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..Read More...
What the international press say about the Roopkund trek
Bloody Hell Moments
May - June-2013
“Bloody Hell!” means a lot of things to us.
Standing on top of a summit, looking down at the panorama below, the only word that comes to our lips is, “Bloodyhell, what a view!”
Milky way in the night sky – Bloody Hell!
Here are a few of our trekker's "Bloody hell moments"
Nipun Mahato's BH moment!!!
Watching Rahul, Gabbar & Dilbag playing at snowy slope at 15000ft is really: Bloody Hell!
Last but not the least what a team/group: Bloody Hell!
So, Let’s do it once again: Bloody Hell!
Krupananda's BH moment!!!
(May - 25 batch)
wolf like dogs at Didina
winds in Pathar Nachouni
per person (Lohajung to Lohajung)
Book for 3 and get free pick up from Delhi to Kathgodam (3 A/C train)
Book for 5 and get free pick up from Delhi to Kathgodam and return (3 A/C train)
Note: Service Tax of 3.09 % applicable on Trek Fees
Registered Trekkers call:
(9.30 AM - 7.00 PM Mon-Sat)
New Enquiry call:
(9.30 AM - 7.00 PM Mon-Sat)
Bright and Sunny at Lohajung. Evenings are getting colder. Night temperatures falling as low as 10 deg Centigrade...
Roopkund Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Pick up from Kathgodam Railway station at 7.00 am. Drive to Lohajung base camp. Apprx arrival time at Lohajung 6-7 pm.
Day 2: Trek starts. Lohajung to Didina. Homestay at Didina. 8 kms, 5hrs.
Day 3: Didina to Bedni Bugyal (via Ali Bugyal). 8 kms, 6-7 hrs
Day 4: Bedni Bugyal to Bhagwabhasa. 8 kms, 7-8 hours
Day 5: Bhagwabhasa to Roopkund to Patar Nachauni. 12 kms, 9-10 hours total
Day 6: Patar Nachauni to Ghairoli Patal. 6 kms, 3-4 hrs
Day 7: Ghairoli Patal to Lohajung via wan. 5 kms, trek, 11 kms road. 6 hrs
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.
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, Jun.
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.
How to reach Lohajung
Trekkers who come in from different parts of the country sometimes get worried about how to reach Lohajung. Lohajung is in the very interior of the inner Himalayas and can be tricky to access.
To make things easier, Indiahikes organizes pick up vehicles from Kathogodam railway station to bring you directly to the base camp at Lohajung. Kathgodam is the last train station and is in the foothills of Himalayas. It is 32 kms from Nainital, which as you know is a very famous hill station. The Indiahikes pickup vehicles are linked with the Ranikhet express that reaches Kathgodam around 6.30 am. It is a daily overnight train from Old Delhi (not New Delhi).
What happens if you don’t get tickets on the Ranikhet Express?
Ranikhet express is a crowded train and often gets booked many days in advance. First, don’t look for an AC ticket. It is an overnight journey and even sleeper berths are comfortable. Book a Tatkal ticket. Your chance of getting a sleeper ticket in Tatkal is very high.
If for some reason you still don’t get a ticket on the Ranikhet express, there are two options for you.
One, take the earlier day’s Sampark Kranti from Old Delhi (leaves at 4.00 pm). Tickets on the Sampark Kranti are usually easy to get as it is a day seating train. Tickets are usually available even one day in advance. Stay overnight in a hotel at Kathgodam (or Haldwani) and join the team vehicle the next morning.
A good place to stay is KMVN Kathgodam. The number to call is 05946-266090. You could also speak to caretaker Pandey Ji 8650002525 or Ganesh 9411589448. KMVN is Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam, a government tourist guest house right next to the railway station. The place is decent and clean. You can also book online at http://www.kmvn.gov.in/
There are lots of other stay options in Kathgodam or Haldwani. Kathgodam and Haldwani are twin towns (5 kms separate them).
Two, take an overnight bus from Delhi’s Anand Vihar ISBT to Haldwani/Kathgodam. It is usually an 8 hour journey. No advanced reservation is required. Try to get to Kathgodam early (by 8 pm) to catch the Indiahikes pickup at the station.
How to get to Lohajung from Rishikesh side..
Some trekkers prefer to get to Lohajung from Rishikesh, rather than Kathgodam. While the Kathgodam route is prettier, the Rishikesh option is worth a try. Connectivity to Delhi is a lot better from Rishikesh.
From the Rishikesh bus stand take any bus on the Joshimath/Badrinath route and take a ticket to Karanprayag. It is a 6-7 hour journey from Rishikesh to Karanprayag. Take a bus that leaves as early in the morning as possible, preferably around 6 am.
At Karanprayag, take a shared Jeep to Tharali, which is in a separate direction. The road to Tharali runs along the Pindar river. Get off at Tharali and again take a shared taxi to Debal. At Debal contact our transporter Raju Shah Ji who can help you with an onward transport to Lohajung. (Distances: Karanprayag to Tharali: 47 kms, Tharali to Debal 14 kms, Debal to Lohajung 24 kms). From Karanprayag to Lohajung the total time taken is usually 4-5 hrs.
Whether you take the Kathgodam or the Rishikesh route it is usually a 10-11 hours journey to Lohajung.