The Himalayas are full of miracles, mysteries, and mind-boggling conundrums.
This glacial lake is popularly known as ‘Roopkund Skeleton Lake’ or ‘The Mystery Lake’, located at the altitude of 5029 meters in Uttarakhand, a beautiful state in northern India.
During winters, this glacial lake is a perfect place to go skating.
But when the ice melts, the real horror starts. The entire area surrounding this glacial lake is covered with discarded Human bones and skulls. There are also many clearly visible skeletons at the bottom of this shallow lake.
It is also one of most curious and amazing trek route, known throughout the whole world, that is surrounded by rock strew glaciers, steep slopes, and snow clad mountains.
Thinking of Himalayas, first thing that comes to our mind is its alluring beauty.
Covered in ice and surrounded by rocky glaciers, the lake appears to be a typical, albeit beautiful, natural wonder. However, during one month of the year, when the ice melts away and the bottom of the shallow lake becomes visible, the true nature of the lake reveals itself. At the bottom of the lake are hundreds of mysterious human skeletons. There have been efforts to determine who these people were, where they were from, and how they died, buy many questions still remain unanswered about the skeletons at Roopkund
The first reports regarding the skeletal remains date to the 19 th century, but the remains were re-discovered by Nanda Devi game reserve ranger H K Madhwal in 1942. He discovered a few of the skeletons at the bottom of the lake while it was frozen. As summer came, and the frozen lake melted, more skeletons were revealed in the lake, and around the lake’s edges. It is believed that the skeletons number around 300.
Scientists have concluded that the skeletons of about 200 people discovered near the frozen lake belonged to the people of a 9th century Indian tribe who died due to hail storm.
The skeletons were first found by a British forest guard in 1942. Initially, it was believed that the skeletons were those of Japanese soldiers who had died while crossing that route during World War II.
But scientists have now found out that the skeletons were of pilgrims and locals as the bodies dated to around 850 AD.
Research reveals that the skeletons were of two main groups – one a family group and the other who were relatively short.
The researchers concluded that the death was due to a fatal blow on the back of their heads and not due to any wound by weapons, avalanche or landslide. The marks on their skulls and shoulders indicated at being hit by something round, like a cricket ball. The absence of injuries to other body parts indicated that hard round objects, possibly cricket ball sized hail stones or ice balls, fell from above.
The lake, known as ‘Skeleton lake’, is situated at an altitude of 5,029 meters, in the Himalayas.
Every year, when the snow melts, one can see hundreds of scattered skulls.
It was earlier believed that the skulls were of General Zorawar Singh of Kashmir and his men, who had got lost and died in the middle of the Himalayan region after they got caught in bad weather while returning from the battle of Tibet in 1841. Or it could have been an epidemic or a suicide ritual performed near the lake.
Roopkund is known as a mystery lake and is surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains. The lake is about two metres deep and invites hundreds of trekkers and pilgrims every year.
Pilgrims attend the Nanda Devi Raj Jat that takes place once every twelve years at Roopkund, during which Goddess Nanda is worshipped.