RoopKund -The Mysterious Lake of Skeleton (History & Facts)

skeleton in Roopkund lake

Roopkund is a high-altitude glacial lake in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand that lies in the lap of Trishul massif. It is situated at an altitude of 5,029 meters about 16,499 feet above sea level. It is 2 meters deep and 130 feet wide, a shallow lake with its edges covered with snow for most of the year. Roopkund is popularly known as ‘Mystery Lake’ or ‘Skeleton Lake’ of India. Wondering why? Read till the end!

Why it is called Skeleton Lake?

This glacial lake is a “thing of beauty” and a “center of attraction” for travelers worldwide. With a depth of about 3 meters, Roopkund is widely known for the hundreds of ancient human skeletons found at the edge of the lake. The human skeletal remains are visible at its bottom when the snow melts. Because of the human remains, the lake has been called Skeleton Lake in recent times.

Come, let’s dive into the history & facts of RoopKund -The Mysterious Lake of Skeleton.

History & Facts of The Mysterious Lake

skeleton lake

The skeletons were first discovered in 1942 by British Forest Ranger H K Madhwal. Since then, a great deal of exploration and research has been done to determine where those hundreds of skeletons came from.

Even today, many myths and folk stories manage to attract tourists to this mysterious yet spectacular Skeleton Lake of Uttarakhand. Some people suggest that the skeletons were of Japanese soldiers who tried to cross the lake during World War 2, whereas, others believe there is a mythological connection behind these floating bones and skulls. According to that, these skeletons were of the pilgrims who attempted to cross the lake to attend Goddess Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra and went on a royal procession with dancing girls to this auspicious yatra. Locals believe that Goddess Nanda Devi was enraged by this act and punished them with the ‘iron balls’ that hit the royal procession from the sky.

Some suggest that the remains are of Kashmir’s General Zorawars Singh’s soldiers who tried to conquer Tibet in 1841 and lost their way in the great Himalayas. More than 70 of them were then forced to find their way home over the Himalayas and died on the way.

According to Hindu Mythology, when Goddess Parvati & Lord Shiva were heading to Kailash after destructing the demons, the Goddess wanted to clean herself. Shiva then created a Kund or lake with the help of his Trishul so his consort can have a bath. While taking a dip in the lake, Parvati saw her beautiful reflection & was bewitched by it .Hence the lake was named as RoopKund.


The results of numerous archaeological investigations show that the skeletons belong to an Indian tribe that numbered about 800 individuals and lived in this area between 800 and 850 A.D. The detailed assessment of the bones and skulls indicates a natural calamity like a hailstorm of heavy intensity which caused a huge loss of life in a single event.
The claim that only the skulls have been damaged at the back by a hard, round object that must
have damaged them from a great height and at a high speed strengthen this possibility.
All of this points only to one potential outcome-a hailstorm.

This is all about the history & facts of RoopKund -The Mysterious Lake of Skeleton!! There are a lot of mysteries surrounding the Roopkund, but we suppose the lake is not going to give out its secrets too easily! Whatever may be the case, you should try and visit this mystery lake at least once. Perhaps you’ll be the next person to notice something strange about this place! I hope you enjoy this post, if so, please leave your valuable comments below.

You can visit: Best Unexplored Places in Uttarakhand