Roopkund (known as Mystery Lake or Skeleton Lake) is a high altitude glacial lake in Uttarakhand state, India, Which is famous due to hundreds of human skeletons found at the edge of the lake. The location is uninhabited and is located in Himalaya at an altitude of about 5,029 metres (16,499 feet). The lake is surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow clad mountains, making it a good trekking destination.
In 1942, a forest guard named H K Madhwal stumbled upon hundreds of human skeletons on the banks of Roopkund, although there are reports about these bones from late 19th century. The skeletons are visible in the clear water of the shallow lake during a one month period, when the ice melts. Along with the skeletons, objects like wooden artefacts, rings, iron spearheads and slippers were also found. Over the years a number of expeditions by Indian and European scientists were attempted to resolve the mystery of their death.
There were several theories suggested to explain these well preserved bones and skulls. One theory suggested them of being the remains of Japanese soldiers from World War II. Some suggested them of being General Zorawar Singh of Kashmir and his men, while others proposed them to be Mohammad Tughlak’s unsuccessful attempts to capture Garhwal, Himalayas. The fact that intrigued the investigators was that there was no historical account of trade route to Tibet in this area. One well-established theory speculates them to be the entourage of king Jasdhawal of Kanauj. Raja Jasdhaval, with his pregnant wife Rani Balampa, servants, dance troupe and others went on a pilgrimage to Nanda Devi shrine and the group faced a hail storm with large hailstones, from which the entire party perished near Roopkund lake.
Roopkund is a picturesque and beautiful tourist destination and one of the important places for trekking in garhwal district,himalayas located near the base of two Himalayan peaks, Trisul and Nanda Ghunti.
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