The trek to Roopkund turned to be a treasure trove for us. When we first registered for the trek with Indiahikes, little did we know what we were getting into! A week long adventure through the winding forest trails, the high altitude meadows which looked like endless golf course, the snow capped peaks and the rocky, snow covered uphill trails was worth millions. Not only did we see nature’s bountiful gifts, but also made friends with some wonderful people. Who could imagine a game of cricket at a height of 13000 ft? Or, camping in the midst of a thick forest! Our trip to Roopkund had almost everything that our adventure seeking hearts craved for.
Folklore about Roopkund – an enigma:Roopkund: the lake of Reflections
There are quite a number of folklores surrounding Roopkund. It is said that Goddess Parvati had killed the demon Mahisasur near the Bedni Kund.
Meanwhile, as Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva were on their way to Kailash, Goddess Parvati wanted to have a bath as she felt unclean after killing the demons. Lord Shiva had created the Lake for the Goddess. The Goddess dipped herself in the blue waters of the lake and could see her beautiful reflection in the waters. This is why the Lake is named Roopkund.Roopkund: The skeletal Lake
Local legend says that king of Kanauj with his pregnant wife, servants, dance troupes and others went on a pilgrimage to Goddess Nanda Devi. The king was arrogant and was careless in holding the sanctity of the place. He faced repeated bad omens on the way, but he continued his journey in all his pride. He even forgot to offer his prayers to the Goddess as he was too engrossed watching his three danseuse. The Goddess was infuriated and burned three holes at the feet of the three dancers. The craters are said to be seen at Pathar Nachauni. Even then the king did not come to his senses. His wife gave birth near one of the caves near Goddess Nanda Devi’s abode. The pregnancy ended in a miscarriage ending the lives of both the baby and the queen. Even after all these, the arrogant king continued his trek towards Roopkund with his army. As they reached the lake, they faced hailstorms which perished the entire army. The skeletal remains of the army could still be seen around the lake. It is said that only the king survived the storm. The goddess appeared before him and cursed him that the people in his race would have to visit the lake once in every 12 years barefoot and with bare necessities. Since then Nanda Jat Yatra once every 12 years has become a tradition.
The Team – SPECIAL 26:
The team was led by Salwat Hamrah, our trek lead. He is one of the most energetic and lively persons I have seen. He was always full of energy and that energy was induced in us whenever we felt tired and thought of giving up.
Next I would mention the Pathak family (6 members) with Mr. V. P. Pathak and Rekha Pathak. They were well over 50 and happily joined us youngsters in the trek. Rekha aunty was a constant inspiration.
Then comes the Tyagi Family headed by Nitin Tyagi (5 here). They actually lived life king size. They were one of the most affable and charming people in our group.
There was a group of 4 from Lebanon whom we nicknamed the Lebanese. They were very friendly and gelled with us really well. They were so sporting as to join us for a game of Dumb Charades. They had even named a few Hindi films correctly as far as I can recollect.
Next in our team were Dr. Ajay Agarwal, Amrit Jami, Nityam Khanna, Mohit Rahalkar. Last but, not the least were a group of 4 guys whom we fondly called the “Bangalora guys” as they were from the southern parts of India. And that leaves the 2 of us…
The team was an excellent team and the experience of trekking together might not have been so great if not for our team mates.
The next post will follow soon after….
Please give your views about the Roopkund Trek and feel free to ask us any questions….