Haridwar - Rishikesh - Karnprayag - Wan - Bedni Bugyal - Bagubassa - Roopkund - Bedni Bugyal - Wan - Rudraprayag - Haridwar
One of the most beautiful locations in Garhwal Himalayas, the Roopkund Lake attracts trekkers not only for its beauty, but also as a result of the mystery that surrounds this high altitude lake. A trekker's paradise this lake has recently been catapulted to fame by the televised National Geographic documentary "Riddles Of The Dead: Skeleton Lake" as remnants belonging to more than 500 people have been found as locals believed that even more than six hundred people perished near the lake – a long time ago. Radiocarbon dating of the bones at Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit determined the time period to be approximately 850 AD. After studying fractures in the skulls, the scientists in Hyderabad, Pune and London determined that the people perished due to hailstorm, with hail as large as cricket balls, and with nowhere to hide, the group perished, and their jewellery, skulls, bones and preserved tissue of bodies can still be discovered today. The trek takes one to the lake located near the base of two Himalayan peaks: Trisul (7120 m) and Nandghungti (6310 m) passing through the beautiful Bedni Bugyal grasslands, and serves as a tourist place as well as a hallowed ground for various religious ceremonies : especially- the "Nanda Devi Raj Jat", a religious "Yatra" taking place once every twelve years at Roopkund - led by a sacred ram, that first leads the procession, and finally mysteriously vanishes upon arrival at the Roopkund lake. The journey to Roopkund is an enjoyable experience. All along the way, one is surrounded by mountain ranges from all sides and the High Altitude Grasslands (called "Bugyals" in the local dialect) are a sight to behold. The trek is tough at times, as the altitude is the main factor with the added unpredictability of weather at such altitude adding to the challenge.
Arrival at Haridwar, The day starts with a beautiful drive along the river Ganges. En route visit the famous Prayags (confluences) of historic as well as religious importance. Devprayag is the most notable of all the mentioned confluences, as this is the spot where rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meet to form most revered river for Hindus – The Ganges Continue to drive further via Rudraprayag and Karanprayag to reach Wan by evening. Dinner and overnight stay in tents/tourist rest house.
The day starts with the picturesque walk through the village of Wan. The school kids, farmers ploughing their fields, women with their cattles are common a sight while passing through the village to the ridge of Rankiyadhar. Here the limit of the village ends, and the trail descends to the river Neelganga. After the river is crossed a steep climb through the dense forest of Rhododendron and Oak takes one to Gairoli Patal. The trail still continues to climb to the ridge called Dolia Dhar which is marked with the presence of a temple. From here there is a bifurcation to the Ali meadows. One must avoid the trail to Auli and traverses on the left to gain slight altitude to the towards the meadows at Bedni, known as one of the best camping sites in the Garhwal Himalayas. Overnight stay in tents.
Bedni Bugyal is a destination in itself, and there is plenty of exploration to do and a lot of photography to be done. The altitude is high, and the ascent has been rapid. This is a rest day to help acclimatize for the gain in altitude in the following days. Overnight in tents.
The trail from Bedni continues to climb gradually on the true left of the valley to the ridge at the end of the meadow. The peak of Nanda Ghunti and Trishul the highlights during this trek. From this point the trail moves on to the true right of the valley and becomes almost flat until it reaches Patar Nachaniya. From here the trail ascends steeply to reach the top of the ridge marked with the Temple of Ganesha. A further 1 Kms brings one to Bagubassa. The campsite at Bagubassa is marked with open rocky structures. Bagua means flowery park and Basa means place. And rightly the place was full of variety of flowers including the rare Bhram Kamal, a special godly lotus found at only and between the altitudes of 14000 - 15000 ft. overnight in tents.
The trail from Bagubassa is prominent as it gradually passes through delightful alpine pasture lands offering magnificent views of the Trishul, Nanda Ghunti and Badrinath peaks. In the latter part, the trail becomes steep until one reaches the lake. When there is no snow one can see human skeletons remains with flesh still attached to it. These remains have been preserved in the alpine condition for centuries. It is believed that these are the remains of about 300 persons who died about 500 -600 years ago. After the exploration and photo shoot, one must retrace one's steps towards Bedni Bugyal. Overnight in tents.
The trek from Bedni to Wan is real a piece of cake, and the reduced physical pressure gives the avid photographer opportunities to take many wonderful pictures on the way back. The walk is almost downhill giving an opportunity to enjoy the forest trail. This will take 3-4 hrs. On reaching the road head, take a drive towards Rudraprayag. Overnight in the hotel.
After breakfast, drive towards Haridwar via Devprayag & Rishikesh. On arrival at Haridwar visit the temple and by evening witness the famous Aarti at Har Ki Pauri on the banks of the holy Ganges. Later transfer to railway station.