Roopkund is situated in the eastern part of Chamoli district (in the lap of Trishul Massif, 7122 mts.). The high-altitude (5029 mts.), kund is on the Nanda Jat route to Homkund. It is not a very large kund and is rather shallow, having a depth of only about 2 metres. The edges are snow covered for most parts of the year. When snow melts, one can see human and equine skeletal remains, sometimes with flesh attached; well preserved in the alpine conditions. It is found that about 300 people died about 500-600 years ago.
There are many theories to explain the finding but none satisfying to everybody. Hence the lake is also known as the ‘Mystery Lake’. According to the locals : Raja Jasdal of Kanauj undertook a Nanda Jat along with the Rani Balpa, some 550 years ago. Rani being the princess from Garhwal was revered as a sister of goddess Nandadevi. Near Roopkund she gave birth to a babe. Goddess Nandadevi considered it a sacrilege in her domain and sent down a snow/hailstorm. Raja’s people were caught in it and perished. The present day skeletal remains belong to them.
Other than the Nanda Raj Jat route via Wan, one may approach Roopkund from Ghat, (motorable from Nandprayag). The trek takes one to Ramni (jeepable in fair weather) and Sutol, on the way. Wan is approached either from Tharali or Gwaldam. Thereafter one may choose reaching Roopkund via Ali Bugyal or the Bedni. On the way dramatic views of the nature with its many splendours can be seen.