The glacial lake of Himalayas, Roopkund is better known by the epithet- Skeleton Lake. This enticing lake is surrounded by hundreds of ancient skeletal remains.The mystery of these bones is unveiled in many theories and opinions ranging from spiritual to scientific ones. But the truth is long dead.
Roopkund Skeleton Lake
Roopkund is a picturesque tourist destination in the Himalayas. It is more than 16,000 feet above the sea level, surrounded by steep sided valley. The area is uninhabited and the ambiance provides a remarkable evidence of the underlying danger. People who enjoy thrill would love the route to Roopkund for a trek.
Riddles of the frozen Skeleton Lake
This was first discovered by a Britisher in 1942. He accidentally came across this frozen lake with skeletons. They assumed it to be the skeletal remains of Japanese invaders encroaching India. On evaluation and examination, this was proved wrong as the bones were found to be ancient.
Many unscientific opinions were framed for decades, indicating the reason for death being an epidemic, landslide and mass religious suicide. Carbon dating was conducted on the samples in 1960s, inferring the skeletons to be as old as of 12th century.
An expedition was led out in 2004 by Indian and European scientists at the behest of National Geographic Channel. DNA testing conducted by them categorized the dead skeletons in two distinct physical forms, one of short stature like the locals and the other of taller stature belonging to royalty. Leather footwear, spears, rings and bamboo stuff found at the site, speak their own mystic tales.
The expedition research dated the bodies to the 9th century. Also, it was found that the skeletons had wounds only in their head and shoulders. This showed no involvement of weapons but of rounded inanimate objects.
The answer to this bizarre mystery was provided by the old folklore of the region. The lyrics describe an enraged goddess who rained hailstones over the intruders. This also matched with the scientific observations made by the researchers.
The trapped travelers were hit by thousands of hailstones, resulting in their mass death. Thus, the mystery was unveiled by the convergence of spiritual beliefs and scientific findings.