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Ronti Saddle - Roopkund - Homkund Trek | Best of Uttarakhand

Beyond Roopkund lies the true Himalayan High in the lap of Nanda Ghungti and the mighty Trishul
- Popular Names: Ronti SaddleRoopkundHomkund

Ronti Saddle - Roopkund - Homkund Trek

Beyond Roopkund lies the true Himalayan High in the lap of Nanda Ghungti and the mighty Trishul
- Popular Names: Ronti SaddleRoopkundHomkund

A Himalayan High Experience
  • the trail to roopkund from baghuabasa
  • sheela samudra with mighty trishul hovering over
  • looking behind from dodang
  • just below ronti saddle at homkund
  • camp at latakhopri
  • the campsite of dodang
  • roopkund the skeletal lake
  • nanda ghunti
  • tarn of sheela samudra glacier
  • beyond roopkund its a ground for varied species of flowers brahmakamal n fenkamal
Introduction To The Ronti Saddle - Roopkund - Homkund Trek
- Popular Names: Ronti SaddleRoopkundHomkund
Ronti Saddle Trek

Ronti Saddle is a saddle between the glorious Himalayan peaks of Nanda Ghungti and Trishul closer to the Nanda Devi Inner Sanctuary.

The trek to Ronti Saddle is approached from the more popular Roopkund side and you enter the Sheela Samudra valley once you cross over the Junairagali Pass above Roopkund. A sharp descend from the Junairagali pass gets you to the vast and remote grassland of the Sheela Samudra. The name Sheela ( rocks ) Samudra ( sea ) translates to 'Sea of Rocks' and is given to the glacier coming down from the might Trishul. If there is some noise in this valley, it is of the frequent ice breaking and falling down from Trishul, feeding the Sheela Samudra glacier. Here, you will only find yourself and few 'Keeda Jadi, Yartse Gumba' pluckers during the months of June.

The trek after Sheela Samudra climbs up following the Nandakini river to the campsite of Do Dang ( 2 rocks ). It then treks over a broken ridge with sharp verticle fall on one side to takes us to Homkund - a small lake mostly under snow. From Homkund, the trek starts climbing to Ronti Saddle.

Ronti Saddle Homkund Trek
just below ronti saddle at homkund

We can either cross over the Saddle ( recently a team of Bengali Trekkers has done that in September), but mostly will come back to Do Dang and exit via Ghat, trekking through the deep forest cover of Lata Khopri and the villages of Sutol and Sitel, following the Nandakini River.

Roopkund - The Skeletal Lake

The sight of the beautiful circular glacial lake, emerald in colour, in the covering of snow all round it with tall mountain walls rising over it. This sight inspires a mixed feeling - fearful, unbelievable, surprising, exquisite and what not !!

The Lake does look appealing to the eyes and is definitely photogenic, but what gives the lake its real worth is the name which it has got for itself - The Skeletal Lake. There are lots of other lakes in the Himalayas much beautiful than the Roopkund, but this lake is special. The mystery surrounding the lake due to lots of scattered human bones which are too big for the current generation of Indians, is what makes Roopkund one of the most sought after trek in the Himalayas. It took the World by its imaginations and lots of theories are available on the cause of the mass death around the lake. Recently, the theory reasoning a pilgrimage hit by a massive hail storm causing the tragic death is more believable as per a research study.

 

 

Bedni Bugyal - Ali Bugyal

In this trek, we come across 2 of the most beautiful meadows in Uttrakhand - the Bedni Bugyal and Ali Bugyal. The soft mattress of green grasses feels just wonderful, and is even beautiful with sheep grazing on them. Hovered by beautiful snow covered peaks of Chowkhambha, Trishul, and others, this is one of the most photogenic Bugyals you may come across.

 

 

The Sad Story Of Roopkund

Roopkund is perhaps one of the best treks to do in the Himalayas. Until recently, it was peaceful with few odd trekkers trekking in self organized small groups. The current scenario of this trek is very saddening. With unsurpassed and unregulated rise of irresponsible trekking agencies in India, and the false hype created by the online content marketing websites has made a huge negative impact on this trek. 

The situation is such that in the pre-monsoon season of May-Jun, atleast 100 trekkers camp on each campsite, everyday on this trek. Few of the bigger operators and some of the pioneers bring bulk of trekkers to this wonderland. Most of this crown is not Nature Friendly. The rush is such that the local operators and these big companies cannot meet the demand. So, there lots of other small operators who get their groups too, most of these are nonprofessionals. Also, there are self organized groups too.

Then there are local resources to add to, like mules, mules-men, guides, porters, cooks, helpers, etc which accompany the groups. The trekker's hut built by the Government for the trekkers permanently occupied by bigger companies to use as kitchen. What kind of push is it on the Nature to accommodate that huge rush ?? I have no imaginations for it, hence I leave it upto the readers.

All these spoil the ambiance of the trek and we don't like organizing the Roopkund trek until situation betters. We are more in favour of the Ronti Saddle Trek which is much peaceful once we cross the tourist spot of the Roopkund trek.

Do not forget to check the Trek Album on our Photo Gallery Page

Want Us To Help you Arrange For This Epic Journey ?

We believe that a smaller group gives you the best of the Himalayan Experience and specialize in organizing customized groups for the Ronti Saddle - Roopkund - Homkund Trek. Do get in touch with us if you want us to arrange this trek for you.

You can use the link - Customized Plan For Ronti Saddle - Roopkund - Homkund Trek to drop us an email with your specific requirements and service required. We will get back to you with the detailed plan and quotation as per the group size and service requested.

Table of Contents

  • Grand views of Nanda Ghungti(6309m), Trisul I (7120m), II (6690m), III (6007m)
  • Ronti Saddle - a saddle between the 2 grand mountains stand at 5200 meters and offers you enough challenge to reach it. However, on reaching there, you may decide which of the 2 mountains to touch !!
  • The mystery and history of the Skeletal Lake - Roopkund. Its a small circular high altitude glacial lake surrounded by snow on most part of the year. The lake is surrounded by human bones which reveals itself mostly when the snow cover is lesser.
  • The best bugiyals or meadows of the Himalayas - Bedni Bugiyal and Ali Bugiyal.
  • Sheela Samudra - the glacier of Mt Trishul. A glacier full of tarns and boulders. Witnessing avalanche is a normal thing here opposite to your camp in the glacier.
  • Homkund is another high altitude glacial lake just below Mt. Nandaghungti and Ronti Saddle.
  • Keeda Jadi or Yartsa Gumba and its crazy drive amongst the locals during June, July.
  • The lovely villages of Sutol and Sitel and beautiful campsites and remoteness of the trail

Table of Contents

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1From Kathgodam To Lohajung, Via - Debal, Mundoli

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Early morning, board your vehicle to get you to Lohajung Its a long journey and reaching Lohajung early will help

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Evening Snacks, Dinner

Photos From The Day:

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Day 2From Lohajung To Didina

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Today after breakfast, we have a small briefing on the trek and most importantly the team introduction. After we wrap up formalities quicly, we get ready for the trek. Our loads are packed and there we are, ready to hit the trail.

Our trail for the day is easier as compared to the entire trek and soon we get lost in the beauty of it. We trek through the forest following the Neel Ganga. The trail is initially easy which then starts to climb up steadily.  As the trek continues, we get set into it and start negotiating the climb to Ali Bugiyal. After a good climb, we reach our destination for the day.

Didina is a beautiful campsite and we spend rest of the time exploring the place. 

Accommodation: Tents
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

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Day 3From Didina To Bedni Bugiyal, Via - Ali Bugiyal

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

As we start the day, to leave our campsite at Didina behind and begin with an easy trek up to Tolapani. Tolapani is a cluster of some 6/7 huts of shepherds. It makes the place very picturesque and we spend some time here.

After Tolapani, we now start to negotiate switch-backs through the forest for about 2 hour which brings us to one of the best Himalayan meadows - Ali Bugyal. Its a lovely meadow amidst the forest and takes our heart instantly. We spend some good time here depending upon the weather.

One more of a finest bugyals is waiting for us and we head towards i, yes - The Bedni Bugyal. It takes some good walk of around 2.5 hours to reach Bedni Bugyal from Ali Bugyal. Once we reach we know why it is regarded as one of the best campsites in the Himalayas.

In the evening, do not forget to click some reflection of the beautiful Trishul on the Bedni Kund, a small lake in the campsite.

Accommodation: Tents
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

  • sheep grazing in bedni bugyal
  • temples bedni bugyal
  • the meadow of bedni

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Day 4From Bedni Bugiyal To Baghuabasa, Via - Ghora Lotani, Pattharnachauni

Quick Information:
  • Bedni Bugiyal: 3600 meters / 11880 feets
  • Ghora Lotani: 3703 meters / 12220 feets
  • Pattharnachauni: 3887 meters / 12828 feets
  • Baghuabasa: 4300 meters / 14190 feets
  • Approximate Distance: 12 Km
  • Approximate Time: 6 - 7 hours
  • Day's Activity: Trek
Brief Details Of The Day:

Our morning is delightful today with views of great number of Himalayan peaks like Trishul, Nandaghungti. Chaukhamba and Nilkantha. The sight definitely energizes us all as we prepare to start the trek for the day. We can see our route through the mountains as we are above tree line now. The trail is a easy walk and soon reach Ghora Lotani.

From Ghora Lotani, Patharnachauni is a gradual ascend. It is marked by the green trekker's hut built by the Forest Department for trekkers to rest for the night. From here our climb becomes tougher as we now start negotiating the switch backs to ascend Kullu Vinayak. Its a 2 hour steep climb. This stretch tests our mental stamina and physical health too. The Kalu Vinayaka top is marked by a small temple of lord Ganesha.

Baghua Basa is an easy walk from Kalu Vinayak top. The trail gently climbs down and take a slow left turn to reach the campsite of Baghua Basa, which too has green Trekker's hut.

Enjoy the beauty around !!

Accommodation: Tents
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

  • kalu vinayak temple
  • green trekkers hut of Baghuabasa
  • campsite of baghuabasa

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Day 5From Baghuabasa To Sheela Samudra, Via - Roopkund, Junairagali Pass

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Today is a special day for us. We begin our climb to Roopkund which takes us around 3 hours. The trail climbs up steadily and the last stretch is a good steep climb for an hour. We will find many trekkers walking on this trail and once we reach, we spend some time resting and enjoying the place

We are to cross the Junargali and hence do not have much time to kill. Much difficult task is still to be completed and we get ready for it and that's climbing the Junairagali Pass. We are up against a very steep wall of hard snow and is difficult to climb without support of ice axe. The fall is exposed and a slip can be fatal. Hence rope is necessary. Anti slip traction crampons can help if there is too much hard snow. Its takes about an hour to climb to the top.

The descend from the pass top to Sheela Samudra is a sharp one initially which requires good concentration. Snow makes it further trickier. Its best advised to follow the trusted steps of your guide here. Around 2 hours of continuous descend brings us to our campsite marked by a huge boulder which acts like a wind shield.

Its been a tiring but rewarding day. So rest out the day glancing the beauty of Trishul which is so close by from here.

Accommodation: Tents
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

  • the trail to roopkund from baghuabasa
  • support team in roopkund after worshiping the bones
  • roopkund the skeletal lake
  • the mysterious lake of roopkund
  • upper ridges of trishul

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Day 6Rest / Acclimatization / Local Exploration Day

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Rest and local exploration day. 

Sheela Samudra, as the name means - sea of rocks. The name could not be perfect. The view of the glacier flowing down Trishul is nothing but a huge system with lots of broken tarns and huge boulders. Gushing wind, Sounds of cracking avalanches and waterfalls which starts flowing in afternoon and freezes out again by evening are very common here.

Sighting vultures and other birds are another common thing. Bring your camera to good use on this day. This day also helps us serve the important acclimatization.

Accommodation: Tents
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

  • glacier scape of sheela samudra
  • sheela samudra with mighty trishul hovering over
  • relax to your souls content in sheela samudra after crossing junargali pass
  • nanda ghunti
  • beyond roopkund its a ground for varied species of flowers brahmakamal n fenkamal

Table of Contents

Day 7From Sheela Samudra To Dodang, Via - Gheuthappan

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

We feel fresh after a rest day and are fully prepared to tackle the day. We start off slowly and soon find ourself crossing the boulders of Sheela Samudra. We witness numeric tarns of the once a mighty glacier. The route then follows the  Nandakini river climbing gradually upwards, though some part of the trail is unmarked and very slippery with almost no distinct trail. We need to be careful in these sections.

Our campsite is marked by a huge boulder forming a cave.  Look back at Junargali from here and you will be thrilled. Rest the day out.

Accommodation: Tents
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

  • enroute dodang from sheelasamudra towards ronti
  • looking behind from dodang
  • new face of the mountains after a fresh snowfall
  • the campsite of dodang
  • tarn of sheela samudra glacier

Table of Contents

Day 8From Dodang To Dodang , Via - Homekund, Ronti Saddle

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Its a difficult, but most important day today for us, as we hit the trail to reach our goal for this trek - The Ronti Saddle.

We start our trek early. After some easy trek we come across a sharp ridge breaking down from its right hand side, almost like a 90 degree slab of mud. We take the trail little downside on the left side of the ridge which looks safer. The rigde slowly turns right to bring you to Homkund.

After offering prayers, we start to climb up the steep snowy climb to the Ronti Saddle. Initial scrambles and walk over the boulders for some 2 kilometers and then zig zakking through the snow field, we reach the top. Its a 2 hour steep and strenuous climb from Homkund to Ronti Saddle. 

The views offered from the top of Ronti Saddle is breath taking. Ronti Peaks 1, 2 ; Trishul 1, 2, 3 ; Nanda Ghungti ; Dronagiri looks just amazing and a sight only the lucky few gets. The summit of Nandaghungti looks quite teasing from this point. We spend as much time as possible keeping the weather in mind, as this is the day and the place we worked hard for, all these days !!

We start to descend the same route and it takes us couple of hours to reach back Do Dang from here. We have returned with a fulfilling experience. The sight and achievement does not leave our mind. 

Accommodation: Tents
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

  • the broken ridge towards homkund
  • just below ronti saddle at homkund

Table of Contents

Day 9From Dodang To Latakhopri , Via - Chandaniya Ghat

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

This is an eventful day with a eventful river crossing to do. Its a long day and the river crossing is the trickier part. Once thats done, we take it easy to reach our campsite at Lata Khopri. The trek passes through some of the deep lush green forest of the Nanda Devi Biosphere. Its a beautiful campsite amidst the deep jungle.

With all views blocked by the jungle, today is the time to do some macro photography.

Accommodation: Tents
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

  • chandaniya ghat
  • camp at latakhopri

Table of Contents

Day 10From Latakhopri To Sutol

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

The descend down to Sutol is a picturesque one which descends down through the forest. Sutol is a beautiful village with a temple, shop and few homes. Do use your camera to the fullest as after a hard trek, you get to see some locals, houses, river, bridge, temples, domestic animals and conversations with the locals. You may chose to take a bath in the river as well.

Accommodation: Tents
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

  • villagers from sutol
  • nearing sutol
  • kids of sutol village
  • the village of sutol

Table of Contents

Day 11From Sutol To Ghat , Via - Sitel

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Our descend back to civilization ends today as we hit the trail with great energy. There comes few shops on the way where we can satisfy our crunch for normal eateries. About 4 hours of walk get you down to the motor head where your cab will be waiting to take you down to Ghat, where our trek ends.

It has been a wonderful trek with wonderful people all around and offcourse the Mighty and Godly Himalayas were there always to motivate and support you. Congratulations for completing a wonderful trek. 

Yes Yes, we do have a blasting party to celebrate it.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: All Meals

Photos From The Day:

Table of Contents

Day 12From Ghat To Rishikesh

Quick Information:
  • Ghat: 1331 meters / 4393 feets
  • Rishikesh: 442 meters / 1459 feets
  • Approximate Distance: 220 Km
  • Approximate Time: 7 - 8 hours
  • Day's Activity: Drive
Brief Details Of The Day:

Today we drive back to Rishikesh ending our beautiful trek

Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast

Photos From The Day:

Table of Contents

Fixed Departure Price
( per head cost)

INR 26,500 | USD 402

5% Government Taxes Extra
GST Number: 19AADCH8833L1Z1

Our Batch Size:
25 - 30  2 - 15

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN PRICE

  • 1 Medical Expert + Certified Technical Climbing/Trek Leader.
  • 1 Dedicated Pre-Trek Orientation Expert
  • 1 Dedicated Pre-Trek Coordinator
  • 1 Local Route Guide.
  • 1 Assistant Route Guide/ Technical Help ( for group size between 8 - 15 ).
  • 1 Cook + Required Kitchen Helpers.
  • Required Camp Helpers.
  • Required Evacuation Helpers.
  • All camping equipment including Dining and Toilet Tents.
  • All essential safety gears as required according to the condition like Helmet, Harness, Crampons, Gaiters, Ice Axes, Climbing Rope, etc
  • Sleeping bags with fleece liners for warmth and hygiene.
  • All meals on Treks suited for high altitude.
  • 3 meals, i.e BLD with morning and evening teas, evening snacks, dessert and hot drinks after dinner
  • High Altitude Medical kit with oxygen cylinders.
  • All permits required for trekking and camping in the National Park
  • All staff, their wage, insurances, transfers to and from their home and meals.
  • Accommodation for 2 nights in Lohajung & Ghat( room + breakfast + dinner )
  • Transfers from Sitel roadhead to Ghat after the trek

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED 

  • Porter For Personal Bags ( optional at extra cost )
  • TRANSPORT Ex Haridwar/ Kathgodam: Can be arranged on request to be paid on actuals and shared by the group ( 5500 - 6000 Rs. one way fare )
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Personal Purchases
  • Food Purchased Outside Our Menu
  • Personal Gears
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusion list

Fixed Departure Dates For The Ronti Saddle - Roopkund - Homkund Trek

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No Dates Create Yet ! Please request a custom trek by clicking the link Request Custom Trip Plan

* price might be subject to minimum group size of 5

Trek Tour
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Elevation Profile
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