There’s a skeleton in your cupboard is a phrase that is so passé, for now, we can simply say there’s a skeleton in your lake! Spine chilling and bone-chilling (pun intended), it is a tale and sight which is not for the faint-hearted.
A Spine-Chilling Mystery of a Lake Full of Skeletons in India
We are talking about the mysterious Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand which presents a gory spectacle to anyone who is a brave heart enough to visit the site. The lake is purely for adventure junkies and will enthral them to no end. Enough of building up the suspense, for we unravel the suspense or snow as we should say rightly from this tale.
What is Spookiness All About?
The lake of Roopkund in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand region in India first came to limelight in the year 1942 when the ghastly or mysterious things at the bottom of this lake were sighted by a British forest guard. He was out on survey when he made this accidental discovery. This lake is a glacial lake and hence is covered with snow almost all the year-round except for a short window in summers when the snow melts and reveals the horrors lying underneath.
One can see hundreds of skeletons underwater and it looks like a scene straight out a horror flick, only this one is as real as it gets. The Himalayas are one of the popular tourist destinations in India, mostly for their ethereal beauty and clean air. With the discovery of this lake, another facet of spookiness was added to the reasons why one must plan a visit to this place.
You really must have it in you to brave the weather and the height to go there as the lake is set at an altitude of 5029 meters. When the lake is covered with snow, people trekking by would not even cast a second glance to it for it has nothing out of the ordinary to offer then. When the ice melts on this lake, it is then that you see hundreds of human skeletons floating under the water, rightfully earning the lake its moniker ‘Skeleton Lake’.
Conspiracy Theories Surrounding the Lake
Local legend had it that the skulls belonged to the troupes of General Zorawar Singh of Kashmir and that they were killed when the catastrophic landslide struck them as they were returning from the 1841 battle of Tibet.
Another theory doing the rounds till proven otherwise, was that the skeletons belonged to the Raja of Kanauj Jasdhaval, his pregnant wife Balampa, their servants and a dance troupe accompanying them on their pilgrimage to Nanda Devi. As ill-luck would have it, the group ran into a snowstorm which killed them all and washed the skeletons down into the Lake.
The Mystery Unfolds
You can see as many as three hundred human skeletons deep underwater, floating and making you wonder what their story is. After the discovery in 1942, the lake continued to be a mystical place, popular among adventure seekers. In 2014, National Geographic organized an expedition to put the rumours and conspiracy theories to rest.
They decided to conduct a thorough DNA testing and study the skeletons to determine their origin. It was concluded that the skeletons dated back to 850 AD and all the skeletons were from the same era and the same group. For the next 1200 years, the bodies of the dead were preserved by freezing water which replicated the atmosphere akin to a cryogenic chamber. The atmosphere preserved the hair, skin, and flesh of these dead bodies and scientists even got to examine the clothes and jewellery which were in good condition, on the bodies.
Another significant revelation that was brought about by the DNA testing was that the bodies consisted of two groups of people which formed the cluster of skeletons. One set of bones seemed to belong to a group of people who sported a larger build and it could be safely assumed that they were related and were part of an expedition or rather a group out on a pilgrimage. This fact was also supported by the belongings that were found among the skeletons.
The shorter group of people was believed to be the guides who were accompanying the pilgrims. Theories suggested that the group met their fateful ending when they were hit by a landslide along with gigantic hailstones, a fact which could be seen from the injury marks on the skulls of the skeletons found.
Apart from the skulls, the other parts of the skeletons did not have any injury marks which ruled out the possibility of the group being part of a war.
People looking for an adventure laced with a touch of creepy make it a point to visit this site which has highlighted this region on the tourist radar.
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