Thursday, Dec 09, 2021
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roopkund

Bones Of A Riddle

A TV docu reaches startling findings on the Himalayan mystery of Roopkund

Bones Of A Riddle
Bones Of A Riddle
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

But science can sometimes persuade the spirits of the mountains to yield up their secrets. One of the most well-known mysteries of the Indian Himalayas has been that of the skeletons of Roopkund, a lake 5,054 metres up in Uttaranchal's Garhwal region. In 1942, a forest ranger uncovered what appeared to be a mass grave at the lake. The discovery of hundreds of skeletons sparked intense speculation. Was it mass suicide? Or were they pilgrims, Tibetan traders, even Firoz Shah Tughlaq's lost army?

Certainly the remains weren't giving up their secrets easily. In the 1950s some bones were dated, to somewhere between the 12th and 15th centuries. Within a decade, the hike to Roopkund, a hard seven-day slog over a hundred kilometres, had become a popular trail for both Indian and Western trekkers. By the '80s, most Himalayan trekkers knew about Roopkund's bones. Not that they were any wiser than that lone ranger 40 years earlier.

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