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Tso Moriri Lake, Ladakh: Ultimate Travel Guide | 3 Magnificent Routes

Calm, Breathtaking, Sacred High Altitude Mountain Lake in the Beautiful Rupsha Valley

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Popularly known as mountain Lake, is the Ladakh’s most beautiful, sacred, calm, peaceful & serene filled Tso Moriri lake situated in the Changthang region.

This high altitude lake stands on the second position after Pangong Lake, as the 2 most popular & breathtaking lakes in Leh, Ladakh India. Located on the eastern side of Ladakh about 240km from Leh town.

The snow-capped mountain reflects its gorgeous beauty on the lake. Whilst the migratory birds chirping & flying above you makes one fall in love with nature.

The lake is located at an altitude of 4595 meters above the sea level, The beauty of the lake attracts wide tourists, as it surrounds the mountain, adding a majestic view, worth watching.

For offbeat adventure, this destination would be on the top list, as it is a hidden gem, explored only by daredevils.

The ladakh’s untouched beauty can make you witness the changing hues of the lake & make you adore it again and again.

Being a wetland reserve, one needs to be cautious while planning a trip & do not think of renting a tent on the lake for camping.

Location

Tso Moriri Location

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Lake Moriri is an extremely remote location, like a hidden gem, storing its untouched beauty to date & becoming a gorgeous admiration in Ladakh.

This particular lake lies in the part of Northern Plateau or to be precise Changthang, which stretches for about 1500 kilometers east across northern Tibet.

The lake Moriri has a length of 28km from north to south & about an average 100 feet in depth. Surrounded by mountains ranging 6000m huge & lying in the middle of the valleys named Rupshu, this mountain lake has a distinctive feature stored in for tourists.

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When to Visit Tso Moriri

Being located in the region of Changthang Jammu & Kashmir, winter months are when the temperature is cold. The lake remains almost frozen from November to April.

In Summer

To enjoy the complete beauty of the lake and witness the color-changing hues, it is best to visit in Summer. Summer season is the peak season where tourists are gathered in huge numbers & there are ample accommodation facilities.

The day temperature in Summer remains moderate warm, you won’t feel tiring or hot, as it is still cold out there.

However, at night the temperature drops close to zero. Thus, in summer you can experience the warmth & chilly nights.

September/ October

In September & October, accommodation packs up a little, but it is by far the best time to witness the magical lake. With fewer tourists during this time, you get better deals.

How to Reach Tso Moriri

How to Reach Tso Moriri

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This stunning lake ideally offers a vivid route for tourists, each holding a significant beauty, a route that gives you memories worth to take back.

According to these routes, you can properly plan your trip to the lake and also bear in mind that it is not possible for a one day trip to the spot.

So keep your trip planned for this location for a minimum of 2 days & through any one of the locations mentioned below

Route 1: Leh > Upshi > Chumathang > Mahe route

The biggest reason for the popularity of this route evolved in recent years is because of the duration.

This route covers the shortest journey from Leh towards the lake & meant to please your eyes & mind just in the desired proportion.

The total distance to cover lies around 230 to 240kms, taking about 7 hours maximum.

The landscape beauty is so mesmerizing that you might wish to take a maximum halt, which means adding more time in the duration to reach the lake.

The roads overall have beautiful trails, well connected, and good in condition. Mostly, you will find people suggesting this route because of its condition & suitability for tourists to have a safe scenic ride.

Route 2: Pangong lake > Chusul > Tsaga La > Loma > Mahe route

Daredevil & adventure geeks, pay attention to this route, as it is going to blow your mind & make you insanely crazy.

The specialty of this route is to take you to a remote location, as an offbeat journey, that’s usually not preferred by tourists.

Despite being the road least traveled, the route is going to give you some breathtaking views, so brace yourself.

From Pangong towards Chushul is a journey that covers rough dirt patches.

One needs to have a permit & also remember only Indian tourists can proceed through this adventurous route, no foreigners allowed.

Before you embark upon the journey via this route; make sure you have enough or full petrol as there are no gas stations to suffice your need, if any in the middle of the journey.

Route 3: From Manali > Manali Leh Highway via Tso Kar and More Plains > Puga > Sumdo route.

If you are visiting from Manali towards the lake, this is an ideal route to pick. The diversion point from the Manali Leh highway comes right after you leave Rumtse behind, and towards Debring just before Tanglang La pass.

You can stop by, click some pictures in the lapse of nature, enjoy the charming beauty & embark upon the route once again.

The road condition might be worse, although it is scenic throughout, with peaks covered with snow view.

The fewer halt you take, the faster you reach, much it is completely your choice & best to enjoy the journey completely.

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Where to Stay

Accommodations on the bank of the lake are impossible, being a wet reserve land & a home for migratory birds.

However, don’t lose hope as you are going to get a great perspective of the lake through different accommodation facilities provided here.

There are tented colonies that rent tents for tourists to wish to make their experience a little adventuresome.

If not a tent lover, you can also choose to stay in guest houses, hotels located at Korzok village.

However, during the winters from Mid October to December, lesser accommodations are available in Nyoma village & Chumathang.

In Chumathang, there is a hot spring guest house & probably it is hotter than the lake location due to the lower altitude.

When resting in Korzok tents or guest houses, both ways you will enjoy the majestic view of the lake.

Being wide in length, stay anywhere in Korzok, and get a fantastic vision, so eye-soothing & peaceful that will leave you in awe.

Overall, the place has a great offering with accommodation that suffices the range of any tourist.

Where to Eat

As it is a remote location, you can only expect yourself to eat in a homestay, probably located at Karsak village.

Or you might have a good food facility in the camps that you’ve rented to stay overnight. Either way, you don’t have to expect great food platter in front of you.

Being a high altitude location, you should control your hunger & eat only healthy food. The tempting cuisines of Ladakh can be tried at the latter part of the journey too.

Now, it’s time to explore & live in the moment, soak the breeze, fresh air & a bunch of memories to take back.

Activities & Things to See around Tso Moriri lake

The place is a habitat of amazing wildlife, natural vegetation, landscape beauty, & a beautiful blend of flora as well as fauna.

You have so many things to do & places to visit such that one-day won’t be possible for you to explore the overall place.

Make sure you stay at least for 2 days and witness this spot peacefully.

1: Rupshu Valley

Rupshu Valley

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Rupshu Valley ranges for about 20 km northwest of the Tso Moriri Ramsar site. It offers high altitude trekking experiences & home for hidden forts, nomadic tribes, majestic yaks & a lot more.

The place takes you through desert villages, wild desert scenic grassland, a complete worth to visit spot.

Rupshu valley has grand views, some ancient stories to uncover, providing a perfect blend of nature & culture of the Indo-Tibetian region.

It ideally offers a great trekking advantage with a unique touch to it. One gets the freedom to explore rolling hills & valleys and soothe their eyes with jaw-dropping views.

2: Tanglang La Pass

The amazing landscape, backdropping beauty, and dramatic mountain all lie in the fascinating beauty of this location.

It is the 9th Highest Motorable pass in India. and standing at an elevation of 5,328 meters.

The sharp twist & turn and adrenaline rush, Himalayan range mountains & vegetation is what you will get to enjoy through the pass. The pass provides something that every adventure seeker craves for.

3: Black Necked Crane

Amongst the 15 species in the world, the black-necked crane is the only high altitude crane spotted in Leh Ladakh.

The reason why there is so much protection & no allowance of tent facility in Tso moriri freshwater lake is, it is a good breeding habitat of this extinct species which is worth visiting for tourists.

This beautiful bird is one of the most popular Tso Moriri wildlife.

The bird-watching session near the lake is something that grabs the attention of wildlife & nature lovers.

You will have a great time yourself watching migratory birds & black-necked cranes amplifying & adding its beauty in the already existing natural landscape.

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4: Bar Headed Geese

The specialty of Bar Headed Geese is its capability to be the highest flying bird in the world.

This is a fascinating bird species that makes Ladakh in Summer their home & ita rate & worth watching the sight. These remarkable birds undertake extravagant migratory journeys of the world.

The unforgiven climate & seemingly pleasant environment make moriri Tso the ideal birding destination in Ladakh.

Marshy area & high altitude lake grasp ample of migratory birds & Bar-headed goose are one amongst the most adored species of all.

5: Brown-Headed Gulls

The playful & fun-loving brown-headed gulls are yet another species found wandering & flying above the lake, seeking a pleasant time.

There are a large number of these species in the summer accompanying the tourists around the lake.

If you spot a few in the lake Moriri Tso and wish to witness some more around, just throw a piece of bread/ biscuit.

You will experience dozens of them magically appearing. This spot is like reminiscing in a natural habitat covered with wildlife, flora, and beauty worth admiring.

6: Marmots

Pangong Kake Marmots

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The Himalayan Marmots are a perfect partner to accompany, hug them tight & sleep in bed during the cold winter night.

They are an adorably cute playful animal that you would wish to take back with you. However, they are friendly only in the Himalayas, says the local.

They look and belong to the squirrel family but are big & bulky. The secret reason for them being too friendly with tourists is because eventually, they’ve learned how tourists offer food to treat their hunger pangs.

7: Tso Moriri Lake View Point

Enjoy the panoramic view of the lake Moriri Tso from the lake viewpoint, a sight to behold & to register in your memory, forever to keep it safe.

As the sunlight falls on the lake, the changing color of the water is a sight treating your eyes a little too much.

There is no better way to enjoy the vividness & beauty of this spot than this ideal spot. The lake is a canvas and the sun being the paintbrush, coloring it with a blend of different shades.

The pristine water, a reflection of the backdrop mountain & birds above flying above is like a heaven on earth experience.

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8: Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve

This particular lake is a Sacred spot for the locals and thus protecting the place is their utmost responsibility.

The locals have taken charge to conserve the ecosystem of the spot. Thus, it is said to be the ideal reason for the lake being called as the wetland conservation reserve.

Plus, it is not just for the protection of the spot, tourists who wish to gain insight information can seek education details from here.

9: Korzok Monastery

Korzok Monastery

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The Tibetian ancient Korzok Monastery belongs to the Drupka Lineage and ranks as the top position in the list of must to visit places near the lake.

It is located on the western bank of the lake, being 400 years old the beauty is still mesmerizing.

It attracts a wide number of pilgrims & tourists especially of the Buddhism religion to visit the enchanting & significantly important history of this place.

For a scenic yet spiritual experience, visiting this location does make sense. It will offer you a whole different perspective of Ladakh that you won’t experience elsewhere.

10: Chumathang Hot Spring

When in Ladakh, one must not fail to explore & experience the Chumathang Hot Spring. It is a hot, warm, and extremely cozy place to soak the warmth amidst the chilled breeze climate.

It is a large boiling water body, and if you are not aware of the presence of the hot spring, you might eventually drive past them.

One the bank of the river Indus, there are water bodies that contain high amounts of Sulphur, thus resulting in fresh natural hot springs.

Some days, you might have a glimpse of the steam at a distance while driving. It is a must to visit the spot & enjoy the hot warmth of it.

11: Kiagar Tso lake

Kiagar Tso lake

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Situated in the Rupshu Plain is a small yet high altitude brackish lake, one amongst the three lakes in Rupshu Valley. Kiagar Tso lake, also known as Kyagar Tso, is a popular spot & often explored by migratory birds.

From Lake Moriri it is about 30km and a must to spot by spot to enjoy the blueish peaceful lake.

Due to the shrinking glacier surrounding the lake, the water body is receding to a greater extent.

You will have a great time witnessing the surrounding of the lake, with valleys & mountains, with sheep, goats, yaks gazing upon it.

12: Kar Tso Lake

While one says ” Incredible Ladakh”, Tso Kar lake is one destination that adds to the incredible part in it. This remote destination lies 50km from Lake Moriri, leaving visitors in awe with the beauty offered here.

The lofty mountain surrounding it is a shelter for snow leopards & the lake being an ideal spot for bird watching.

The white salt content in the lake makes it look white snowy and bloomy, resulting in the change of the name and being popular as “White lake of Ladakh”

The area is rife with wildlife, beauty, exotic views & the time one spends here is magical.

Medical Facilities

Tso Moriri Lake is a high altitude lake, thus you have to be prepared with basic medication and first aid kit too.

Altitude sickness & acclimatize problems are pretty common. The nearest medical facility that you can get here is in Korzok village.

For first aid and other basic medication, you can stop by at the village & seek help. However, you can get a basic oxygen cylinder at the camps or hotels that you have chosen as a stay option.

Mobile Connectivity and Internet

Unfortunately, you will not find any mobile signal or connectivity near the lake.

The nearest available connection point is at Chumathang, which is located at a distance of approx 70km from the lake.

If you wish to make your time hassle-free, enjoyable and without any disruption, you must probably be happy with no mobile networks.

Enjoy the free time, without phone or calls & live in the moment. Furthermore, it is best if you keep your family back home informed about your itinerary as they will worry less and know where you are exactly.

Petrol Pump & ATM

You can refill your vehicle from the nearest petrol pump at Karu, which is about 240km from
Tso Moriri, this probably comes in the route of Leh to the lake.

You should top up your fuel completely in Leh and drive up towards the lake for a hassle-free experience. There are shops too that provide petrol, however, it is better only in emergencies.

The quality of petrol from local shops is not worth considering. In case, if you are planning to exit from the Manali Leh highway, make sure you carry spare fuel in case of emergencies it will be helpful.

The lake doesn’t have an ATM facility nearby, cash is what you must carry. Leh is the only place where you can find an ATM.

Useful Information about Tso Moriri Lake

Tso Moriri Road Contion

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Permits

It has become mandatory by the Indian government to produce ILP for Ladakh, which is an Inner line Permit for non-residents of Union Territory of Ladakh.

It is basically to secure the protected area. If you wish to obtain the permit beforehand, you can apply for it online.

The permit fee is about Rs 400 which is an environmental fee along with Rs 20 as the Inner line fee per person. Do not forget to consider this part, as it will be hectic if not done in advance.

Tips

  • You should visit the destination before evening time & spend the entire night in the camps, homestay, or guest house.
  • While the nights are cold & chilly, the morning will eventually give you a great sunrise view to witness, click pictures & see the changing hues of the lake.
  • The route is remote, rough & tricky from Pangong Lake > Chusul > Tsaga La > Loma > Mahe route. You shouldn’t be alone on the route so tag along with other vehicles. Make sure you are aware of the road condition before driving on any of the routes.
  • During October & September, you might witness the majestic colors of the lake, beautiful breezy weather, with lesser tourists & lesser facility to stay. However, Summer is the peak time to get an amazing accommodation facility.
  • If you want to enjoy the authentic local flavors & cuisine of Ladakh India, you will get it best at Homestays & camps.
  • Do not rely entirely on Google maps, you should keep on checking with the local to be aware of the condition and the route.

FAQs on Tso Moriri

Can I Travel from Leh to Tso Moriri by Bus?

There are about 3 buses that travel from Leh towards the lake, and this happens to leave every 10th, 20th & 30th day of the month, The bus leaves at about morning time 6:30 am and from the Leh bus stand.

Which one is better to visit between Tso Moriri or Pangong Lake?

Although both of the destinations have their unique specialty & view offered. Tso Moriri is more raw, natural, with a lesser crowd and commercialization.

However, it is ideal to visit both the location and add it to your Ladakh itinerary. You won’t regret visiting the place as they are enchantingly amazing to witness.

Can I make a Tso Moriri to Leh trip in a single day?

It is recommended not to consider Tso Moriri as a single day trip. You will be left with complete tiredness & exhausted at the end, resulting in lesser fun & more stress. You should plan at least a 2 days trip to this spot, to enjoy the beauty, locations around in a better way.

Is Tso Moriri worth visiting?

The journey to reach this destination is challenging, but it is worth visiting. If you crave for serenity, peace & tranquility you might get it here in ample. The place is like a part of heaven placed on earth, leaving us mesmerized.

How can I go to Tso Moriri?

There are many ways one can reach to this remote destination, buy only through roadways. From Leh you can take the route: Leh > Upshi > Chumathang > Mahe route towards the Lake Moriri. You can also travel the destination from Manali or through Pangong Lake.

Tso Moriri: Heaven on Earth Destination

The enchanting beauty, a valley giving adrenaline rush & jaw-dropping mountain view in a single Journey?

Moriri Lake is by far the most gorgeous remote location in Ladakh India and a place to visit. Visiting Leh and not exploring this glorifying heaven on earth’s location is like a trip wasted.

It has everything stored in for everyone, a nature lover, bird fonder, adventure seeker or a family get together.

This destination is meant to give you chills, blow your mind, soothe your soul & become the most memorable time of your life Indeed.

Do you have anything to share about your trip to Tso Moriri lake or Ladakh?

We would love to know how you spend your time here & what activities you did to make this trip worth it.

Drop your experience in the comment section below.

And if you have any queries regarding the destination or Journey, feel free to drop your questions and we’d love to help you.

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