Tso Moriri Lake Travel Guide

Ladakh is a land of pristine lakes. Each of them is enough to enthuse the awe out of anyone, especially the Tso Moriri Lake. One has to see the beauty of this lake to believe it. It is set in the Changthang region of Ladakh and is a calm, serene and sacred lake for the people in Ladakh. Cradled in the lap of the Himalayas, the lakeside offers to all its sightseers a captivating blend of nature and adventure. That is because this beautiful blue pallet lake is the largest high altitude lake in the country. It is also the world’s highest Ramsar site and hence, the place is replete with flora and fauna.

This specially created tourism guide for Tso Moriri Lake brings to you everything that needs to go on your tour itinerary. It covers all those aspects that gives this place the touch of magic. The guidelines, travel tips and important information covered herein makes sure that you witness all its mesmerizing aspects without any hassles. So, come take your dream holiday in this special land where the lake speaks stories of the past’s glory and present-day’s charm.

How to reach the Tso Moriri Lake

In this travel guide for Tso Moriri Lake, we have listed all the routes via which you can make it to the lake.

If you are travelling via Chumathang:

This is the shortest and the most common route to reach the Tso Moriri lake. Start from Leh early and take the Manali – Leh highway. Continue until you reach Upshi. Then, exit the Manali – Leh highway from Upshi and take the diversion towards the check post Mahe.

Total kilometres: approximately 230 kilometres

Route: Leh – Shey – Karu – Upshi – Kere – Chumathang – Mahe – Sumdo – Namashang La – Tso Moriri

Approximate duration: 6-7 hours

If you are travelling from Tso Kar and More Plains:

Drive on the Manali – Leh highway until you reach Upshi and then head towards Rumtse. Take the ascent for Tanglang La after crossing Rumtse. Keep going ahead and take the road going left where the More plains start. On the way, you will be able to see the salt deposits as well before Tso Kar lake.

Total kilometres: approximately 260 kilometres

Route: Leh – Shey – Karu – Upshi – Rumtse – Tanglang La – Tso Kar – Kongka La – Sumdo – Namashang La – Karzok

Approximate duration: 7-8 hours

If you are travelling from Pangong Tso:

This route is the longest and also not any traveller’s frequent choice. If you wish to cover both lakes and not return back to Leh, then it is worth embarking on this route. Keep your fuel tank full and make fuel arrangements since there are no gas stations once you leave Leh.

Total kilometres: approximately 650 kilometres

Route: Leh – Sakti – Chang La – Tangtse – Spangmik – Pangong Tso – Chushul – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe – Sumdo – Tso Moriri

Approximate duration: 12-14 hours

Best time to visit the Tso Moriri Lake

Choose the perfect season to plan your trip with the help of this exclusive travel guide for Tso Moriri Lake.

The best time to visit Tsomoriri is during the summer season. The lake is frozen and becomes a thick sheet of ice in the winter months. With the onset and throughout the summer months of June, July and August, the snow melts and the water in the lake gets replenished. The skies are clear and great for stargazing in the night. The lakes looks enchanting being surrounded by barren hills with a stunning backdrop of snow-covered mountains. The temperature also remains cool and comfortable and is not too chilly. It is apt for sightseeing and indulging in activities at the lakeside.

Top things to do at the Tso Moriri Lake:

You may feel that it is easy to explore a deep blue lake that is set under a deep blue sky. However, there are other things to look out for if you truly wish to explore this destination. Under this ultimate travel guide for the Tso Moriri Lake, we have listed down top things to do at this sightseeing spot.

Bird watching

If you are an ardent birdwatcher, then this place is for you. A number of species of birds can be spotted on your trip to the Tso Moriri Lake. The rare and migratory species included the bare-headed goose, the Brahmin duck, the great-crested grebe and the brown-headed gull. Himalayan hares are also abundantly found here.

Admire the beauty of the mighty mountains

The lake compels you to stare endlessly at it owing to its massive dimensions and surreal beauty. Some of the tallest mountain peaks enclose the lake on all sides and you will be able to witness rugged beauty here. Soak in the views of the mighty Himalayan ranges at the Tso Moriri Lake.

Camping

Yet another delightful thing to do at Tso Moriri Lake, camping is the most favourite activity among the majority of the travellers. That is because of the tents set-ups and facilities are unmatched. It is equipped with all the basic necessities that ensure that your stay is convenient.

Visit the village of Karzok

Karzok is one of India’s highest and the only permanent village set on the enormous Tso Moriri lakefront. You can visit the settlement, spend some time with the locals and get an insight into their life and culture. Moreover, you can also visit the monastery at Karzok which is said to be about 500 years old.

Stargaze

Tso Moriri lake calls for all the sky-watchers. Your quest of finding the most amazing spot for stargazing ends here in Ladakh. The land falls under light-polluted skies zone and is dry and very dark usually making it the best activity to do when at Tso Moriri Lake.

Tips for visiting the Tso Moriri Lake:

Since the Tso Moriri is set near to the Line of Actual Control, you will have to get an Inner Line Permit to visit the lake. Both Indian, as well as foreigners, require permits to make it to the top. These permits can be easily availed from the local Ladakh authorities.

The lack of oxygen makes survival difficult. You have to let your body get acclimatized to the high altitude to avoid acute mountain sickness.

Always carry enough medicines like Diamox, Dexamethasone and Aspirin so they come handy when you face unexpected situations.

Even if you are visiting the Tso Moriri Lake in summer, you will need some heavy woollen clothes and warm jackets. The temperature at such a high altitude is always chilly and also very unpredictable.

Carry photocopies of photo identification and other necessary documents with you at all times.

The occurrence of roadblocks and landslides is common. So make sure you keep your senses open to as much information possible and then plan your travel internally.

Wear comfortable shoes. You will have to park your vehicle at the Korzok village. Vehicles are not allowed beyond this point as it is a wetland reserve and you will have to walk to get to the lake.

FAQ

This complete guide for the Tso Moriri Lake tourism also answers some of the most frequently asked questions.

What are the good hotels or accommodation facilities near Tso Moriri?

The accommodation options near Tso Moriri lake are limited to tented or homestays. As it is a wetland reserve, to pitch camps on the banks is restricted. That is purely a sanctuary for migratory birds. However, you can find stay options just before the Korzok village. Some of the popular accommodation options are Tsomoriri Camp and Resort, Nomadic Life Camp, Goose Homestay, Mentok Guesthouse and Lake View Guest House. most of the tents pack up pretty quick so make your bookings well in advance. The tariff per night on an average ranges between INR 900-3000.

Is there any local transport facility available here?

Yes. Ladakh has private and public transport service options. You can choose to hire a motorcycle or take a cab from Leh to go to Tso Moriri. For more details, you can contact the Leh Taxi Union- 252723/253039. There is also a bus service run by J&K SRTC to the village of Korzok.

Is there any phone service in Tso Moriri?

There are no phone booths or internet cafes or beyond Leh. Even MTNL and BSNL network services do not have a range at that high altitude. So be prepared to remain out of touch for a long number of hours when you visit Tso Moriri.

Are there any petrol pumps on the way to Tso Moriri?

It is advisable to carry enough petrol for the return journey. Once you leave Leh, you will not find any petrol pump on the way. However, you may be able to find contraband petrol and diesel at Chumathang, Sarchu and Pang. But they are certain to charge double the price for fuel.

Are maps more reliable and helpful to navigate?

Google maps usually fail and take you via longer and inaccessible routes in the Himalayan region. It is advisable to keep a check with the locals and go forward on your journey.

Resting at the edge of the Himalayan ranges, Ladakh is the perfect holiday destination and its Tso Moriri Lake has everything to offer to you. We at Eladakh Tourism hope that this complete guide on Tso Moriri Lake tourism has stated all the details that will help you before you embark on your mountain expedition.

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