Lakes in Ladakh

Lakes in Ladakh

Needless to say that Ladakh Lakes are amongst the most important attractions of the newly made union territory. This paradisiacal destination in North India boasts a number of beautiful lakes that are surrounded by valleys. True, there are three most important and popular lakes in Ladakh, namely Pangong Tso, Tso Kar, and Tso Moriri.

Being at such astonishing heights there are a lot of things that people find alluring about these lakes in Ladakh. Some change colors throughout the day whereas some have extensive fauna around. In fact, not many know that the Pangong Tso changes colors with every hour and turns from an emerald green color to varying hues of the sky and velvet blue. The best time to visit these lakes is in the summer season (May to September). Visiting any of the lakes in Ladakh, where some of them are situated at high-altitude will be at least thrilling. Some of these like Pangong lake in Ladakh offers a chance to stay around in camps which is again an experience of a lifetime.

During the winters, these lakes freeze and offer activities like walking on the lake. This is not it, there are a lot more things to know and understand about the Ladakh Lakes. This page enlists and elaborates on the majestic lakes in Ladakh. So, while you plan on a trip to Ladakh make sure to keep these lakes in your itinerary for all the good reasons.

Everything you need to know about Ladakh Lakes

Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake is the most popular and amusingly beautiful lake of Ladakh. Another high-altitude lake that is only ⅓ of its portion in India. The rest of the lake lies in the Chinese area. With beautiful mountains on the backdrop, Pangong has a lot of naturally beautiful landscapes in the backdrop. This saltwater lake is located at an astonishing altitude of 4350 m. The lake is almost 5 km wide and a huge 134 km deep. It is believed that the lake is almost 328 feet deep.

  • Location: Leh District, Ladakh
  • Distance from Leh: 224 km (approximately)
  • Attractions of Pangong Lake: Apart from the beautiful landscapes, it is the flora and fauna of the place that makes it an amazing place.
  • Best time to visit Pangong Lake: You can visit here throughout the year. The beauty keeps intact and doesn’t change much.

Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri is one of the best Lakes of Ladakh and probably the place that you shouldn’t miss out on at all costs. Located just about 250 km from Leh, this majestic lake is a wonderful and peaceful place. The lake is supposed to be 7 km broad and approximately 19 km long. This is a high-altitude saltwater lake and one of those that lie entirely in India. The place is a protected wetland which means you cannot camp around the lake but surely staying at an option some km away will be good enough.

  • Location: Changthang Region of Ladakh
  • Distance from Leh: 221 km (approximately)

Attractions of Tso Moriri: 

  • There are almost 34 species of birds that can be spotted here and amongst these 14 are water birds.
  • A 400 years old monastery lies on the western bank of the lake- Korzok Monastery.
  • Shakyamuni Buddha Statue
  • Korzok Gustor Festival
  • The Buddhist painting by Tibetan

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Tso Moriri is during Summer and Monsoon. It means between May and September.

Tso Kar

Tso Kar is one of the offbeat attractions of Ladakh and this lake hasn’t got the much-needed attention as the other lakes mentioned above. But that’s exactly why this place is a must-visit destination for travelers. If you wish to enjoy the serenity and pristine lake, then Tso Kar can be a wonderful option.

  • Location: Rupshu Valley of Ladakh
  • Distance from Leh: 154 km (approximately)
  • Attractions of Tso Kar:  Also called “The White Lake” of Ladakh; it is not the Snow that makes it white but the salt lining that has been created at the circumference. This lake is just about 50 km from Tso Moriri.
  • Best time to visit: The best time to visit Tso Kar is between May and September.

Yarab Tso

Situated in the Nubra region of Ladakh, Yarab Tso gets a lot of travelers every year. It is one of the best lakes of Ladakh due to many reasons. Be it the natural beauty it gets from the Nubra Valley or the rugged mountains that are located near the area. To reach this lake you will have to ride to the Panamik Village and then there is a trek of approximately 20 minutes up the mountain to reach here.

  • Location: Panamik Village in Ladakh
  • Distance from Leh: 141 km (approximately)

Attractions of Yarab Tso: Some of the finest attractions of Ladakh are located in proximity to the lake. Here they are.

  • Panamik Village
  • Sumur Village
  • Diskit Village
  • Diskit Monastery
  • Cold Desert of Hunder
  • Maitreya Buddha Statue in Diskit

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Tso Kar is between May and September. However, a person can visit here anytime throughout the year.

Lang Tso and Stat Tso

Popularly known as the twin lakes of Ladakh, Lang Tso, and Stat Tso is a fine place to visit. They lie at the end of the Pensi La pass. This pass connects Zanskar Valley with Zuru Valley. It is another breathtaking place with loads of wonderful sights to admire.

  • Location: Pensi La Pass that connects Zanskar with Suru Valley
  • Distance from Leh: 369 km (approximately)

Attractions of Lang Tso and Stat Tso

  • Pensi La Pass
  • Zanskar Valley
  • Zuru Valley

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Tso Kar is between May and September. People do visit here during winters as well when the Chadar Trek starts.

How many lakes are there in Ladakh?

There are approximately 20 lakes throughout Ladakh. It includes all the popular, semi-popular, and secluded lakes. Rest assured accessing the majority of these lakes is easy and permitted. Here is a list of the lakes in Ladakh.
Which is the biggest lake in Ladakh?
Pangong Lake in Ladakh is the biggest of all the lakes in the entire region. This lake covers roughly 699.3 km². And this is just the 1/3rd part of the lake that’s located in India. Apart from that, the widest part of the lake is 5 km. The lake is 134 km long and approximately 328 ft deep. 

Which is the most famous lake in Leh Ladakh?

Pangong Lake is the most famous lake because it was used as a location in the movie, 3 Idiots. Apart from this, the lake’s color- changing ability throughout the day, the cinematic background of the rugged mountains, and camp colonies at some distance makes it a wonderful place. All of this together has made this lake one of the most popular and visited of all.

Which are the frozen lakes of Ladakh?

Almost all the lakes in Ladakh are at an astonishing height. Coupling this together with the winter season, it becomes very cold. So, these two prominent reasons steer most of the lakes to become ice; at least for the cold season.

Which Lakes are famous for the Chadar trek?

Chadar Trek is not done on any lake, it is done on a frozen river instead. If you want to enjoy the chadar trek then you should visit Ladakh by air in December and January and head to the Zanskar river in the Zanskar Valley. That’s where people enjoy the frozen river trek which is popularly known as Chadar Trek. 

Which are the high- altitude lakes of Ladakh?

All the lakes in Ladakh are at high altitudes, but Pangong is at one of the highest points which is an astonishing 4350 m above sea level. It is also the highest saltwater lake in the world. 
Apart from this Tso Kar tags itself as the highest lake located at an elevation of 4530 m and then it is Tso Moriri which is 4522 m above sea level. All of these lakes are beautiful and are surrounded by majestic landscapes. A few of these reserved wetlands also flaunt a number of birds, some of which are migratory. 

Can I swim in Ladakh lake?

No, it is not allowed to swim in the lakes and most of these lakes get their water from melted glaciers and they are freezing cold. Although not all the lakes are under supervision, you should still refrain from doing so at any lake for your own safety.

Is it good to stay around Ladakh Lakes?

Absolutely! There are settlements around many lakes named camp colonies where you get all the things you want. These camp colonies have normal tented houses to Swiss tents. So, it is completely safe and comfortable to stay around the lakes. But keep in mind there should be some civilization around it. You can stay around Pangong, Tso Kar and Tso Moriri, to say the least. 

Famous Lakes in Leh Ladakh

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