Tsomoriri Lake

Tsomoriri Lake


One has to see Ladakh’s beauty to experience it. Another example of Ladakh’s mesmerizing beauty is Tsomoriri Lake. Located in the Changthang region of Ladakh, it’s the largest high altitude lake in India. The lake is about 7 km wide and almost 19km long and is a part of the Ramsar site. It is also known as Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve, and lays claim to being the highest Ramsar site in the world.

The Tso Moriri Lake is dressed in shades of blue, with the images of playfully shaped clouds reflected in its pristine waters. It’s only when you come across sights such as these that you wonder about the beauty of nature which is infinite.

Here is everything you need to know about Tsomoriri Lake

Just like the high-altitude passes, adventurous and challenging roads, and panoramic beauty; Ladakh has another exciting place to offer its utmost beauty and that’s the high-altitude lakes. The number of lakes in Leh- Ladakh is quite extensive but the popular ones are just a handful of them. Offering more than just beauty is the Tsomoriri Lake that is located in the Changthang Valley.

Some amazing facts about Tsomoriri Lake

  • Tsomoriri Lake is located in the Changthang Valley of Ladakh.
  • Tsomoriri Lake is approximately 250 km from Leh city. 
  •  Tso Moriri in Ladakh is one of the most pristine and beautiful attractions that is located at an astonishing altitude of 4521 m (14835 ft.) above sea level. 
  • Because Pangong Tso is divided between India and China, Tso Moriri happens to be the largest high altitude lake entirely in India. 
  • The lake is approximately 26 km long and somewhere around 5 km in width.
  • Tso Moriri is also referred to as the “Mountain Lake” and it is a freshwater lake.
  • Tso Moriri is open for travelers 12 months long if you are catching a flight to Leh. 

Attractions of Tso Moriri

Being one of the finest lakes in all of India, a lot of tourists get attracted to the lake. Here is what makes this high-altitude freshwater lake an amazing place for travelers:

  • The foremost thing that makes this place wonderful is its spellbinding beauty. Tso Moriri like any other attraction in Leh Ladakh is a photographer’s paradise.
  • Tsomoriri Lake in Leh-Ladakh is home to approximately 34 species of birds 14 of which amongst them are water birds. 
  • The bird watchers love spotting and clicking pictures of brown-headed gulls, great crested grebe, and black-necked crane.
  • The other animals spotted here include Tibetan Gazelle, Tibetan Ass, Tibetan Wolf, and Snow leopard. 
  • The 400 years old Korzok monastery that stands towards the western banks of the lake is another attraction due to its architecture and boastful history. The monastery houses about 70 monks and a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha and Tibetan Buddhist Painting. 
  • This region dresses in various colors during the Korzok Gustor Festival that happens to be celebrated here every year. To know more click here!

Best time to visit Tsomoriri Lake

The best time to visit Tso Moriri Lake is between May and August. Though the lake is accessible throughout the year because the internal circuit of Ladakh is open all year long. But most of the visitors that are adventurers come here during these months on a road trip.

Distance of Tso Moriri from some important places of Ladakh

Places Distance
Leh to Tso Moriri 220 km
Pangong Lake to Tso Moriri 366 km
Nubra valley to Tso Moriri 353 km
Diskit to Tso Moriri 307 km
Kargil to Tso Moriri 433 km

Places to visit around Tsomoriri Lake

Though Tso Moriri itself is an amazing attraction, it still has a few other attractions nearby that cannot be missed on your visit here. 

  • Tso Moriri Lake point
  • Tso Moriri conservation reserve
  • Korzok Monastery

Amongst all the other things to do around Tso Moriri birdwatching is something that people enjoy the most. 

How to reach Tsomoriri Lake

There are four routes through which one can reach Tso Moriri Lake. Each of the routes differ from the other as far as their attractions and distances are concerned. Let us have a look at the different routes through which one can reach Tso Moriri.

Route from Leh to Tso Moriri

The route from Leh to Tso Moriri Lake is the most preferred route by visitors to this enchanting lake. This route takes around six to seven hours depending on the times you take a break in your journey. This route covers famous monastries of Leh Ladakh including Thiksey, Hemis and Shey monasteries. It also boasts the best road conditions.

However, if you are short on time, then you can exit towards Manali-Leh highway from Tso Moriri through this route. To know more click here!

Route from Pangong Lake to Tso Moriri

You can also reach Tso Moriri through a direct and indirect route between Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso Lake. In most of the cases though, you will be taking a direct route of Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri.

Direct route Pangong to Tso Moriri

The direct route to Tso Moriri from Pangong Tso goes through the remote and amazing Changthang region. The route takes you past the most incredible sceneries you will come across in the Ladakh region. However, foreigners taking this route cannot go beyond Man-Merak village as they don’t have the required permits for this route. They will have to take the indirect and longer route to Tso Moriri from Pangong Tso.

Always remember to carry enough fuel for about 550 - 600 km because you will not come across any petrol pump on the route covering Leh – Pangong Tso – Nyoma – Loma – Tso Moriri – Leh.

Indirect Route Pangong Lake to Tso Moriri

The indirect route is also the longer route, and it goes through Chumathang. On this route, you need to go all the way to Pangong Tso to Leh upto Karu. Upon reaching there, you can take a left towards Upshi – Chumathang – Korzok to reach the Tso Moriri Lake. Foreign tourists who are denied permits for Changthang region can take this route, if they don’t want to go back to Leh. However, one must go back to Leh from Pangong Tso to relax and refresh themselves before starting towards Tso Moriri the next morning. To know more about Pangong lake to Tso Moriri click here!

Road Conditions

The road conditions entirely depend on the route you are taking. The best road however, is the route from Leh to Tso Moriri Lake. When it comes to the kind of vehicles in Leh Ladakh, however, the best option is to go for an SUV. The roads in Leh Ladakh are full of twists and turns, and the SUV’s are best suited for this purpose.

Accommodations around Tsomoriri Lake

People who visit here love spending as much time as they want around the lake and most of them spend at least a night. If you are planning on a night stay around Tso Moriri then you should be well aware of options. There are camp colonies and a few hotels on the premises though, but if you want to know all your options, here is the link to it!

Permit required for Tsomoriri Lake in Ladakh

Certain areas in Leh Ladakh require domestic visitors to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP). Visiting Tso Moriri also requires you to obtain an ILP. Foreigners visiting Leh Ladakh are required to obtain a Protected Area Permit (POP). Visitors are required to pay an environmental fee of Rs. 400 and an Inner Line Permit Fee of Rs. 20 per day per person to obtain this permit. The inner line permits are available from the website www.lahdclehpermit.in. It should also be noted that the permits are not needed for travelling on Manali-Leh highway, Srinagar-Leh highway or Zanskar Valley.

Availiblity of Mobile Network at Tsomoriri Lake

You will not find any mobile network at Tso Moriri Lake, but who needs it anyway when you have a slice of heaven staring at you. Leave all your worldly needs behind you and lose yourself in the beauty of the surroundings. That’s what counts! To know more about availibity of Mobile network click here!

Important Travel tips

  • It is advised to get your Inner Line Permit (for Indian travelers) and PAP (for international travelers) online. 
  • Whichever route you take, it is advised to simply start early so that you reach your destination before nightfall. 
  • Do not try to put your tent on the banks of the lake as it is strictly prohibited. If you want to put your tent then it is advised to ask the officials around to know the exact place you can do so. place you c
  • If you want to put up your own tent, make sure that you do that around a hotel or the camp colonies. Don’t put up a camp in any secluded area. 
  • Keep a first aid box in your backpack because you are going to stay in a high-altitude region. If you feel uncomfortable due to a lack of oxygen at Leh, it is better to be on the safer side by carrying an oxygen cylinder with you. 
  • If you are traveling here during winters, it is better to hire a cab and keep some buffer days.

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