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Zangsti Road, Leh-Ladakh, India

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Tsomoriri Lake

1 nigt - 2 days


Mighty mountains, snow capped peaks, lush green fields and the deep blue water, Tsomoriri offers it all. It is at a distance of 210 kms from Leh. A high altitude mountain lake around 4500m, in the changthang valley of Ladakh. 

You can explore the typical high altitude village scenes of Ladakh. Barley fields, white mud houses surrounded by the barren Greater Himalayan mountain range can be the highlights.

Tsomoriri has been declared as a wetland reserve. The lake is home for number of species of birds like bare-headed goose, the great-crested grebe, the Brahmin duck and the brown-headed gull. Himalayan hares are abundantly found here. Tsomoriri is also called the 'mountain lake', owing to the famous mentok kangri peak which is at an altitude of 6200m.

 

There are several attraction in these region:

 

Korzok Monastery

Located in the ancient village, on the western bank of the Tso Moriri Lake, Korzok Monastery is a Tibetan monastery that belongs to the Drupka Lineage. The monastery is around 400 years old and attracts a large number of Buddhist pilgrims and tourists.

 

Birding

The lake is an important breeding point for avifauna species and as many as 34 species of birds including 14 species of water birds such as Black-necked Cranes endangered, Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis, Brown-headed Gulls, Great Crested Grebeand Bar-headed Geese.

 

Wildlife Excursions

The region has ample amount of wildlife which include the famous Ladakhi Bharal, also known as Blue Sheep, and the Himalayan mountain goat. Other rare animals which can be spotted here include snow leopard, lynx and grey wolves.

 

Nomads

The nomads are raising mainly yaks and goats. Pashmina goats grow a thick, warm fleece and they are able to survive the harsh winter in the region, where the temperatures can go to as low as -35 °C. These goats provide the wool for Kashmir's famous Pashmina shawls. The nomads sell the Pashmina wool to buy rice, grain and the basic needs.

Usually they stay in one place for 3 or 4 months before they move on to another spot. They prefer to settle in prepared places, where stone walls give shelter to their goat and yak herds. Nearby the settlements there are water springs and grassland for the goats. Moving around with all the equipment is not that simple, especially for nomads who only have goats and no yaks or horses. 

As for now many of their childrens are going to school run by the locals and the government where as their parents are still proud to hold a unique tradition but they also know that their children might not follow them and it's better to get them educated and later jobs in leh ladakh.

 

To visit the region Changtang in Ladakh a special permit is necessary. The trip usually starts in Leh, from there to Upshi, crossing the pass Taglang-La (5328m) and then to the salt lake Tso Kar. The first nomad village is Thukse nearby Tso Kar. In Thukse there are many stone wall shelter for the nomads, but often these camps are abandoned. There is an unpaved road from Thukse to Puga, and there is a good chance to find other nomad settlements, either along the unpaved road, or in a valley not far away from the road. From Puga it is only a short distance to the beautiful lake Tsomoriri at an altitude of 4595 m, the largest of the high altitude lakes in the Trans-Himalayan region. The drive back to Leh via Chumatang to Upshi is a wonderful road along the Indus River and certainly one of the most beautiful drives in Ladakh.

 

All in all a trip to Changtang, the nomads and the lake Tsomoriri can be long and still is a real adventure. But you should be well prepared, especially if you intend to stay overnight in a tent: also in summer time it is very cold at night.

 

It is also the lesser known of the many lakes within the Changtang Wildlife sanctuary, Tsomoriri lake is twin to the Pangong Lake. Located inside the Changtang wildlife sanctuary, this lake offers a scenic place of peace and tranquility. The water body measures about 28 km in length from north to south and about 100 feet average in depth. The lake is surrounded by barren hills, with the backdrop of beautiful snow-covered mountains. Since Tsomoriri lake is the lesser known of the two lakes, the crowd frequency is less too.

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