Tso Moriri Lake in Ladakh

The Mountain Lake with Distinctive Features.

Located to the Southeast of Leh in Eastern Ladakh, Tso Moriri Lake is surrounded by 6000 m peaks in the middle of the elevated valley of Rupshu. The lake, in the Changthang area, is known as Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. Tso Moriri, literally meaning "the mountain lake", got its name from the Changthang plateau that provides water to the Lake. Tso Moriri (28 km X 8 km) is a High Altitude Lake (HAL) with an altitude of about 4595 m (15,080 ft). Tso Moriri boasts of being the largest of the High Altitude Lakes in the Trans-himalayan biogeographic region, entirely within India.

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The Lake is accessible only in the summer season. The wildlife of the nearby region is an attractive feature. One can spot Wild Ass, Marmots, Black-necked Geese, Redfox and the highly endangered Snow Leopard near the Lake in a preserved area. Karzok monastery is another attraction in the nearby area. This 350-year old monastery is located at an altitude of 4572 metres.

The valley is used as a grazing ground and cultivation field by the Changpa herders. There are a few barley fields that are counted among the highest cultivation grounds in the world. The lake and the nearby region is, undoubtedly, filled with natural beauty.


This stunning lake is located on the Changthang Plateau at an altitude of 14,863ft. Visitors should travel around 250km towards south-east from Leh in order to reach the Tso Moriri Lake. Starting from Leh, this trails advances towards Karu followed by Upshi, Kumdok, Kere, Chumathang, Mahe, Sumdo, Korzok (Tso Moriri Lake).

Tso Moriri Altitude

Tso Moriri is located at a staggering altitude of 4,522 meters, 14836 feet.

Altitude Sickness at Tso Moriri

ue to its high altitude, Tso Moriri is one place in Leh where you are most like to suffer from altitude sickness hence it is strongly advised that you do not immediately after reaching Leh; or while on your way to Leh from Manali. It is always best to reach Leh first, then go to Nubra Valley, thus giving your body time to adjust to the high altitude. After you have spent a few days in Ladakh, then you should plan a visit to Tso Moriri. For more details in on what altitude sickness is, what its symptoms are and how to deal with it,

Best Time to Visit Tso Moriri

The best time to visit Tso Moriri is between June and September, when tourist season is at its peak. While the road from Leh to To Moriri remains open throughout the year, except for times when heavy snow at Tanglang La may have blocked the road temporarily; going there in winter or non-tourist months may result in a fight for accommodation. Between June till September, all the hotels and guest houses are fully operational and you will easily find a place to stay in any budget. Second advantage in these months is that the public transport services too are available. So if you are not traveling by your own vehicle, then finding a bus or a shared taxi between June till September is not really that difficult.

Tso Moriri Weather

Day temperature during summer remains moderately warm though there could still be strong cold winds on some days. At night, the temperate drops close to zero degree Celsius. In Winter, the lake freezes completely and temperature remains several degrees below zero.

Tourist Attractions of Tso Moriri Lake

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.


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.

Important Tips

There are a few important things you need to know while traveling on this road. First of all, depending on what all places you covered; a round trip to Leh via this route will easily be around 650 to 700 kilometers. It means that you will have to make serious fuel arrangements as there is no other gas station available once you leave Leh. Second is that permits for this route are not issued to foreign nationals, only Indian citizens can be allowed here. Third is that this is a very remote region and you will hardly come by any other travelers. Roads for most of the part will be really bad. Until Chushul as a matter of fact will be no road at all and you will continue to ride on track marks made by other passing vehicles.

Ideally, the stretch between Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri should be done in two days with a night halt at Hanle; but if must do it in a single day; then please ensure that you leave Pangong Tso by as early as possible; by first light of the day.

How to reach Tso Moriri from Leh

There are three different routes that you can take to reach Tso Moriri from Leh. First and the shortest route runs through Chumathang Valley. Second one goes through More plains; will have you cross Tanglang La and you can also visit Tso Kar while traveling on this route. Third and the longest route is via Pangong Tso and Changthang valley. Common thing about all three routes is that they will all have you exit at Sumdo from where, you will travel the last 50 kilometers to reach Karzok. I will explain all three routes in detail.