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Also Known as ‘Mountain Lake’, Tso Moriri is a spectacular site amidst mountain ranges in Leh and thanks to its serenity, is a good place to relax. Located in a one of the most beautiful places in India, the lake measures about 28 km in length from north to south and about 4-6 km in breadth and about 100 feet average in depth. Maximum depth of Tso Moriri Lake is 248 feet. Tso Moriri Lake is surrounded by barren hills in Ladakh, with the backdrop of beautiful snow-covered mountains.
The water is crystal clear and of a deep blue color. However, since the Tso Moriri Lake has no outlet, its waters are consequently brackish, although not very detectable to the taste. In fact, the Tso Moriri Lake was once a popular source of salt.
Where is Tso Moriri Lake located?
Tso Moriri Lake is situated in the middle of the elevated district of Rupshu. The Ropsu valley lies south east of Ladakh Trip[Planning a trip? Here are 100 things to do in Leh Ladakh] on the road from Manali to Leh at an altitude ranging from 16,500 feet. The 137 km drive from Leh to Rupshu can be covered in 7 to 9 hours. This pretty valley is inhabited by a small population of ‘Changpas’, who are nomadic shepherds. The area is rich in wildlife including the wild ass, black-necked cranes and geese flock to the lake side for breeding during the summer months.
What gives the lake the name ‘Mountain Lake’?
Its name is characteristic of its positioning. This tranquil lake is nestled in the midst of peaks towering over a height of 20,000 feet, completely shutting the lake from the outside world.
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Wildlife at Tso Moriri: Administratively Tso moriri has been declared as a wetland reserve. A Number of species of birds included bare-headed goose, the great-crested grebe, the Brahmin duck and the brown-headed gull. Himalayan hares are abundantly found here.
Reaching Tso Moriri and obtaining permits: Tso Moriri is inaccessible by public transport; you should contact a tour operator at Leh who will arrange and include your permit to the package. You will need two photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport and visa. Permits are required to travel to this lake. Once you have your permit, usually only valid for a maximum period of seven days, make at least 5 copies before setting off, as checkpoints like to keep a copy when you log in.
There are two routes to Tso Moriri from Leh:
- Leh- Upshi- Debring- Puga- Tso Moriri
- Leh- Upshi- Chumathang- Mahe- Puga- Tso Moriri.
The roads are moderately good. The first half is on tar road and makes for a comfortable drive. There is a small stretch of road which is rough owing to the rugged terrains of the region. However, all through the driving route, the many interesting picturesque mountain ranges serve as a mesmerizing backdrop making the drive absolutely worthwhile!