Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary Overview

Also fondly referred to as Ladakh’s wintry paradise, the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is every wildlife lover’s go-to haunt. Sprawling across 16,000 massive feet, the sanctuary is home to some of the best and rarest animals, plants and birds in the Ladakh region and must include this place in your Le Ladakh tour packages. A smattering of alpine lakes, monasteries and temples can be found scattered throughout the sanctuary premises, adding to its breathtaking beauty. 

The Changthang wildlife sanctuary in Ladakh is fascinating from a variety of perspectives. It is home to an incredible variety of plants and spans a massive area of around 1,600 square kilometers. As a result, a visit to this heavenly place will provide you with incredible opportunities to observe natural life as well as investigate the breathtaking scenery around you.

The Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a large range of unusual plant species that are all scattered throughout this wildlife refuge. It's amazing to learn that Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the few places in India where the Kiang as well as the Dark-necked crane, may be found.

Wildlife such as the snowy panther, the Tibetan wolf and the wild yak can be spotted here as well. The highlight of the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, however, are the three alpine lakes that border it. The Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, and Pangong Lake which are renowned for their breathtaking beauty; the Tso Moriri is, in fact, the highest altitude lake in the whole world. 

Safaris are a great way to explore the sanctuary. Changthang has several camps and resorts dotted along its length as well, for those that want to spend a night at the sanctuary. Visiting the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is generally quite rewarding for the visitors.


• The Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is home to around 44 different species of water birds, many of which are seasonal.
• One can spend a night camping on the safari grounds, right in the middle of wilderness
• The sanctuary lets you trek to the high altitude lakes of Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, and Pangong, and set up camp by their banks if you may
• The village of Korzak, settled in one end of the Sanctuary, is home to the scenic Korzok Monastery

How To Reach

Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is connected to Leh by road. While there are no direct transportation services, one can always rent a cab or a private car to travel to the sanctuary. 

Get a detailed travel guide for Delhi to Leh Ladakh Trip.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary would be during the months of summer, ideally between May and September. Winters at the high altitude sanctuary are quite harsh, with temperatures often dropping to minus 30 degrees. 

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Other Essential Information

Wildlife in Changthang Sanctuary:

Although the climate here is cold and harsh, a staggering variety of animals, plants and other creatures can be found making their homes in the Changthang Sanctuary.

Birds: The Sanctuary is home to over 300 species of birds, both migratory and resident ones. The wetland region is a common playhouse for birds, with species such as the brahminy duck and the black necked crane frequently spotted here. One can also catch a glimpse of birds such as the golden eagle, the black tern and the Tibetan sandgrouse.

Ulungates: Ulungates, or hoofed animals, are a common sighting at the sanctuary. The Kiang or the Tibetan wild ass is the most popular resident here. One also comes across the bharal, or the blue sheep, who’s coat turns reddish in summer and bluish in the harshest winters. Climbing further upward, one also catches a sight of the Tibetan antelope, the Asiatic ibex, and the Tibetan argali. 

Predators: The grass-eating animals form the lowest bulk of the food chain in Changthang. Lying above them are the predators: the Palla’s cat and red foxes are two of the most commonly sighted predators here. If one observes closely, one may even catch a sight of the Snow Leopard, whose power is so strong that it is often referred to as the ‘ghost of the mountains’.

You can also Visit: Hemis National Park

Tips for visiting the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Although the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary remains open throughout the year, it would be better to visit the sanctuary during the summer months. The extreme weather during winter may be unsuitable for those not used to the harsh cold. 
  • The Changthang weather tends to be chilly even during the summer evenings and early mornings, so carrying multiple layers would be advisable. 
  • Although one can explore Changthang without a guide, it would perhaps be easier to take the help of a local guide who is well versed with the area. 
  • Spend at least two days in Leh to get your body acclimatized to the weather before proceeding to visit the Wildlife Sanctuary; the high altitude climate may induce headache and nausea.
  • Visiting the Wildlife Sanctuary requires an Inner Line Permit, so make sure you are equipped with one before attempting to enter the area 

Click Here to Book: Manali to Leh Jeep Safari

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Day Wise Timings
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Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
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Point of Interest for Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary
A jeep safari around Changthang:

A jeep safari around Changthang:

 While trekkers can take full advantage of Changthang’s scenic trails, those that want to surpass the hassle of walking can easily avail a jeep safari around the Wildlife Sanctuary. The safaris, headed by expert tour guides, takes one through the best spots across the sanctuary, focusing on the three lakes and the village of Korzok.

Click Here to Book: Leh Ladakh Tour Package From Kolkata

Sightseeing around the Changthang Lakes:

Sightseeing around the Changthang Lakes:

Changthang is home to three of the most special lakes in the world- the Tso Moriri, Pangong Tso, and Tso Kar. One of the best ways to spend your time here is to go on a tour of the three lakes where you can also spot exotic animals. The lakes are renowned for their beauty and their tranquil charm, and act as magnets to attract a large number of birds along with small wildlife.



For those desiring an overnight repose, camping can be one of the most interesting things to do inside the Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary has a number of standard and luxury camping lodges within its premises. Alternatively, there are designated camping spots where one can pitch their own tents as well. 

Planning a Ladakh Bike Trip, Checkout & Book: Leh Ladakh Bike Trip Packages

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Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary FAQs

Why is the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary so special?

Apart from its stunning natural beauty, the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to some of the rarest wildlife in the world. The Kiang and the snowy panther, for example, are almost exclusively found only in the Changthang Region. The Wildlife Sanctuary is also renowned for its trekking trails and known for the scenic panoramic views of the mountains.

If you want to experience trekking in ladakh, you can visit: Ripchar Valley Trek

Does the Changthang WIldlife Sanctuary have any timings?

No, the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary does not have any timings of operation. However, visiting the sanctuary before sunset would be recommended.

Must Read: Mumbai to Ladakh - A Detailed Travel Guide

Is there any accommodation inside the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary?

There are some standard and luxury lodges and resorts located within the sanctuary itself. For those desiring a more bohemian experience, the Sanctuary also has some designated campsites for one to pitch their tents in.

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