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Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary

 
  • 01

    Summary

    Part of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, the natural enchantress, Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses two of the world-famous high altitude water lakes, Tsomoriri and Pangong Tso. 

    The altitude of the sanctuary varies from 14000 to 19000 feet, and the topography is formed of deep gorges and vast plateaus. There are around 11 lakes and 10 marshes in the Changthang Cold Desert Sanctuary, and the majestic River Indus dances through the sanctuary, dividing it into two parts. 

    Snow leopard is the major attraction of this wildlife sanctuary. Rare and threatened animals such as Tibetan wolf, Tibetan argali, Wild yak, Tibetan gazelle, and the Tibetan antelopes also reside in this vast cold dessert landscape. 

    Around 44 species of water birds have been recorded. The endangered Black-necked crane breeds in the marshes here before flying to its winter home in northeast India.

    Flora: More than 200 species of wild plants grow in higher pasture. These wild plants are mostly edible by animals.

    Fauna: This sanctuary hosts Kaing (Tibetan Wild Ass), snow leopard, lynx, wolf and wild dog. Also, one can spot wild ungulates Tibetan Gazelle, Tibetan Argali, Blue Sheep, Wild yak, Ibex, and Ladakh Urial.

    Avian-Fauna: Brahminy Ducks, Brown-headed Gulls. It offers an ideal breeding habitat for Black Necked Crane and seasonal species of migratory birds.

    Major Attractions:

    Tsomoriri:

     Its counted among the highest lakes in the world. Tsomoriri is spread in an area of 120 sq. km, with maximum depth of 40 m and situated at an altitude of 4000-5000 m. In November 2002, the lake was designated as Ramsar site. 

    Pangong Tso: 

    Situated at a height of around 4,250 m, Pangong Tso covers an area of 134 km (from India to China). Water is salty and in spite of that during winter, water freezes.  

    Location

    Location: 

    In the east of Leh (state J&K), located between Ladakh and the Tibet (China) border.

    Area: 

    4,000 sq. km

    Route: 

    One can reach Leh from Manali (Himachal Pradesh) in the south and also from Srinagar which lies in the west. Buses regularly ply on the Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh route. 

    Other Info 

    Other Places to Visit:

    Leh: 

    This is the largest town of Ladakh. There are plenty of places and spots to explore in and outside Leh. Major attractions include the colourful Gompas, Leh Palace, Victory Tower, and more. Shanti Stupa offers a panoramic view of the surrounding picturesque areas. Leh also provides plenty of opportunities for hiking and trekking activities.  

    Facts 

    Best Time to Visit:

    May to Dec

    Things to keep in mind:

    Prior permission to visit the Protected Area required from the District magistrate Leh
    Its better to make arrangement of accommodation in advance from Leh