The lesser known of the many lakes within the Changtang Wildlife sanctuary, Moriri Tso lake is a twin to the Pangong Tso Lake. Located inside the Changtang wildlife sanctuary, this lake offers a scenic place of peace and tranquillity. 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 Moriri Tso lake is the lesser known of the two lakes, the crowd frequency is less too. Pangong lake always has many more people and is now crowded with little stalls that sell Maggi and tea. Tucked away in the remotest parts of the country makes this lake a perfect star gazing sight rendering a complete mind-stirring site.
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. Moriri Tso is also called the 'mountain lake', owing to the peaks that surround it, towering at a height of 2000 meters, shutting it off from the outside world.
From the month of January to March, Tso Moriri remains mostly frozen, extremely cold conditions with no options to stay around the lake. During April, it starts to melt and starts transforming into the beautiful multi shades of blue colours off the shores. May, June, July and August is the peak tourist season but as compared to Pangong Tso, there are fewer tourists that visit.
Located to the southeast of Leh, Tso Moriri is around 240 km from it. You can drive down here as the road is in good condition for the most part. An alternate way of reaching the enrapturing lake is via Pangong Tso Lake through the Changtang region which is considered as one of the best drives in the entire Ladakh region. The distance between the two lakes is around 245 km, and there are no petrol pumps on the way making it essential to carry enough fuel while embarking on the drive.
Air: The closest air-port is Leh 150km from the lake. And from there road transport is available.
Rail: Kalka is the nearest railway station to Leh. Buses or taxis can be hired to reach Manali via Shimla. There are regular taxis and bus services from Manali to Leh.
Road: It is a brilliant drive from Leh. It is a must to take an experienced tour operator from Leh.
It is best to stay be based at Leh and take a day trip to the sanctuary and the lakes. If one wishes to stay near the shores of the lake, Korzok village and Nubra Valley have camping facilities. However, only camping tents will be available for accomodation. One may, alternatively camp at Pangong Lake or its nearby areas that provide accomodation.
The options for food are scarce and limited at the lake. While Leh has a distinct food culture about it and various specialties and Pangong lake has managed to house local stalls selling popular and basic food items, Tso Moriri does not provide any options for eating out.
There aren't any eateries or food stalls here.. Hence it is best to carry your own food for a trip to the lake.
The lakes is best seen on a day trip from Leh. From Leh, start early to enjoy the sunrise during your drive to Pangong Tso. Spend the whole day, till the afternoon exploring the lake and its surrounding lake Tso Moriri. Roam around the wildlife sanctuary to spot rare species. If one has the time, they may also visit Tso Kar, another lake close to Tso Moriri.
1. Keep all your permission papers in handy, and keep many copies.
2. The weather is quite unstable in this part of Jammu and Kashmir, and thus it is always better to carry warm clothes.
3. 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.
4. There is almost no network signal at the lake. The only mobile network available is BSNL, which also has a very faint connection.
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