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  • Tents or Camping in summer

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Near by facilities

  • Restaurants or Dhabas
  • Tents or Camping in summer

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How to reach Tso Moriri

The lake is located to the southeast of Leh in eastern Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, at a road distance of 240 kilometres. The road is in a good condition for the most part. One can also reach Tsomoriri directly from the Pangong Tso via the remote Changtang region. This is considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the entire Ladakh region. Foreigners are not allowed to go beyond the Man - Merak villages on Pangong Tso as permits are not issued for them. The distance between Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri is 235 km and there are no petrol pumps in the area. Carrying enough fuel is therefore necessary. Leh is also connected by air with many destinations in India.

Tso Moriri is famous for:

It is like a pearl shaped and contains large mineral deposits. Korzok village is situated on the South-west bank of this lake. Korzok Gonpa and its inhabitants nomads by tradition are most outstanding features of this area

Know about Tso Moriri

The lake is at an altitude of 4,522 m (14,836 ft). It is the largest of the high altitude lakes entirely within India and entirely within Ladakh in this Trans-Himalayan biogeographic region. It is about 26 km north to south in length and 3 to 5 km wide. The lake has no outlet at present and the water is brackish though not very perceptible to taste.The lake is 20 to 50 kilometers southeast of the elevated valley of the core Rupshu Valley and falls within the greater Rupshu Plateau and valley area. The lake is ringed by hills rising over 6,000 m (20,000 ft). “Changpas",

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Tso Moriri or Lake Moriri or "Mountain Lake", is a lake in the Ladakhi part of the Changthang Plateau (literally: northern plains) in Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. The lake and surrounding area are protected as the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.

The lake is fed by springs and snow-melt from neighboring mountains. Most water enters the lake in two major stream systems, one entering the lake from the north, the other from the southwest. Both stream systems include extensive marshes where they enter the lake. It formerly had an outlet to the south, but this has become blocked and the lake has become a endorheic lake. The lake is oligotrophic in nature, and its waters are alkaline. Accessibility to the lake is largely limited to summer season, though Karzok on the northwest shore and the military facilities on the eastern shores have year-round habitation.

As per a classification of the Himalayan Lakes done on the basis of their origin, there are four groups and Tso Moriri falls under the third group of “remnant lakes". The classification as reported states.

The Changthang Plateau in the eastern Ladakh represents a landscape of low productive ecosystems which protects unique floral and faunal species. The area is an extension of the western Tibetan plateau that lies above 4,500 m (14,800 ft) msl and supports diverse but low populations of several globally threatened mammals.The lake's basin could also be categorised as an basin since it is a closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow to other bodies of water such as rivers or oceans.

The lake is 20 to 50 kilometers southeast of the elevated valley of the core Rupshu Valley and falls within the greater Rupshu Plateau and valley area. The lake is ringed by hills rising over 6,000 m (20,000 ft). “Changpas", the nomadic migratory shepherds of yak, sheep, goat, and horses of Tibetan origin and who are engaged in trade and work on caravans in Ladakh region, are the main inhabitants of the area. Changpa (Champa) herders use the land of this valley as grazing ground and for cultivation.

The Korzok Monastery, on the western bank of the lake is 400 years old and attracts tourists and Buddhist pilgrims. Tourism during May – September attracts large number of foreign and local tourists even though tented accommodation is the facility available, apart from a small PWD guest house close to the Lake. Northeast of Tso Moriri is a small lake which is known locally as Lake of Joy.

The lake, draining a catchment area of 120 square km is enclosed by peaks exceeding 6,000 meters on both the east and west sides. On the south, a nearly flat valley connects with but does not drain into or out of the Pare Chu (river.) This valley contains the Nuro Sumdo wetlands (with a catchment area of 20 km2), a boggy area that mostly drains into the Pare Chu. Several small mountain streams feed the lake, including one through pasture land at Peldo Le. The lake is fed by springs and snow melt and has a maximum depth of 40 m (130 ft). Aridity and cold desert conditions prevail in the lake region; with summer temperature varying from 0 ° to 30 °C (32 °-86 °F) and winter temperature recording −10 ° and −40 °C (14 ° to -40 °F). Geologically the lake is in Ordovician rock. An avifaunal survey of the lake and its adjoining Nuro Sumdo wetland conducted in July 1996 revealed the following facts:

  • Thirty-four species of birds included 14 species of water birds (some are pictured in the gallery) of which following are the vulnerable species.
  • Black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis) endangered.
  • Bar-headed geese (Anser indicus)– only breeding ground in India.
  • Brown-headed gulls (Larus brunnicephalus).
  • Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus).
  • Ferruginous pochard.
  • Black-necked grebe (Podiceps nigricollis).
  • Tibetan gazelle, Procapra picticaudata, Goa antelope (threatened).
  • Lynx.
  • Nayan Ovis ammon hodgsoni.
  • Bharal (Pseudois nayaur) Himalayan blue sheep.
  • Tibetan Ass (Kiang) or Equus kiang, endemic to the Tibetan Plateau.
  • Great Tibetan Sheep.
  • One species of marmot, Marmota himalayana in large numbers seen on the hill slopes surrounding the lake and also along the roadsides.
  • One species of hare, Lepus oistolus.
  • One species of vole, Alticola roylei.
  • Three species of mouse hares, Ochotona macrotis, Ochotona curzoniae or Tibetan sand fox and Scincella ladacensis.
  • Large carnivores.
  • the snow leopard (Uncia uncia).
    the Tibetan wolf (Canis lupus chanco).

While the deeper parts of the lake have no vegetation, the shallow areas are reported to have Potamogeton sps. Marshes have several species of sedges and reeds, particularly Carex, Caragana and Astragalus sps., which are all representative of the surrounding arid steppe vegetation.

The need for evolving a strategy and an action plan to preserve the extreme fragility of the lake ecosystem has been recognized with the needed emphasis at the National and International level to develop the lake conservation activity with participation of all stakeholders. The actions initiated in this direction are:

Tso Moriri is an administratively declared Wetland Reserve. Legally, shooting wildlife is prohibited. The State Department of Wildlife has set up a check post near Mahe Bridge at the entrance towards the lake.WWF-India Project has established a field office at Korzok on the northwest shore of Tso Moriri for ‘Conservation of High Altitude Wetlands in Ladakh Region’ to carry out surveys, interact with tourists, tour guides, act as information centre and conduct education awareness programmes for locals, tourists etc.

Wildlife Institute of India has also set up a field station at Leh to carry out scientific research in the region. Nature clubs have been set up and Information booklet on the lake published. Efforts of WWF – India has also resulted in the local community declaring Tso Moriri as a ‘Sacred Gift for a Living Planet’ during the Annual Conference held in Nepal in November 2000.

Some of the other achievements so far reported on the Lake’s conservation are:

  • Regulation in consultation with local community Vehicular traffic flow and parking has been restructured with restriction of camping sites around the lake
  • The Indo Tibetan Border Petrol (ITBP), tour operators and local population have introduced regular garbage cleanup operations
  • The Indian Army has committed to support and set up a Nature Interpretation Centre at 'Hall of Fame', Leh.

  • Korzok community living around the lake has voluntarily built traditional and social fencing around the wetland to protect breeding and feeding grounds from vehicular traffic
  • Tso Moriri Conservation Trust has been set up.
  • Twenty Nature Clubs have been registered in different schools in Ladakh.

 

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How to reach Tso Moriri

The lake is located to the southeast of Leh in eastern Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, at a road distance of 240 kilometres. The road is in a good condition for the most part. One can also reach Tsomoriri directly from the Pangong Tso via the remote Changtang region. This is considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the entire Ladakh region. Foreigners are not allowed to go beyond the Man - Merak villages on Pangong Tso as permits are not issued for them. The distance between Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri is 235 km and there are no petrol pumps in the area. Carrying enough fuel is therefore necessary. Leh is also connected by air with many destinations in India.

Tso Moriri is famous for:

It is like a pearl shaped and contains large mineral deposits. Korzok village is situated on the South-west bank of this lake. Korzok Gonpa and its inhabitants nomads by tradition are most outstanding features of this area

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