Tso Moriri Lake is an exquisite sapphire-blue fresh water lake at an altitude of 4500 m. It is 27 kms in length and around 8 km wide. The beauty of the lake enhances when the images of the mountains around are reflected in its crystal clear water and making it look like a glass floor. The area around the lake is very beautiful. Karzok is the only permanent village in the Rupshu Valley where Chang-Pa nomads live.
Tso Moriri for long has been overshadowed by Pangong Tso but with recent boost in tourism in Ladakh; the number of people traveling to this lake too has increased.
This lake is usually referred to as a freshwater lake which is not completely true. Its water is little bit salty but hard to notice while drinking water. The lake is fed by water from melting snow and springs and currently has no outlet. It is accessible by road only during summer when both the highways leading to Ladakh are open.
Nestled in the mountains North of Tso Kar Lake is also known as white lake or salt water lake. This place is historically significant.The nomads of ancient times would gather salt from here and barter it for other necessities. Recently it has been opened to foreign trekkers. Apart from the rare species of black crane, others migratory birds can also be seen here.
The strip starts from the south- east of Leh, running down the northern bank of the river Indus all the way to Mahe Bridges, which then lets you on to the northern bank of the river. On the way are two major stations- Upshi and Chumathang. The village of Upshi on this strip also forms a meeting point with the Manali-Leh highway. It is also possible to visit Tsomoriri straight from Manali, by taking a diversion from more plain near Pang only.
After Upshi the next important station is chumathang. It is a village known for its sulphur spring, those posses’ therapeutic powers. After crossing the Manali Bridege take a turn and ascend for a mountainous pass, Namshang La, which then sescends to the Korzok village, where the crystalline beauty waits for your view.
Best Time to Visit Tso Moriri
The best time to visit Tso Moriri is between June and September when tourist season is at its peak. While the road from Leh to To Moriri remains open throughout the year except for times when heavy snow at Tanglang La may have blocked the road temporarily going there in winter or non-tourist months may result in a fight for accommodation. Between June till September, all the hotels and guest houses are fully operational and you will easily find a place to stay in any budget. Second advantage in these months is that the public transport services too are available. So if you are not traveling by your own vehicle, then finding a bus or a shared taxi between June till September is not really that difficult.
Accommodation at Tso Moriri
There are several hotels, guest houses and camp sites in Karzok where you may chose to stay. For names and phone numbers of some of the hotels at Tso Moriri, please read Guest Houses, Camp Sites and Hotels At Karzok. In case you are planning to camp on your own, please do not do so anywhere near the lake.
Tso Moriri is considered as a protected wetland reserve and camping close to the lake is prohibited by Law. If you want to pitch your tent, please do so near a camp site or a local Dhaba. You may even pay off a little to the existing camp sites to give you a spot; in return they will also let you use their washroom facilities.
Tso Moriri Road Conditions
From Leh to Upshi is a smooth tarred road between Upshi and Mahe. it is a mix of good and bad, mostly good. From Mahe to Sumdo is bad and after Sumdo to Karzok is all dirt trail. If you are coming from Tso Kar side, then you will find good smooth road until Sumdo with the exception of Tanglang La and Polo Kongka La where the road usually remains broken. From Pangong Tso, it is a dirt trail all the way till Chushul. After Chushul till Loma is a good smooth road. From Loma till Sumdo is a mix of good and bad.
Location : Tso Moriri lake is located about 240 KMs from Leh town of Ladakh district.
Tso Moriri lake is one of the high altitudes lakes of India at a staggering altitude of 4595 Meters or 15075 Feet and yes higher than Pangong Tso.