Tso Moriri Lake : Mountain Lake of Ladakh

Tso Moriri Lake : An Incredible view in Summers Tso Moriri Leh Ladakh
                                         Tso Moriri Lake : An Incredible view in Summers
Also Known as ‘Mountain Lake’, Tso Moriri is located in the Rupshu valley situated in Changthang sub division of leh district, The Lake is about 28 km in length from north to south and is about 4-6 km in breadth and about 100 feet average in depth. Maximum depth of Tso Moriri Lake is 248 feet. It’s surrounded by barren hills with backdrop of snow-covered mountains. A Short range of snow covered mountains, which rise about 21000 feet, extends some distance to the north-west and terminates somewhat to north of the southern end of Tso moriri.
Prayers Flag at Tso Moriri Lake Leh Ladakh
                                    Prayers Flag at Tso Moriri Lake
Tso Moriri
is a very fine sheet of salty water. It is situated at north latitude 32 54 and east longitude 78 18 and at a height of 15000 feet above the sea level. Tso Moriri Lake has no outlet and the waters are consequently brackish, although not very perceptible to the taste. The water is crystal clear and of a deep blue color.


Tso Moriri Lake was once a popular source of salt. Till 1960 Changpa traders were extracting salt from Tso moriri and sold the same in Leh market. Before 1994, Tso Moriri Lake and southeast ladakh was not open for tourists due to ‘inner line ‘restrictions. Changpas of korzok, the only village on the shore of Tso Moriri were living without much contact with others, following their nomadic life-style and facing severe winters.
Clouds touching the high peaks of Leh Ladakh Tso Moriri
                               Clouds touching the high peaks of Tso Moriri
Tso Moriri
is not just a spectacular site but a good place to relax. You can visit the nearby gompas and walk around the lake area. On the way from leh to Tso moriri is another brackish lake,the  smaller Tso kar or “white lake”.


The small collect of huts on the shore of Tso Moriri is called Korzok village. Here you must register and show your permit. You can pitch your tent here. There are no restrictions in camping. Tso Moriri is an area for nomadic people, known as Changpas, who can often be seen taking advantage of the summer and moving herds of goats, cows and yaks from one grazing spot to another. Changpas live in large, movable family tents or in solid winter proof brick huts.
Map to reach Tso Moriri Lake Leh Ladakh
                                        Map to reach Tso Moriri Lake                                                  

Reaching Tso Moriri:

Routes to Tso Moriri from Leh:
1 : Leh- Upshi- Debring- Puga- Tso Moriri
2 : Leh- Upshi- Chumathang- Mahe- Puga- Tso Moriri.

It’s a rough and tumble 6-7 hours journey by jeep from leh. The First part of the journey is a fine black tar road via Upshi (46 Km) and Chumathang (76 km) to Mahe Bridge (22 km) where the Indus has to be crossed. The rough road ahead turned west to Sumdo (24km)  and then proceeded south across the Namshang La (12 km) to Korzok (31 km), the only village in the area and on the western shore of the lake. Some portions of the road are sandy and require four wheel drives. There is a small PWD rest house at korzok for which advance booking has to be done from leh.

Route to Tso Moriri from Manali:
ManaliJispa ( 147km ) – Sarchu (75km) – Pang (74 km)-Tso kar (64km) –Tso Moriri (79km)

The Great Himalayan Marmot at Tso Moriri Lake Leh Ladakh
                               The Great Himalayan Marmot at Tso Moriri


Wildlife at Tso Moriri:

Administratively 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. To the south of the 27 km long lake of the Tibetan wild ass, the kiang.
Tso Moriri : Crystal Clear water body untouched since ages Leh Ladakh India
                     Tso Moriri : Crystal Clear water body untouched since ages
Key Information:

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 can be procured from DC's office in Leh at the same day if applied in the morning. 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. Checkpoints occasionally spot-check to see the original copy.

I am planning to drive from

I am planning to drive from Kolkata-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Kolkata from 1-21 Jun 2015. I have a Toyota Etios ground clearance 170. My family of my wife, 2 daughters (age 13 & 9) will be travelling. What i could gather from the various postings are that the Leh to Pangong & Tso moriri to Tso Kar to Sarchu are the toughest stretch. Considering the ground clearance of Etios do you think this is do able? What precautions need to be taken ?

Personally i would not

Personally i would not recommend to take Etios on this stretch with family. You can make the whole journey but will face problems in many stretches and at times, things are very bad due to flash flood. Will recommend something little more sturdy.

+- Vishnu

Hi, I am planning to travel


I am planning to travel as a couple in the month of Aug  2015 for 7 days(8th(land at delhi) to 15th(leh to delhi by flight)). Travelling from banglaore.

planning to book hptdc bus from delhi to manali

I am looking for Delhi- manali - keylog/jispa-tso moriri- leh.  Is it possible to travel by rtc buses ? will buses be frequent and suitable for day journey with baggage of 2 trollies.

i read in your article that tso moriri is not accessible by public transport. Is that possible to hire a cab from Jispa -tso moriri-leh

If so, i can book hotels in manali, keylong/jispa through online. But not sure about tso moriri.

how much will it cost if i hire a cab from manali to leh for 3days/2 nights.

is there any site where i can directly book hotels in leh avoiding agents like hptdc.

can you suggest a better plan as i am travelling with family.



I think there is just one

I think there is just one direct bus from Delhi to Leh. HRTC buses are good. You can book a volvo from Delhi to Manali and then another bus to Leh. Tso-moriri is not well connected with public transport. if you want to make from Jispa to Tso-moriri then you will have to hire a private taxi. Even from Leh, there is no public transport to Tso-Moriri.  It should be possible to hire a private taxi from Jispa.

Tso-moriri hotels can not be booked online. you can get the hotel after reaching there.

I do not have any idea about the websites for booking the hotels. there are many i guess.

Hi Vishnu, Its nice to see,

Hi Vishnu, Its nice to see, how you are helping the travellers for laddakh region.

I am also planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh in May 2015 from New Delhi. We are 2 guys on 1 Bike, Fz 150cc

I just want to know that;

1. what are the essentials things to carry? (including how many warm clothes?)

2. How to plan the trip from leh to tso moriri, pangong lake, nubra valley, we have to cover these points in mimimun days, please help us to plan these. (we have to go back from leh to delhi via kargil, srinagar highway)

3. Also, do you know any way, how to carry the laggage, can we add a carrier to our Fz bike for luggage.

Please provide the essentials information and help our dream come true.

It will be great if you can share your contact no., so that I can discuss the things personally.



I never did biking so can not

I never did biking so can not help much with respect to packing the luggage etc. You will also have to carry cans for fuel because there is no petro pump on this route. May is the beginning of the season so you will find lots of snow on the passes.

The best route would be Manali-Sarchu-Tso Moriri and then Pangong lake. In the end go back to Leh and then take Kargil highway.

I hope its helpful.

Vishnu Kumar

Hi..... Me & My friends, a

Hi..... Me & My friends, a group of 6 are planning to go Manali- leh- Srinagar in 1st week of June. We are renting 3 bikes & a car from manali. We are planning night halts at keylong or Jispa, sarchu, ksokhar or tsomoriri, leh (2 ngts), pangong lake, kargil, srinagar. Let me know is my plan ok or change it. I know renting bike will be charged extra if it is one way. Let me know for the plan. Will wait for your reply, Regards, Sunil

Plans seems do-able to me. I

Plans seems do-able to me. I have never done biking so can not help you much about renting bikes etc. I can give you a number of a friend who frequent does biking in this part. He might help.

Hi... Me & my friends, a


Me & my friends, a group of 6 are planning to go Manali- leh - srinagar in 1st week of June 2015. We are going with 3 bikes (Enfield booking from Manali) & a car. We have planned night stay at

1. keylong or jispa

2. Sarchu

3. leh

4. leh

5. Pangong lake

6. Kargil

7. Srinagar.

We had not thought of Stay at Tso moriri or Tsokar. Please suggest how to route our plan. We have 14-15 days in hand. We will be going from manali & returning from Srinagar. I know about the bikes. They Charge more if we take bikes only 1 way. Let me know how to plan. Should we stay 3rd night at tsokar or tsomoriri & then to leh.

Please reply.



I have never done biking so i

I have never done biking so i can not help much about this itinerary. I am not sure how much distance can be covered in a single day on bikes.  I still think its doable. Keylong can be first night stay and then Sarchu and Tso-moriri. I don't think if there is anything near Tsokar where you can find accommodation etc.

On Srinagar route, Kargil and Dras are considered the standard overnight options for breaking the journey.

Vishnu Kumar

Hi is it possible to cover


is it possible to cover pangong lake and diskit village in 6 days from manali.I guess we are planning in first week of August.What you  suggest is this is the right time to go or we should wait for may'15.

August is nice time to visit 

August is nice time to visit  Ladakh.. I am not sure if Rohtang would be open by May 2015... its better to wait till August...

6 days are fine to cover Pangong lake and Diskit both... Diskit and Pangong are in two different directions so these will be 2 seperate trips...

Hi Vishnu,   First of all,

Hi Vishnu,


First of all, thank you for the wonderful map and article.


I'm planning to go to Leh from Manali and this is my Tso Moriri route. Please let me know if it can be done on a motorbike?


Keylong to Pang - 1 Day

Pang to Tso Moriri - 1 Day

Tso Moriri to Upshi - 1 Day

Upshi to Pangong - 1 Day

Pangong to Leh - 1 Day


Also, could you please tell me which route is best from Tso Moriri to Upshi? (Via Chumtang or Tanglang La?)


Can I spend a night at Upshi? Do we have enough places to stay there?


Apologies for asking so many questions. One can't be too careful Smile


Eagerly waiting for your reply.


Thank you,


Hi Sarath, Once you descended

Hi Sarath,

Once you descended to Changthang plateau (Tso moriri and Tso kar region) then there is no point to come back to main Manali-Leh highway and ascend till Tanglang la... I would suggest to go via Chumthang...

At  Upshi, you can get accommodation...

While in Chumathang, do check if they made any short cut to Spangmik (However i feel you may require permit to take that trail)...otherwise go till Karu and then onto Pangong..

Hope it helps..

Vishnu Kumar

Hi, We are planning to reach


We are planning to reach Leh via Tso Morri from Manali i.e Manali - Sarchu - Tso Morri - Leh in 3 days.( Overnight in Sarchu, Tsomorri and Leh)

Will this be feasible, because we read at many places that we have a big AMS issue. We are really on tight schedule, hence cant cover this route in 4 days.

Please suggest can we go ahead with plan or any suggestion to cover it within time constraint we have.







Yes... It is very much

Yes... It is very much feasible... First night at Sarchu might be a challenge as its not just high but very cold as well... During my visit my years back, I stayed in the tent and night was arctic cold... As you are traveling by road, AMS should not be a prime challenge...Chances of getting acclaimize is high... I would suggest go ahead with the  plan... Very much doable in my opinion...

=== Vishnu

Hi, I am going to Leh by road

Hi, I am going to Leh by road and coming back via Manali.On the Way will stay at Tsomiri, Pls advise which other place I should stay while going from Tsomiri to Manali.

Enroute, you can either say

Enroute, you can either say at Sarchu or Keylong... would suggest Keylong... From Tso-Moriri, you can drive to Tanglangla and then drive further towards Sarchu, Jispa, Keylong...

I am planning to go tso

I am planning to go tso moriri on royal enfileld by this route

Leh – Karu (36 KMs) – Upshi (13 KMs) – Kumdok (19 KMs) – Kere (53 KMs) – Chumathang (34 KMs) – Mahe (22 KMs) – Sumdo (10 KMs) – Korzok


You think it can be done on a bike?

I think its very much

I think its very much doable...

Hi,      I am going to visit


     I am going to visit Leh from Srinagar during the first week of June, from there to Nubra Valley, Pagong Lake, then to Tso Moriri, TsoKor and finally back to Manali via Rohtang. We are a group of 8 males all aged between 31-35 . Personally I had visited high altitudes like Gurudummar lake in North Sikkim (17120ft). But I think Khardung La pass and Zoji La passes will be higher. Do you think there can be health related problems? If the answer is affirmative what urguent medicines do we need to keep in possession? While returning back to Manali will it be preferable to spend the night at Sarchu or Keylong? Is there a need to take heavy woollens during this time?

                               Eagerly waiting for your reply

                                                   ANJAN BASAK


As you already experienced

As you already experienced high altitude places of North Sikkim so i don't think you will face any health issue in Ladakh... travel by road also give sufficient time to get acclimatized... more information on AMS


I would recommend to spend night in Keylong.. Sarchu has tents in open and that too at relatively high altitude.. Temperature goes down drastically.. Night in Sarchu can be quite a challenge...

YES, carry heavy woollens...

Happy tripping


I am planning to go to Ladhak

I am planning to go to Ladhak from Srinagar in second week of July 14. Also planning to visit Tso-moriri lake and Pangong lake. Further I will go to Manali. My questions are;

1. How much time required to visit Leh, and both the lakes.

2. Do I essentially need passport to visit lakes ?

Hi Sushil,              seems

Hi Sushil,
              seems like you want to the whole circuit from Srinagar to Manali covering Pangong and Tso-Moriri...

Srinagar to Leh would be 15 hours drive i guess.. 1 day for acclimatization in Leh, 1 day tour to Pangong... Tso moriri can be covered while returning to Manali with 1 overnight stay at Lake and 1 enroute at Keylong...

You will have to procure inner line permit to visit Pangong and Tso moriri lake... You will require an ID (which can validate that you an indian citizen, passport or voter ID would work) and 2 passport size photographs..

Vishnu Kumar

i'm planning to go to leh in

i'm planning to go to leh in 28th may 2014 . . my booking for leh , nubra valley and pangong lake already done .

now i'm planning for 1 night stay at tsomerriri lake .can you plz provide me mobile number of some local tour operator who can take me on 3rd june from leh to tsomerriri and help me with hotel booking at tsomerriri . 

on 4th i'm leaving to manali 

Hi Pradeep... I will

Hi Pradeep... I will definitely email you those details... Accommodation near Tso moriri can be arranged..

Vishnu Kumar




Hi Pankaj, Recently

Hi Pankaj,
Recently there had been some change in the traffic regulation on Leh-Manali route.. before heading towards Rohtang pass, bikers (Non-Himachal Vehicles) also require some permit which is either issued from Manali SDM office or Rohtang pass barrier....

After reaching Leh, you will need inner line permits for visit Border areas like Pangong Lake, Nubra valley, Tso Moriri etc... That permit is issued from DC office Leh.... I don't think you will need any other permit while taking Leh-Srinagar road..

=== Vishnu

Hi Vishnu Can I do Leh to Tso

Hi Vishnu

Can I do Leh to Tso Morriri in Swift Dzire in Sept. 2013?
And also Tso Moriri - Tso Kar - Pang in Dzire is possible?
I have driven Dzire on Losar - Gramphu - Manali stretch.
How would you rate the above two roads in terms of difficulty at a scale of 10.
Say Losar - Rohtang stretch is 8 at this scale.
If you have pictures of these roads,it will be of great help.


Hi Shekhar.. If

Hi Shekhar..
If there is no snow then Road from Leh to Tso-Moriri is one of the easiest route in Ladakh...You won't have to cross any high pass on this route...In September, it should not be a problem....Tso Moriri - Tso Kar- Pang is not much traveled route....mostly cyclist take this trail...but I remember people take this short-cut to touch down at Sarchu...It is also motorable... Should be do-able on Dzire...

If you have done Losar-Gramphu-Manali stretch and crossed over Kunzum/Batal then it should not be a problem at all...Losar-Kunzum-Batal-Gramphu is one of the most challenging roads of the country.... Tso-Moriri stretch should be easily do-able...

--- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu, Thanks for those

Hi Vishnu,

Thanks for those beautiful information. I need some more information regarding Stay, rent of car as well as how much we have to carry to visit this beautiful place.

Is there any cont person & any cont no.



Hi Palas... What time of the

Hi Palas... What time of the year you are planning to visit Tso-Moriri Lake... During Summers, you will find many taxi operators in Leh for Tso-Moriri.... Though this trip can be done in a single day but will recommend you to stay overnight in tents (in Korzok Village).... Here is the number of a driver who had been a great help when i was in Ladakh... 09622922188 ... He may even take a risk to drive Tso-Moriri during winters... During winters accommodation would be a problem because locals from nearby villages recede to Leh... Regards Vishnu Kumar

hi, which is a better place


which is a better place to see? Pangong tso or tso moriri?

possible to include both in a one night halt route?


Hi Jay....It will be

Hi Jay....It will be difficult to include both in one night halt tour... You will need to include more days in your itinerary.... Tso moriri is my favorite however pangong is the longest in Ladakh... it would be recommended to visit both of these lakes..

Hi, Is Ladakh weather


Is Ladakh weather suitable in August end and September 1st week to travel and enjoy the scenaries of leh-manali highway with family...... How much time is required to cover the distance between Tso Moriri and Manali by Toyota Innova? Rohtang Pass falls on the way.....?

August and september are the

August and september are the best months to travel Ladakh.. There are bright chances to see snowfall during September.... I already replied to your queries on our Forums...

Route to Tso Moriri from Manali:
Manali – Jispa ( 147km ) – Sarchu (75km) – Pang (74 km)-Tso kar (64km) –Tso Moriri (79km)

It will take at least one day drive one way....

Yes...Rohtang pass will fall on the way...

Vishnu Kumar

Tso miriri is in may opinion

Tso miriri is in may opinion the most beautiful of all lakes in the world im nature photographer i wana visit in Ladakh soon ...Smile

Hi Darwan... It is indeed on

Hi Darwan... It is indeed on the best lake i ever witnessed... it's a delight for landscape photographers with vivid transformation of colors every moment... you should visit there this summers... btw, Welcome to Thinking Particle and I look forward to see you more often here and hopefully your travel experience/photographers would be inspiring to all of us...

Vishnu Kumar

Nicely written article... Tso

Nicely written article... Tso - moriri is not a very deep lake...Is it due to salt water or its geographical situation on the map... however its worth reading an article.. sharing it cause Moriri lake is worth visiting...

Thanks for Sharing....

Thanks for Sharing....

Photographs are simply mouth

Photographs are simply mouth watering... i will be traveling Ladakh in next month and Tso-Moriri is in my top list.... time to ride on the highest roads of himalayas.

yaa..I also agree with the

yaa..I also agree with the comment above... Tso-moriri lake is the best place which you can visit in Ladakh region 

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