Travel Guide for Tso Moriri Lake in Ladakh

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Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh

Tso Moriri lake in Changthang region of Ladakh is one of the most beautiful, calm and sacred (for ladakhis) high altitude lakes in India. In fact, it is the largest high altitude lake in India that is entirely in Indian Territory. This beautiful blue pallet lake is about 7 KM wide at its broadest point and about 19 KM long. Being part of the wetland reserve under Ramsar site, it is actual known as Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve and one cannot pitch any tents or construct anything near the banks of the lake. It is the highest Ramsar site in the world. A large number of flora and fauna is found in the region. Since, it is very near to the Line of Actual Control, one need to get Inner Line Permit to visit Tso Moriri. You can get more details on Inner Line Permits here: Inner Line Permits for Leh – Ladakh. Starting May 2014, Indian Tourists does not need Inner Line Permits for Tso Moriri. Read more about it here

The beautiful multi shades of blue color offered by this lake along with a picturesque landscape around gives this place an extremely romantic feel and breathtaking feel. However, in actual reality the place is extremely harsh and difficult to survive especially in winters. There is only one cemented accommodation available around the lake and the facilities like electricity, medical aid, hot running water, western toilets etc. are rare to find. The lack of oxygen makes survival difficult if your body is not properly acclimatized to its high altitude and hence, one need to plan his/her journey extremely carefully to make it acute mountain sickness free vacation.

Blue Hues of Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh
Blue Hues of Tso Moriri Lake - Ladakh
Location

Tso Moriri lake is located about 240 KMs from Leh town of Ladakh district.

Altitude

Tso Moriri lake is one of the high altitudes lakes of India at a staggering altitude of 4595 Meters or 15075 Feet, yes higher than Pangong Tso.

Season for Traveling to Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh

In January to March, Tso Moriri remains mostly frozen, extremely cold conditions with no options to stay around the lake. In April types, it starts to melt and starts transforming into the beautiful multi shades of blue colors off the shores. Then May, June, July and August is the peak tourist season but as compared to Pangong Tso it gets less number of tourist.

Come September and early October, the tourists starts to reside as cold starts to set in and accommodation tents starts to pack up nearing to lake. According to me, this is by far the best time to visit Tso Moriri to see full glory of beautiful shades of blue color. The colors are purely magical at this time of the year and with less number of tourist comparatively, you get better deals and enjoy more. After second week of October up to December, all the accommodation packs up and the only nearest place you can stay is either in some home stay type guest house at Korzok village or at Chumathang with basic facilities to fight the harsh cold. Chumathang is at much lower in altitude and one can stay there if visiting at the onset or in winters.

How to Reach Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh
Route from Leh to Tso Moriri Lake

This is the general route to Tso Moriri that most people take to visit this ever beautiful lake in Ladakh. You can reach in about 6 – 7 Hrs depending upon the number of break you take in between. The route along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:

Leh – Karu (36 KMs) – Upshi (13 KMs) – Kumdok (19 KMs) – Kere (53 KMs) – Chumathang (34 KMs) – Mahe (22 KMs) – Sumdo (10 KMs) – Korzok or Tso Moriri(53 KMs) = 240 KMs

You can cover Thicksey, Hemis and Shey monasteries while going through this route, if you haven’t covered them earlier while going to Pangong Tso. This route provides the best road conditions among all other routes. So, if you are one of those who prefer relaxing vacation and do not want to rush through places then, I will suggest make a two day trip to Tso Moriri lake via this route from Leh. Of course, I assume your body has been acclimatized properly by staying for couple of nights in Leh and spending a night or two in Nubra Valley as well before attempting to sleep near Tso Moriri or Korzok. If you are short on time then you can also exit towards Manali via Manali – Leh Highway from Tso Moriri via this route only but you need to esnure you have enough fuel to cover about 550 KMs without any fuel pump.

Route from Pangong Tso Lake to Tso Moriri Lake

There exist a direct and an indirect route between Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso as well and in most general cases, you will always be doing it from direct route of Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri because you can exit Ladakh from Tso Moriri towards Manali – Leh Highway after visiting Tso Moriri without coming back towards Leh and secondly, Tso Moriri is higher than Pangong Tso so as per acclimatization schedule you should stay near Pangong Tso before spending night at Tso Moriri.

Pangong Tso Lake to Tso Moriri Lake via Changthang (Merak – Chusul – Nyoma)

You can go to Tso Moriri from Pangong Tso directly via the remote and ever beautiful Changthang region. The drive between Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri is one of the most beautiful drives in whole Ladakh region. Foreigners are not allowed to go beyond Man – Merak Villages as permits are not issued to them for this route. Hence, they need to follow the indirect, slighly longer route to Tso Moriri from Pangong Tso. You need to mention all the places mentioned in the route below on your permit form in order to under take this route. The route along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:

Spangmik (Pangong Tso) – Man (9 KMs) – Merak (12 KMs)– Kakstet (4 KMs) – Chusul (24 KMs) – Tsaga La (33 KMs) – Tsaga Village (20 KMs) – Loma (23 KMs) – Nyoma (22 KMs) – Mahe (25 KMs) – Sumdo (10 KMs) – Tso Moriri / Korzok (53 KMs) = 235 KMs

You need to make sure you carry fuel for about 550 – 600 KMs because you will be covering Leh – Pangong Tso – Nyoma – Loma – Tso Moriri – Leh without any other petrol pump. And if you want to exit Ladakh through Manali – Leh Highway from Tso Moriri then also carry petrol/diesel for about 650 – 700 KMs as the next petrol pump will be available at Tandi. Otherwise, you need to come back to Karu or Upshi, refill and move back again towards Manali – Leh Highway.

Pangong Tso Lake to Tso Moriri Lake via Chumathang

The indirect route that goes via Chumathang is the longer one, where you need to go all the way back from Pangong Tso to Leh upto Karu and from there you can take left towards Upshi – Chumathang – Korzok to reach Tso Moriri. This route can be followed by foreign tourists who are not allowed the permit for Changthang (Man – Merak – Chusul etc) region, if they do not want to go back to Leh. But, IMO one must go back to Leh from Pangong Tso, refresh themselves and start towards Tso Moriri next morning instead of very long day via Chumathang. You need to mention both Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso on your permit form in order to under take this route. The route along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:

Spangmik – Lukung (16 KMs) – Tangtse (34 KMs) – Durbuk (9 KMs) – Chang La (32 KMs) – Sakti (34 KMs) – Karu (10 KMs) – Upshi (13 KMs) – Kumdok (19 KMs) – Kere (53 KMs) – Chumathang (34 KMs) – Mahe (22 KMs) – Sumdo (10 KMs) – Korzok or Tso Moriri(53 KMs) = 339 KMs

Do not forget to refill petrol/diesel at Karu or Upshi petrol pump and if you want to exit Ladakh through Manali – Leh Highway then also carry petrol/diesel for about 500 – 550 KMs as the next petrol pump will be available at Tandi. Otherwise, you need to come back to Karu or Upshi, refill and move back again towards Manali – Leh Highway.

Preferred Vehicles

The higher ground clearance vehicles are preferable and 4×4 ones would definitely be helpful especially between Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri via Man – Merak – Chusul – Nyoma (Changthang) route. However, for general route via Chumathang, quite a few people do it in hatchbacks and sedans as well which depends upon your skills to drive and road conditions at the time of travel.

Suggested Itinerary for Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh

Generally, at least one night stay is preferable to truly witness the mesmerizing beauty of this blue colored salt water lake. Of course, one night stay will help you watch sunrise and sunset over the picturesque landscape and increase the charm of your vacation to great extent. Most people, generally do:

Day 1 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang

  • Cover Korzok Monastery
  • Overnight at Tso Moriri or Korzok

Day 2 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring – Taglang La – Rumste – Upshi – Karu – Leh

  • Cover Tso Kar Lake and Taglang La (some part of Manali – Leh Highway)
  • Overnight at Leh

You can also check the most common and very well balanced itinerary for whole Leh – Ladakh region covering all major tourist destination including Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway, at the below link: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh

Accommodation Options at Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh

You cannot find accommodation at Tso Moriri lake on the banks because it is restricted to pitch the camps there being a wetland reserve and sanctuary for migratory birds. You can pitch the tents near the other tented colonies pitched just before Korzok village or find an accommodation in Korzok village. Both ways you will definitely have a clear and broad view of the 24 KM in length, 6 KM in width this magnificent blue colored high altitude lake – Tso Moriri (Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve)

For a comprehensive list of accommodation options or hotels or camps around Tso Moriri lake, check the link here: Good Hotels or Accommodation options near Tso Moriri – Ladakh

Medical Facilities near Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh

The nearest basic medical health center may be available at Korzok Village though I am not that sure about it. You can get basic first aid including Oxygen doses at some of the tents/camps, I guess.

Food Joints near Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh

Being a remote place, you will either be eating in the home stay at Korzok Village or at the camps/tents near Korzok in which you might be staying overnight.

Phone Signals at Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh

You will not find any phone or mobile signals at Tso Moriri lake.

Petrol Pumps near Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh

Nearest Petrol Pump is at Karu (about 204 KMs) from Tso Moriri and comes on the way to Tso Moriri from Leh. I will suggest that you top-up the fuel from Leh itself and then drive/ride up to to Tso Moriri.

ATMs near Tso Moriri Lake – Ladakh

You will not find any ATMs near Tso Moriri lake and hence, it is always better to carry cash from Leh (the only place where you find ATM in Ladakh) itself.

Conclusion

It is a great place to visit and I am sure if you visit Ladakh, this one surely is not the place you would like to exclude from your plan. I hope the above information will be useful for your upcoming Leh – Ladakh trip.

Please feel free to post any queries or doubts you might have in planning your trip to Tso Moriri place in the comments section below. If you have been to Tso Moriri lake, kindly share your thoughts and other information you might feel will be worth sharing with other fellow travelers and prove helpful to them.

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267 Comments

  1. Pingback: Live with nature, Don’t show your HUMANITY!!! | Vivek Pandya

  2. Dear Dheeraj,

    Referring to Day 2 of your itinerary below, can one drive directly from Tso Moriri to Tso Kar through Angkung without going back all the way to Upshi on the Leh-Manali highway.Can one drive directly from Lake Moriri to Lake Kar through Angkung without going back all the way to Upshi on the Leh-Manali highway.

    Thank you
    Singababe

    Day 2 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring – Taglang La – Rumste – Upshi – Karu – Leh

  3. Plz share with me the route from Tso Kar to Tso Morriri..
    And also route from Debring to Tso Kar?
    What is the Approx time..

    • Tso Kar to Tso Moriri will go via Polokung La Pass and then you reach Sumdo. From Sumdo you take the diversion and via NamshangLa pass, you reach Tso Moriri Lake. You may like to stay in HomeStay kind of arrangements. Cheap and value for money. Rs 600-700 per night. I travelled other way i.e. Tso Moriri to Tso Kar, it took us appx 5 hours. With enough stoppage for photography. If you are coming from Leh Side, after 8km of debring, you will get diversion towards Tso Kar. There is a sign board also, and you cant miss it.

  4. we are husband wife duo reaching leh on 26/09 morning by flight.would like to rest whole day and go for sight seeing localy along with sunset.27/09-nubhravalley stay at stendel,28/09-pangong lake stay at karzok,29/09-tsomoriri stay,30/09-back to leh at evening via tsokar,01/10-lamayuru with uleytokpo,zanskar etc,02/10-extra day for local sight seeing,03/10-return flight to kolkata via delhi.is it ok or it will be too hectic please advice.

    • It is quite a hectic plan and something that I will never recommend. When flying to Leh, always follow first 4 days as:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      – Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      – Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      – Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      – After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      – If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      – Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      – Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.

      Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      – Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      – Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
      – Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
      – Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
      – Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
      – Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

      Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      – Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      – Overnight at Leh

  5. Pranab Kumar Acharyya on

    Dear Dheeraji/Mr, Rudra,
    How can I enjoy the phograph of Mr, Rudra regarding Ladakh visit ? Kindly advise.
    Regards,
    P.K.Acharyya

      • Hi Dheeraj,
        Great blog, really very informative. Thanks a lot for taking the effort to put it all together, and answer to queries.
        My question is, can we easily get shared taxi/sumo for 2 days trips to Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri from Leh? I’m asking this as we’re only 2 people and it may be too expensive to book an entire taxi.
        Do we have to pre-book it or are options available aplenty and booking can be done after reaching Leh.
        Would be great if you can recommend some good driver for the same.

        • Jitesh, you need to search a bit and find the shared taxis in streets of Main market or changspa road where people post flyers looking for travel partners. In worst case even you can got to Travel agents conducting such shared taxi tours where they charge about 300-500 extra per seat.

        • Hi Dheeraj,
          Thanks for your reply, and sorry to bother you again. If instead of Leh, I go to Kaza, can I get shared taxis to Dhankar, Pin Valley, Ki-Kibber and Tabo from Kaza? Again, we are only 2 people and might not be able to afford booking an entire taxi.
          What other mode of transport do you recommend to visit these places from Kaza. I’ll have 4 full days at Kaza, excluding Manali to Kaza and Kaza to Manali legs.

        • Hello Jitesh,

          There will be local taxis that will be running between these places. Getting a tourist shared taxi will be difficult. Try to find out the timinig of these taxis that run there in between these places from Kaza and then plan the 4 days around there accordingly. Kaza – Tabo, a bus also runs there.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  6. I have just covered Srinagar- Kargil- Leh- Diskit/Hunder- Pangong via warila – Leh- Tsomoriri- Tso Kar- Sarchu- Manali. It was overall a wonderful trip. I have posted appx 60 photographs in my FB with comments under each photo.

    • Good to know that Rudra, glad you have a wonderful trip to Ladakh. If possible, try and share your Himalayan experience with us at DoW – Himalayan Travel Community as Photo Tale or Travel Tale Or your reviews of the hotels/guest houses where you stayed or dhabhas/restaurants you ate food on your trip… All this might help others planning the similar trip too :) :)

  7. Rishabh Rateria on

    Hey Dheeraj,

    Your website is like Wikipedia for Leh. Amazing Work Man!!

    Need you help and suggestions for our Itinerary.

    This is our tentative itinerary :

    15th – Reach Srinagar and leave for Kargil Overnight at Kargil
    16th – Leave for Leh. Rest whole Day
    17th – River Rafting in Zanskar River and rest of the day at Leh.
    18th – Leh to Nubra Valley. Overnight at Nubra Valley
    19th – Back to Leh. Need to do something on this day. Any Suggestions??
    20th – Leh to Pangong Tso Lake – (156 Kms – 4 – 5 Hours). Overnight Stay at Pangong Tso
    21st – Pangong Tso Lake to Tso Moriri – (235 Kms – 6 – 7 Hours). Overnight Stay at Tso Moriri
    22nd – Tso Moriri to Manali – Is it possible?? We plan to go to Manali directly and chill there for a day. Or we need to do Sarachu stop for a day and leave for Manali the next day??
    23rd – Manali – Chill for a day, Visit Rohtang Pass
    24th – Return to Mumbai Via Chandigarh or Dharamshala – Afternoon Flight (Around 1 O’clock) . Is it possible or we need to leave one 23rd for Dharamshala or Chandigarh? We are ready to leave early morning at 4 oclock also to catch our flight.

    Does it look good??

    • Thank you Rishab.

      Below are the inputs on your itinerary:

      1. Not sure when you will reach Srinagar but keep in mind that about 8-9 Hrs it will take to reach Kargil from Srinagar. So, take a call accordingly.
      2. Rafting on third day is not at all suggested as it exerts body and you will not be acclimatized to handle it. You may fell sick. So, avoid. Do it after coming from Nubra Valley. So, you got the needed suggestion on 19th
      3. After Pangong Tso, do it like:

      21: Pangong Tso – Leh
      22: Leh – Sarchu
      23: Sarchu – Manali
      24: Manali to Chandigarh

      • Rishabh Rateria on

        Hey Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your inputs. I have made another itinerary after considering your suggestions and it looks like this :

        15th – Reach Srinagar and leave for Sonmarg Overnight at Sonmarg
        16th – Sonmarg to Leh. Overnight at Leh
        17th – Rest day at Leh. Probably in the second half we can go out to the leh market.
        18th – Leh to Nubra Valley. Overnight at Nubra Valley
        19th – Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso Lake – (156 Kms – 4 – 5 Hours). Overnight Stay at Pangong Tso
        20th – Pangong Tso Lake to Leh. Overnight at Leh.
        21st – Leh to Tso Moriri – (235 Kms – 6 – 7 Hours). Overnight Stay at Tso Moriri
        22nd – Tso Moriri to Sarchu or Jispa
        23rd – Sarchu or Jispa to Manali. Visit Rohtang Pass
        24th – Return to Mumbai Via Chandigarh. Late evening flight.

        Just one thing we are missing it the river rafting, is it possible to accommodate that on any of the days? And overall the itinerary is sound right?

        Thanks in advance!

        • It seems much better, just note that Wari La is an desolated route and there will be no help around in case required. Regarding rafting, you can start early from Pangong Tso and do it on that day, if really necessary.

  8. Also on the route to tso moriri from pangong via karu, is there any stay option/hotel/guesthouse

  9. Hi,
    I was looking at the map n jus wondering on the way to tso moriri from pangong tso via chusul can I skip tsaga la. Tk a turn after completing chusul reach mahe via kaksangla

    • Sudeep, that route is quite dangerous and risky and no one takes that route. It is an alternate in case of emergencies for army. If anything happens there, there is no one for rescue too. So, take a call accordingly. If you are not allowed to pass through Chusul, you will not be able to take any of these routes.

      • Thanks Dheeraj, one thing that’s not related to this thread. I hv a DSLR wid 18-55 lens is that gud engh fr ladakh or do I need to buy 55-250 as well

        • Sudeep, may be some wider lens will help you more because you will like to cover as much possible as you can in wide valley of Ladah. I have a 70-300 and rarely gets it out to change and take a shot. Unless you are interested to take some close portrait shots of persons or wildlife, 55-250 will not serve you much. You will see majority of picture you will click will be of 18-20 range only when you come back :)

        • Ehh I m new to world is DSLRs so wat wud b d measurement of a wide lens I believe these are quiet xpensive

  10. Hi, it’s wonderful to see the good work that you are doing. I too had a query. I prefer travelling alone on my bike. Have been to ladakh last year alone. covered delhi-manali-Leh-nubra-pangong-srinagar-delhi last year and missed out on Tso moriri. This year too I will be going in September solo and would want to cover Tso moriri. is it advisable to take the route before Pang on route Leh from Manali or should I come back from Leh and do a one night, two days trip to Moriri. Especially since I am travelling alone.

    • Pranab, it is NOT recommended at all to sleep at Tso Moriri while going to Leh from Manali side because of high altitude of the lake and your body will not be acclimatized by then. It is best that you do the trip to Tso Moriri when you return from the trip to rest of the Ladakh. Which dates are you planning?

    • Ikshit shah on

      Hi dheeraj,
      We were planning to visit Leh Ladakh on 29th July and returning on 5th Morning.
      Day 1: 30th July: Arrive Via Manali-Sarchu (night stay) at Leh and take rest.(Night-Leh)

      Day 2: 31st July: : Leh – Khardung La – Sumoor – Deskit – Hundar – Nubra Valley. (Night-Nubra)

      Day 3: 1st Aug Nubra valley Return to Leh and local sight seeing + (Thikse Monastery, Leh Palace, Leh Market, Shanti Stupa, etc.(Night-Leh)

      Day 4: 2nd Aug: Leh – Pangong Lake – Leh (Night-Leh)
      Day 5: 3rd Aug: Leh – Tsomoriri- ( Night- Tsomoriri)
      Day 6: 4th Aug: Tsomoriri- Alachi/Ule (Night-Ule orLamayuru)
      Day 7: 5th Aug: Ule to Srinagar ( Night- Sonamarg OR Srinagar)
      Day 8: 6th Aug: Leave Srinagar Airport 1400hrs
      Pls advise & suggest modification in route within time frame.

        • Ikshit shah on

          yes,29th morning will start from Manali.
          >29th Night Sarchu
          >30th rest day at Leh.
          > 31st drive to nubravalley across khardongla pass and over night stay at deluxe camp at hunder.
          > 01st august visit deskit monastery camel ridding own payment and back to Leh.
          > 2nd after breakfast early morning process to pangong lake and back to Leh evening.
          > 3rd after breakfast drive to tsomorri lake over night stay at camp.
          > 4th back to Leh and visit thiksey monastery, sindhu ghat night Leh.
          >5th Leave for srinagar by road

        • Ikshit , I will suggest couple of changes in here. First that you should avoid night stay at Sarchu as it can cause trouble of AMS. Better stay at Jispa or Keylong and do journey to Leh next day. Second, add one day in there after you reach Leh for acclimatization and rest. You will be reaching Leh on 30th which will not be enough for acclimatization and you will be carrying a lot of risk in it.

  11. Somnath Mahapatra on

    Hi dheeraj,
    this is somnath from kolkata. Would like to know if it is possible to cover tso moriri from leh while exiting from leh to manali in a day… We would be be taking something like a leh jeep if possible in around 1st week of August… Thanks in advance…

  12. Gaurav Agrawal on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We were planning to visit Leh Ladakh on 26th July (morning) and returning on 30th Morning. We are confused whether the time is sufficient to cover all the beauties of barren land. Can you please guide me the route if we have to cover both Pangong Tso-Tso Moriri.
    Thanks in Advance.

    • Gaurav, it is too less time to visit Ladakh. Better come back with some more time on hands to really enjoy the beauty of Ladakh. If you flying in and out of Leh, then you should have about 8–10 days of easy comfortable trip to Ladakh covering all three major tourist places in Ladakh.

      • Uday Shanker on

        Hi Dheeraj,
        I am planning to visit Leh-Ladakh during 31/8 – 6/9 along with my wife. We are in our early 30’s and quite healthy :). we’ll be travelling from Hyderabad-Delhi-Leh by flight and same will be our return trip too. I believe the below itinerary suits our plan:

        Day 1: Arrive at Leh and take rest.
        Day 2: Leh local, Thikse Monastery, Leh Palace, Leh Market, Shanti Stupa, etc.
        Day 3: Leh – Khardung La – Sumoor – Deskit – Hundar – Nubra Valley
        Day 4: Return to Leh and take rest
        Day 5: Leh – Pangong Lake – Leh
        Day 6: Leh – Sangam – Magnetic Hill – Gurudwara

        However, we want to include Tso Moriri and Tso kar too in our itinerary. Please advice.

        • Uday, you do not have sufficient days to include Tso Moriri which need at least 2 days. Also, on day 3 just cover Hunder and Deskit. Day 4 you can cover Sumur and Panamik

      • Gaurav Agrawal on

        Thanks Dheeraj for the feedback.
        But we have already booked the ticket and can’t postpone in the last minute.

        Keeping in mind the time constraints, which place we should not skip?

        • Gaurav, in that case you can follow something like below:

          26: Reach Leh, Rest and acclimatize
          27: Rest, acclimatize and local sightseeing in Leh
          28: Day trip to Khardung La and if you can stretch then Nubra Valley only if you are feeling good while ascending
          29: Day trip to Pangong Tso

  13. Sanjay Meela on

    Dheeraj,

    We are planning to go to Tso Moriri from Pangong tso on 16th July. Is the “Pangong Tso Lake to Tso Moriri Lake via Changthang” open at this time? The person at camps of ladakh mentioned that it might not be open but am not able to find clear information from anyone. Any suggestions to whom to talk to?

    • Sanjay, Regarding Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri route or Pangong Tso to Hanle, the permits to Man – Merak – Chusul – Tsaga or remote Changthang routes are being given by DC office in Leh at ON and OFF basis, so keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best if they start issuing the permits by the time you visit or issue you on your lucky day. Also, even if the permits are given then as well there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to cross Chusul Post or not because last year several such incidents happened and people with permits also had to return via same route. All this will mean that you will have to risk it for at least a day getting wasted if you are not allowed because there will be no guarantee until you cross Chusul and Tsaga post. Otherwise, you have to take the traditional routes only via Leh.

    • Moun, it is very hard to find. And above all You should not do Tso Moriri while going from Manali to Leh because first the taxi from Manali will not be allowed to visit Tso Moriri. Even if you manage Leh taxi or going on your own, then you will not be acclimatized to sleep at such high altitude so early in the trip and may cause some ugly AMS issues for you. Highly not recommended, because any help if required will be very hard to find in case you get hit with AMS.

  14. Is it possible to get to Moriri lake from South. There’s a small road Kibber leading to Thaktote and Lam Tso and Krangdom than continue along lake. We are by bicycle. Is it possible by car? Then perhaps by bicycle too…

    • Cinderellla, to get an idea of all the motorable routes in Ladakh along with distances, you can refer: DoW – Maps of Ladakh | Nubra Valley & Changthang. Keep in mind that, the remote routes are isolated and completely off track with almost no roads. Better stick to traditional routes in case it is the first trip to Ladakh.

      Regarding the road you talking about, that is a trek path that leads from Kibber to Tso Moriri and by car it is not motorable. I have not done the trek so can suggest if at all you can take the bicycle there because there could be some steep climbing involved too.

  15. HI Dheeraj,

    I am quite confused about the permissions for the following route

    Leh – Chang la – Pangong – Chang la – Karu – Chumathang (2 days) – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Tanglang la – Leh

    Do i need to take any permits for this route…?

    In DOW user community they are saying no permits needed ..

    http://devilonwheels.com/india/post10661.html#p10661

    • Rivu, there is a direct route from Manali to Tso Moriri and then further to Leh. But, You should not do Tso Moriri while going from Manali to Leh because first the taxi from Manali will not be allowed to visit Tso Moriri. Even if you manage Leh taxi or going on your own, then you will not be acclimatized to sleep at such high altitude so early in the trip and may cause some ugly AMS issues for you. Highly not recommended, because any help if required will be very hard to find in case you get hit with AMS.

  16. Hi,
    I am eager to try out the Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri lake route. We are planning it as below:
    Day 1: Leh to Pangong and overnight stay there.
    Day 2: Head to Tso Moriri and back to Leh.
    How much time does it take from Pangong to Tso Moriri and then from there to Leh? Does the above plan seem fine?

    • Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri, itself is 10-11 Hrs. You cannot make it to Leh on the same day as it is 240 KM of mountain roads more from Tso Moriri to Leh. Also, you need permits for this route and even with permits army might not allow you to pass through.

  17. Hi Dheeraj, Need your help, I am coming leh from Sringar route, from nubra valley we decided to go pangong tso directly, please suggest me route, KM, and time. and from pangong tso we want to go tso moriri and exit from sarchu. suggest route for that too.. is it open for bikers (Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri) also. if we go back to leh, we will loose one day and wont be able to visit tso moriri. If its not possible, either from Pangong tso or tso moriri, which one to go for.

    • Regarding Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso route, in order to take Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Shyok village, you need not need any permits. However, with such a small distance it appears tempting to be done BUT just to analyze the difficulty I will strongly suggest that you read:Trip Report | Nubra – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso Route. The report is from last June & in July/August, most likely the route is washed away. So better confirm first, analyze the high risk involved and then only attempt it or better avoid it unless very much sure.

      Next possible way is to attempt Wari La route, which is also a bit desolated but doable enough. If your driver agrees to travel on this route then take the Wari La route to Pangong Tso. Remember that any help required on both these routes will be HARD to find in miles of distance. If you have couple of vehicles then only take this route otherwise best is to avoid it.

      Regarding Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri route or Pangong Tso to Hanle, the permits to Man – Merak – Chusul – Tsaga or remote Changthang routes are being given by DC office in Leh at ON and OFF basis, so keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best if they start issuing the permits by the time you visit or issue you on your lucky day. Also, even if the permits are given then as well there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to cross Chusul Post or not because last year several such incidents happened and people with permits also had to return via same route. All this will mean that you will have to risk it for at least a day getting wasted if you are not allowed because there will be no guarantee until you cross Chusul and Tsaga post. Otherwise, you have to take the traditional routes only via Leh.

  18. HI Dheeraj,

    YOu said permits are not required for indian tourists in first paragraph, but coming down to travel from pangong to tsomori you should take permit by mentioning the route , Does this permit is required?? What all other permits one should take in
    and around ladakh ??

    Thank you for your contribution on whole ladakh tthings :)

  19. What is d condition of road if we were going through manali-sarchu-pang-tso kar-tso moriri…plz tell me d condition of road after pang from where we have to take a right cut…..

  20. Hi Dheeraj, compliments on this wonderful sharing that you are facilitating .I came on this site by chance. I have a query is how to plan driving from Manali to Leh with stop over at Tsomoriri ++. We are driving up in a Scorpio, 4 of us and have 2 nights – 3 days….Also what would it cost to do an independent trip from Leh to tsomoriri-leh 3-4 nights in our own car vs a taxi tour. Thanks.

    • Poonam, You should not do Tso Moriri while going from Manali to Leh because if you are going on your own, you will not be acclimatized to sleep at such high altitude so early in the trip and it may cause some ugly AMS issues for you. Highly not recommended, because any help, if required, will be very hard to find in case you get hit with AMS there and it will take time to descend from there…

      • Thanks Dheeraj.

        Would you know what would be the cost for a trip by a taxi service from Leh -Tsomoriri, back to Leh for a 2 night out trip?

  21. Saransh Mahajan on

    Hi Dheeraj, I am planning a road trip on my car from Delhi to Leh and back in 8-9 days, I plan to travel by Srinagar while going and coming back from Manali. Is the number of day sufficient and also what other advice you have for us.

    • These are too less number of days for Ladakh road trip. Make it at least 11-12 days to get at least something of the trip. That too will be kind of hectic only.

  22. I am not getting accommodation in TsoMoriri camp/resort on 22 july. Nomadic is not an option based on the review. Please suggest some other option.

  23. This may be a repeated question but can I go from Leh to Tsomoriri and be back to Leh within a day? Leave early morning and reach back late at night on the same day.
    Note: We will be totally acclamatized by then.

    Cheers,
    Swati :)

  24. Hi Dheeraj, Thanks a lot for help to get Taxi driver’s name and fair from Manali to Leh

  25. Chetan Doshi on

    Hello dheeraj
    As I am travelling to Leh this June have discussed the initiary in common initiary page I have planned a night vault at pangong and then wish to go from pangong to tsomorie via chusul-nyoma so is it possible for me to reach tsomorie same day when I leave pangong?

  26. Manna Chowdhury on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Me and my friend gng to leh ladakh in the 2nd week of June, will start from Delhi via Srinagar reach Leh and exit through Manali. We have sorted out the route till Nubra and Pangong.
    And we want to cover Hanle, Tso Moriri and exit through Leh-Manali highway (with a night stop in each places) but we are worried about the road condition as we will pass by it in the last week of June.
    Can you give us some input about the road conditions keeping in mind that its our first trip to Leh-Ladakh region.

    Thanks a lot
    Cheers
    Manna

  27. Pradip Bedajna on

    I am travelling to Ladhak in early June. The last point of my travel is TSO Moriri lake. I would like to know how I can make my return plan from TSO Moriri to Delhi. Should I have to go to Leh and then catch a flight back to Delhi.

    • Pradip, if you do not have time, then better go back and take the flight to Delhi from Leh. Else, you can do it like below:

      Day 1 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 2 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
      — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
      — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

      Day 3 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Manali

      Day 4 | Manali – Delhi
      — Return

  28. aditya raj kapoor on

    hello and thnx for the lovely write-up and advice…am trying to google from Chumathang to Tso moriri..no luck, maybe dirt roads? shall try and do these lakes someday…cheers!!

  29. Hi Dheeraj,

    After reading all your advises, this is the plan I have come up with. We are flying to Srinagar and planning to go to Kargil and take a ladhaki driver for taxi from Kargil till our trip to Manali. We are 4 members + one 5 year old kid. Can you please give me approx amount for the taxi alone from Kargil to Manali in the month of September .
    Friday 12-Sep Reach Srinagar
    Saturday 13-Sep Srinagar
    Sun 14-Sep Go to Kargil in private buses. – Overnight at Kargil
    Mon 15-Sep “Kargil to Leh in a ladhaki taxi , Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
    On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
    Overnight at Leh. Continue the same taxi upto Manali from Kargil.”
    Tuesday 16-Sep Leh local sightseeing; inner line permits
    Wednesday 17-Sep Leh- Hunder; overnight stay at Hundar
    Thursday 18-Sep Hunder- Leh
    Friday 19-Sep Leh- Pangong Tso Lake; overnight at Pangong Lake
    Saturday 20-Sep Pangong Tso Lake- Merak – Chusul – Nyoma- Tso Moriri ; Overnight at Tso Moriri lake
    Sunday 21-Sep Tso Moriri – Pang ; Overnight at Pang
    Monday 2 2-Sep Pang- manali – Start from Manali through some night bus to Delhi
    Tuesday 23-Sep Reach Delhi. Rest in Delhi.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Vidhya, I seriously will not suggest that you make a trip to Tso moriri via chusul with family having small child. Any mechanical failure could prove bad decision over there. I will suggest that you make a day trip to Pangong Tso and do Leh – Tso Moriri or skip Tso Moriri al together and make 2 day trip to Pangong Tso.

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  33. Pranab Kumar Acharyya on

    Dear Dheerajji,
    Kindly inform how much is the yearly/monthly subscription of your blog and how to pay the subscription.
    Regards,
    P.k.Achryya

    • Hello Pranab,

      Well, there is no subscription fees at all, it is all free. You can register your email address for free using the “SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL” option given on the right hand sidebar. All new articles when published will be delivered to your mail box as is :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  34. Pranab Kumar Acharyya on

    Dear Jheeraj Ji,
    As per your suggation, self with 7 heads visitedKalpa,Nako,tabo,Kunjum pass etc.with out any problem.In 2014 we are 7 again planning to visit Ladakh region via Srinagar. Kindly suggest the followings:
    1. Which single car will be most cheap and comfortable for 7 heads for complete journey starts
    from Srinagar,Kargil,leh,Numra vally,pangong lake,Tsomariri,sarchu,Manali and end at Chandigarh station for train for Kolkata?
    2.1st. week of Sept. is O.K.?
    I will follow your suggation regarding Ladakh visit strictly.
    Kindly give your valued comments.
    Regards,
    P.K.Acharyya

    • Hello Pranab,

      Great to know about your Spiti Valley expedition and you r enjoyed it alot.

      1. I will suggest that you take up Winger as none of the small cars will suffice 7 people with luggage and that too on such long journey. It will cost you 35% more than the cost of normal MUV taxi. Also, you cannot have a single vehicle for the complete journey because of Taxi union rules which does not allow taxis outside Ladakh to do sightseeing in Ladakh.

      2. September is a good time to travel to Ladakh when you see the most beautiful colors. IF you can post pone the trip by a week it will help you find the accommodation on the spot as well and save some money too.

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 14-15 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2013-14 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-12% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      For the list of good restaurants in Leh – Ladakh or eateries or food joints where food is enjoyed by many travellers including me, you can check the link here: List of Good Restaurants in Leh – Ladakh | Restaurant Reviews

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  35. DR.VIVEK KESHARI on

    HI DHEERAJ,
    AFTER READING UR BLOGS, COMMENTS & PICS WE ALL DOCTORS FINALLY BOOKED PACKAGE FOR LADAKH AS FOLLOWS , PLZ READ & ADVISE US THAT ANYTHING WHICH IS NOT INCLUDED IN THAT OR ANYTHING U WANT…….
    WE R 4 COUPLES WITH 2 KIDS (2YRS OF AGE) WITH 2 INNOVA ……

    Travel Date: Reaching Leh 9 June 2014 around 7:30 am.

    09th June 2014 / Day 01: Delhi – LehArrival at Leh airport, to be received by our representative and transferred to the Hotel. Check in to the hotel for a complete day of rest wherein welcome tea and coffee will be served by the Hotel. Post lunch visit Leh Market, Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa. O/N Leh.

    10th June 2014 / Day 02: Leh – Lamayuru – Ule 180 Kms / 6-7 hrsAfter breakfast drive to Lamayuru enroute visit Liker Monastery, Magnetic hill and Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. Check in Resort / Camp at Alchi or Ule and enjoy your hot Lunch. After Lunch drive to visit the mesmerising Moon landscapes and the Lamayuru monastery (one of the oldest Monastery in central Ladakh) O/N Ule.

    11th June 2014 / Day 03: Ule – Leh 72 Kms / 3-4 hrsAfter the Breakfast drive to Leh enroute visit Alchi monastery and Hall of Fame. Arrive at Leh by afternoon. Hot Lunch at Hotel. Evening free time at your leisure. O/N Leh.

    12th June 2014 / Day 04: Leh – Pangong Lake 140 Kms / 4-5 KmsAfter Breakfast leave for Pangong Lake 14,500 ft, through Changla Pass 17,350 ft. (third Highest Motorable road in the world) Arrival at Camp, Hot Lunch will be served aat Camp, Later free time at Leisure and enjoy the color changing lake and the sun set on the banks of lake. O/N On the banksof Pangong Lake.

    13th June 2014 / Day 05: Pangong Lake – Leh 140 Kms / 4-5 KmsEarly morning enjoy the pictuereque view of Sun rise on lake. After Breakfast drive back to Leh. O/N Leh.

    14th June 2014 / Day 06: Leh – Nubra Valley 120 Kms / 4-5 hrsAfter Breakfast drive to Nubra Valley via Khardungla (Highest Motorable road in the World, 18,380 ft) Arrive at Hundur by afternoon. Lunch at Camp, rest of the day one is free to explore Panamik Hot water spring, Deskit, Hunder Villages and camel Safari in Sand Dunes between Deskit and Hunder Village. O/N Nubra Valley.

    15th June 2014 / Day 07: Nubra Valley – Leh 120 Kms / 4-5 hrsAfter Breakfast visit Deskit Monastery, where you can have a magnificient view of Nubra Valley and drive back to Leh by same Route, crossing Khardungla Pass. O/N Leh.

    16th June 2014 / Day 08: Leh to Tsomoriri Lake 240 Kms / 240 Kms / 7-8 hrsMorning after breakfast drive to Tsomoriri lake (14000 ft abov sea level) by passing Chumathang (Hot Spring) along the Indus river. Tsomoriri Arr. 1600 Hrs. Afterwards take a walk around the Lake to enjoy the scenic beauty. O/N Korzok Village.

    17th June 2014 / Day 09: Tsomoriri – Tsokar – Taglangla – Leh 260 Kms / 8-9 hrsMorning after breakfast leave to Leh passing Puga (Sulphur Mine), Tsokar Lake, Taklang La Pass 17,585ft, 2nd Highest motorable road in the world. Arrival at Leh by evening. O/N Leh.

    18th June 2014 / Day 10: Leh – DelhiEarly morning transfer to Leh airport to board flight back to destination. Journey ends with Sweet Memories of Ladakh. Tour End
    Hotel Used Confirmed:

    09th – 10th June 2014 / Leh: Pangong Hotel / Confirmed

    10th – 11th June 2014 / Alchi: Zimskhang Holiday Home / Confirmed

    11th – 12th June 2014 / Leh: Pangong Hotel / Confirmed

    12th – 13th June 2014 / Pangong: Martsemik camp / Confirmed

    13th – 14th June 2014 / Leh: Pangong Hotel / Confirmed

    14th – 15th June 2014 / Nubra: Stendal Hotel / Confirmed

    15th – 16th June 2014 / Leh: Pangong Hotel / Confirmed

    16th – 17th June 2014 /Tsomoriri: Tsomoriri Resort (Cottages) / Confirmed

    17th – 18th June 2014 / Leh: Pangong Hotel / Confirmed

    THANXXXX IN ADVANCE

    DR.VIVEK KESHARI
    SECRETARY
    INDIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

    • Hello Dr. Vivek,

      Itinerary looks fine to me, apart from that the only thing that I would like to change here is that you do Nubra Valley First before Pangong Tso. so, do Nubra Valley tour first then Pangong Tso Lake and finally Tso moriri lake.

      Apart from that, just that take ample of rest on Day 1 and keep the body hydrated. You must already know about it ;)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  36. Pranab Kumar Acharyya on

    Dear Dheerajji, Sorry of incomplete information.Self will start my trip from Simla.21.9.-Sarhan,22.9-Chitkul 23/24.9-Kalpa,25.26.9-Kaza 26.9 Kaza to manali.If possible from batal to Chandratal by car.Due by health and knee problem could not walk 36 Km.Kindly advise whether by car(Inova) we can visit Chandratal or not and how.I am in full of energy. Regrds, P.K.Acharyya-09331896835,from Kolka.

    • Pranab ji, roads have not been good so far via Kinnaur and I hope the situation and conditions of the roads might have settled well by now. The above trip is possible and you already have a fair idea of the itinerary. If you want to cover Chandratal then better stay at Losar a day before while move to Manali. This will give you more time at least couple of hours to enjoy at the lake. Road will be open but there is about 2 KMs one side which you will need to trek as road ends 2 KM before. So, it will be 4 KMs of trek but some part of it is quite steep, so in case the problem is of greater magnitude then probably skip Chandratal.

      Do not miss on Komik, Langza villages.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  37. Pranab Kumar Acharyya on

    Dear Dhirajji,
    Again I am calling you after the gap of 4/5 months. I left the idea to visit Leh this year.you know I got my by-pass sugary 2 years back. I contacted my doctor
    , he has given green signal to visit Leh accaording to you suggation.Due to some other reason , I left this idea for 2013.I am planning to visit Kalpa/Kaza from simla

  38. Saikat Roy on

    Thanks Dheeraj for sharing the information about Tsomoriri Lake. Just wondering whether Pangong-Tsomoriri via Chusul is accessible in Late September and permits are available for Indians. Also if you can share the tentative range of cost of Car hire for Leh-Pangong/spangmik(night stay)-Chusul-Tsomoriri/Korzok(night stay)-Leh. Thanks,

    • Hi Saikat,

      It depends totally upon the permits thing, you may get or you may not get. This year these permits are on and off only. So, nothing can be said if you will surely get these permits or not. For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2013-14 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-12% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  39. Hi Dheeraj

    I saw that most of the package tours exclude Tso moriri. But after reading your post i wouldn’t want to miss this lake. I am traveling with my wife to leh, my wife is concerned about the safety, as many ppl don’t travel to this place. Thanks in advance.

      • Thank you dheeraj for the immediate reply. I have decided to go for a customized tour of 9days n 8 nights. We would be covering indus zanskar sangam, nubra valley, pangong lake and tso moriri and a couple of monasteries on the way. My wife is apprehensive that if only the 2 of travel in a cab, we might get kidnapped or something bad might happen. That is what I want to know is it safe for a couple to go to tso moriri. many ppl will be there at pangong n nubra as many tour packages offer to take them there. But with tso moriri I am concerned with the safety!!! Thanking you in advance. DoW is an amazing site.

        • Shravan Ladakh is the SAFEST of places I have been to in my life in terms of human crimes. every single soul is so helpful that words can fell short to explain it. You will always be greeted with lovely smiles no matter what people will be ready to help :)

          Still, DoW has started an initiative under DoW – Himalayan Travel Community for finding Travel Partners or Companions, leave your message in Travel Partners section at the link: Ladakh & Zanskar – Travel Partners Section. There is also a DoW Travel Calendar linked here which can be used to easily and quickly spot a travel partner with similar dates of all the people looking for Travel Partners for their trips. May be you meet someone online going over the same dates.

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