A lot of people traveling to Ladakh are now opting for public transport to reduce the overall budget of the Ladakh trip. So, questions like “Can I make a trip from Leh to Tso Moriri bus?” are not surprising.
Traveling by bus to Tso Moriri from Leh not only saves cost but you get to travel in Ladakh in a unique way. The method of using public transport is very common among solo travelers in Ladakh.
So, in today’s article why not answer this question about traveling from Leh to Tso Moriri by bus.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Why do you need Leh to Tso Moriri Service?
Private taxis in Ladakh are very costly, and if you are traveling solo in Ladakh or on a shoestring budget, it is something that may put a big dent in your pocket. So, what are your options for sightseeing in Ladakh to the places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri without spending too much money?
However, as more and more people are visiting Leh Ladakh, the streets are filled with tons of tourists in the season time. You can always find travel partners in Changspa road area or Leh main market area to share taxi costs with them. The taxis to cover sightseeing places near Leh will not cost you much. So, even if you get a couple of people, you can afford the taxi for local Leh sightseeing.
However, if you want to make a trip to Tso Moriri from Leh, you will have to spend Rs 14,000 for the taxi. Even if you get five people to share the cost of this private taxi to Tso Moriri, it means you have to spend Rs about Rs 3000 each for a two day trip to Tso Moriri lake from Leh in a private taxi.
Some travelers are on a shoestring budget and spending Rs 3000 could be a decent portion of their overall budget of Leh Ladakh trip. So, let me share the details with you about the bus service that runs between Leh and Tso Moriri including the bus schedule, timings, and the bus ticket fare.
Leh to Tso Moriri Bus Service – Timing & Schedule
Let me start with the details on the schedule and timing of the bus from Leh to Tso Moriri.
Three buses travel from Leh to Tso Moriri every 10th, 20th, and 30th day of the month. Hence, you can only plan your trip from Leh to Tso Moriri by bus on these dates in the month. The Leh to Tso Moriri bus leaves at 6.30 AM on these dates from Leh bus stand.
The Return Journey
The bus from Tso Moriri to Leh leaves on 11th, 21st and 31st/1st day of every month. It is the same bus that comes from Leh to Tso Moriri on the previous days and hence, it leaves the next day.
This means that only three buses are available in a month to travel from Leh to Tso Moriri by bus. So, plan your trip to Tso Moriri lake on these dates only in case you are interested in traveling by bus from Leh to Tso Moriri.
Please note that the Leh to Tso Moriri bus may not say Tso Moriri lake on it, but it may have the name of the village as in Korzok. The Korzok village is located nearest to the Tso Moriri lake, only a 15-minute walk from its shores and offers a panoramic view of this high altitude lake in India.
Bus Fare for Leh to Tso Moriri Bus Service
It is always better to buy the ticket for the bus from Leh to Tso Moriri in the prior evening itself from Leh bus stand. This advance buy helps to ensure you are boarded the next morning on the bus.
- The one-way bus fare for Leh to Tso Moriri bus service is Rs 370 per person
- The one-way bus fare for Tso Moriri to Leh bus service is also Rs 370 per person
So, a round trip bus ticket of Leh to Tso Moriri trip by bus will cost you Rs 740 per person. You can get a homestay or dorm tent at Tso Moriri lake for about Rs 400 – 500 per person and the two meals will cost you about Rs 150 – 200 at these homestays.
Hence, the two-day budget trip from Leh to Tso Moriri by public transport will cost you only about Rs 1300 – 1400 in total with transport, food and stay.
Other Options to Travel to Tso Moriri Lake from Leh by Bus
Apart from these three monthly JKSRTC buses that run between Leh and Tso Moriri, there are other local buses that run from Leh bus stand to the nearby villages like Chumathang, Hanle, Mahe, Koyul, etc…
If the direct buses to Tso Moriri from Leh are not matching your schedule, you can also travel to Tso Moriri by these buses that will help you reach nearby Tso Moriri. Then from that village or Mahe bridge, you can travel further to Tso Moriri by hitchhiking. Sometimes you may find one local shared jeep traveling to Korzok or Tso Moriri from these nearby villages or Mahe bridge.
Finally, if nothing works out for you in these nearby villages then you also have an option to ask some villagers to drop you to Tso Moriri lake in his private car/vehicle and charge a
You can always refer to the complete Leh Ladakh bus schedule to read about all the buses that operate in the Ladakh region. However, I have mentioned brief details of the buses in Ladakh that go to nearby Tso Moriri from Leh.
Buses for Nearby Villages to Tso Moriri
Leh to Chumathang Bus Service
Chumathang is 85 km before Tso Moriri towards Leh. It is a simple settlement with the army presence. There is a couple of dhabhas and Chumthang Hot Spring resorts. Hot springs are also present which makes this place safe to stay when visiting Tso Moriri in winters.
There is a bus that runs from Leh to Chumathang every alternate Sunday at noon. The cost of the bus fare is Rs 214. You can always reach Chumathang and then hitchhike to either Tso Moriri or Mahe bridge or village to further get some lift or hitchhike to Korzok village.
Leh to Tsaga Bus Service
Leh to Tsaga bus service also passes through Chumathang and Mahe on the way to Tsaga from Nyoma – Loma route. You can get down at Mahe village or Mahe bridge and then hitchhike or take a lift to travel on the remaining 60 KMs to Tso Moriri from Mahe bridge.
The bus from Leh to Tsaga runs every Friday at 9.00 AM and the fare all the way to Tsaga is Rs 356. However, up to the Mahe bridge, it should be around Rs 270.
Leh to Hanle Bus Service
Leh to Hanle bus service also passes through Chumathang and Mahe on the way to Hanle from Nyoma – Loma route. You can get down at Mahe village or Mahe bridge and then hitchhike or take a lift to travel on the remaining 60 KMs to Tso Moriri from Mahe bridge.
The bus from Leh to Hanle runs every Saturday at 6.30 AM and the one-way fare all the way to Hanle is Rs 492. However, up to the Mahe bridge, it should be around Rs 270.
Leh to Koyul Bus Service
Leh to Koyul bus service also passes through Chumathang and Mahe on the way to Koyul from Nyoma – Loma route. You can get down at Mahe village or Mahe bridge and then hitchhike or take a lift to travel on the remaining 60 KMs to Tso Moriri from Mahe bridge.
The bus from Leh to Koyul runs every Tuesday at 6.30 AM and the one-way fare all the way to Koyul is Rs 473. However, up to the Mahe bridge, it should be around Rs 270.
Some Important FAQs
1. Is there any other way to travel to Tso Moriri from Leh if I miss the bus?
As you can see that buses to Tso Moriri from Leh only run on three days in a month. So, on all other days, you only have the option to travel by shared tourist taxis. You will have to find either the group looking to share cost or go to a travel agent and book a seat on their shared tours.
There are lots of flyers that people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh.
You also have the option to travel to nearby villages to Tso Moriri and travel from those villages to Tso Moriri by hitchhiking.
2. How much time will the bus take to reach Tso Moriri from Leh?
Tso Moriri is 240 km from Leh and this bus journey will take about 10-11 hrs to reach Tso Moriri from Leh.
3. Can I do pre-bookings for Leh to Tso Moriri bus service?
No, there is no pre-booking option available for Leh to Tso Moriri bus service. These are ordinary buses run by the state JKSRTC department. You may book the ticket one evening in advance from the ticket counter at Leh bus stand.
4. Is it possible to book the Tso Moriri – Leh bus online?
No, there is no online booking facility available to purchase tickets for the Tso Moriri Leh bus service. You may book the ticket one evening in advance from the ticket counter at Leh bus stand.
5. Is the journey on a Tso Moriri to Leh bus comfortable?
These buses are ordinary JKSRTC buses with no deluxe comfort. Hence, do not expect much and try to travel like a local. Some local travel agents do run tempo travelers, but then you are looking for shared tourist taxis or tempo travelers which costs higher than these standard buses.
You will find such options in plenty in Leh main market or Changspa road as mentioned in question #1.
6. Do these JKSRTC buses from Tso Moriri to Leh stop for any sightseeing on the route?
These buses do not stop for any sightseeing on the route to Tso Moriri. Hence, you will not be able to click photos wherever you like as the bus will not stop at your wish.
However, you can try to grab a right-hand window seat on Leh to Tso Moriri bus to capture some basic photos from the moving bus or enjoy the journey. The views will keep on changing from left to right, but overall the right-hand side will offer you the most scenic views and of course, the first sight of the lake.
Please note that the bus will stop at the Upshi or Chumathang for a tea break or lunch breaks and even at Sumdo village. You can grab a soup or tea, food there and also quickly take some photos of the nearby scenic views.
I hope this article will help you learn about the bus service from Tso Moriri to Leh and vice-versa. I have tried to cover most important FAQs towards the end, but if you still have got any questions on making a trip to Tso Moriri by public transport, please feel free to post those questions in the comments section.
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Have you traveled on the Leh to Tso Moriri bus on your trip to Ladakh? I will be happy to hear about your experience in the comments section of the article.
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