Magnificent Lakes at Ladakh
Ladakh is home to several enchanting lakes known for sightseeing, unique ecosystem and adventure sports. As peak winter temperatures hover near -50 degrees, these lakes freeze to a depth of several meters. Offering a romantic aura, these lakes are among the most enchanting attractions of Ladakh.
Tso Moriri Lake
Tso Moriri or "Mountain Lake" is situated at an elevation of about 4,900m, in the middle of the elevated valley of Rupshu. With a length of about 22 k and width varying from 5 to 7 km, Tso Moriri boasts of being one of the largest lakes of Ladakh. The lake, surrounded by 6000 m peaks, is almost like an inland sea. As it freezes in winters, people can enjoy sports like skiing on its surface.
The salty water of the lake is unfit for human consumption. The whole valley is inhabited by the local shepherds, "Changpas". Tso Moriri is a much sought after place for wildlife enthusiasts. The area is rich in Kyang (wild ass), red fox, highly endangered snow leopard, black necked cranes and Brahminy ducks. Another attraction near the lake is the 350 year old Karzok monastery, which has about 33 resident monks.
Offering a delightful sight, Pangong Lake is the world?s highest brackish lake at 14,256 feet above sea level. The lake was opened to tourists a few years back by the Government. This 8 km wide and 134 km long lake lies across the Changla Pass. This saltwater lake sprawls over both Ladakh and Tibetan territory. Pangong Lake changes to blue, green, aqua and reddish with the change in weather and season. Tourists can shoot the black necked Siberian crane and several other migratory birds here with their cameras.
With a length and width of 3 km and 1.5 km, respectively, this small lake lies about 10 km north of the Tso Moriri Lake. Kyaghr is also a popular lake in terms of natural beauty, but the water being brackish is not fit for human consumption. It is an ideal camping site for trekkers moving from the Kiangdum camping ground to the Tso Moriri Lake.
Tso Kar Lake
Beyond the Thanglang La Pass lies the salty Tso Kar or the ?White Lake?. This small lake is situated about 155 km from Leh. People often visit the nearby Thukje village, popular for the monastery of Thukje. One can find several hot springs near the lake. The nearby region is inhabited by the nomadic tribe ?Khampas?.