Tso Kar Lake Home > Jammu And Kashmir > Attractions > Rivers And Lakes > Tso Kar Lake

Tso Kar Lake

Not far from the famous Tso moriri Lake is Tso Kar Lake. Their proximity makes both lakes similar to one another in terms of topography and waters. Tso Kar is the smallest of all three lakes in Ladhak and is situated in Rupshu valley of Ladhak. The water is salty in nature and it is an oligotrophic lake which supports micro vegetation around the lake.

The inlet stream of Tso Kar Lake is alkaline and a lot of vegetation can be seen here floating on the water bed. Sedge and buttercups grow on the shore and die as winter commences. The plains around the lake are spread by tragacanth and pea bushes.

Tso Kar is situated between two mountain peaks of mount Thugjie and Gursan at an altitude of 6000 m. The inlet stream for Tso Kar coming from south west is Startsapuk Tso. Courtesy to its high altitude, temperatures dip below freezing point in winters around -40 degree C. In summers the temperature soars up to 30 degree C in day time. But rain and snow fall are a rare phenomena here.

Tso Kar Lake is a paradise for bird watchers. There are extreme rare varieties of birds which flock near the lake. You might be able to spot breeding colonies of grebes and strip geese. The lake also flourishes with brown-headed gulls and terns. Black necked cranes and Tibetan grouse are also seen around Tso Kar Lake. Some of these birds have a low flight and they dip up and down in the lake waters with flawless accuracy. Some soar high over the lake, forecasting their reflections in the water. These sights are miraculous.

Tso Kar is also an important habitat for Kiang (Tibetan asses), Tibetan Gazzelles, Tibetan Wolves and foxes. Kiangs can be spotted in herds near the lake. Yaks and horses are reared by local nomads here. The plains of this lake are an amazing sight for to see mammals and click some memorable pictures.  The mountainous terrain is also home of ibex and snow leopards.

The lake got its name because of the large amounts of salt deposits found here. The water has no outlet and thus has turned brackish. A major part of this lake is still and edges are lined with white pebbles. Tso Kar Lake is an exciting adventurous option for a night stay but as night falls, temperatures drop to freezing point even during summers accompanied by strong chilly winds. For adventure lovers, a tented camp site is provided on the west bank of Tso Kar Lake.

Reaching The Lake

Tso kar Lake is easy to access and lies at a distance of 160 km from Leh. It lies 30 km west from Leh-Manali Road and 540 km from Srinagar. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this lake is from June to September.

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