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Tsomo Riri Lake

Situated at a height of 4595m above sea level, the Tso Moriri Lake is a beautiful stretch of water that sits on the Trans Himalayan range. It is bound by the Ladakh region in the North, Tibet in the east and Zanskar in the west. This lake is located in Jammu and Kashmir’s Changthang town and the road that leads into the lake is simply incredible as it full of natural beauty that is beyond one’s imagination. Though Pangong Lake is the bigger one in the state, the Tso Moriri Lake clearly stands apart in terms of natural beauty. The road journey from Pangong to this lake is about 240km and is replete with the misty mountains and steep valleys.  Travellers coming by car should have enough supply of fuel with them, because there is not a single petrol pump in this stretch of 240km.

Of all the lakes that are found in this region, located fully in India, the Tso Moriri Lake is the tallest. The Wetland Conservation Reserve of Tso Moriri Lake is a tourist spot in the Leh region and it gets its waters from the springs and the molten snow of the Changthang plateaus. There are two streams that flow in this lake from the north and southwest directions. Marshlands dominate the area where these streams intersect. Of late, due to the huge presence of lands around these streams, the waters of the lake have become salty.

Diversity of Flora and Fauna

The wetland reserve of Tso Moriri Lake is open to the public during summer season. During the migratory season and regular seasons, this place is home to many different kinds of flora and fauna which are visual treats for the nature lover. Of the 34 odd varieties of birds that are found here, around14 are birds that breed on water. Some of the rare species of birds found here are Cranes with black necks, Grebes with black necks, Grebes with a great crest, Gulls with brown heads, Geese with bar heads and the Ferruginous Pochard.

Among the animals, some of the exotic varieties that can be spotted here are sheep from Great Tibet, a rare kind of species of hare and vole, three unique varieties of Sand Fox of Tibet and mouse hares, Blue Sheep of the Himalayas, Antelope from Goa, Ass from Tibet, unique kind of marmot, snow leopard and the Tibetan Wolf. The plants and trees that are found on the wetland reserves are mostly thick covers of Potamogeton, Carex, Juncus, Primula, Astragalus, Caragana, Pedicularis, Oocystis and other lush pastures where livestock are reared.

When to Visit

During the winter season that is between December and March the lake is completely frozen, shutting it out completely from the purview of tourists. Once April sets in the ice starts melting and the beauty of the lake opens up slowly, which is why the lake gets the maximum number of tourists from the months between May and August.

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