Lakes in Ladakh



Every Indian who has watched 3 Idiots, wants to go here. Yes, this was the river you’d seen in the last few scenes of the Bollywood blockbuster. A very popular tourist attraction, this river is a great spot for camping (which we highly recommend) and is in the eastern region of Ladakh. Lakes (Ladakhi – Tso = Lake) PANGONG TSO is in disputed territory. The Line of Actual Control passes through the lake. A section of the lake approximately 20 km east from the Line of  Actual Control is controlled by China but claimed by India. The eastern end of the lake is in Tibet and is not claimed by India. The western end of the lake is not in dispute. After the mid-19th century, Pangong Tso was at the southern end of the so-called Johnson Line, an early attempt at demarcation between India and China in the Aksai Chin region. The brackish water of the lake has very low micro-vegetation. Guides report that there are no fish or other aquatic life in the lake, except for some small crustaceans. On the other hand, visitors see numerous ducks and gulls over and on the lake surface. There are some species of scrub and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes around the lake. The lake acts as an important breeding ground for a variety of birds including a number of  migratory birds. During summer, the Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks are commonly seen  here. The region around the lake supports a number of species of wildlife including the Kiang and the Marmot.



TSO MORIRI or Lake Moriri (official name: Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation  Reserve), is in the Changthang (literal  meaning, northern plains) area, is a High Altitude Lake (HAL) with an altitude of  4,595 m (15,075 ft) in Ladakh, India and is the largest of the High Altitude Lakes  in the Trans- Himalayan biogeographic region, entirely within India. It is  hemmed between Ladakh in the North and Tibet in the east and Zanskar in the west; the Changthang plateau is the geographical setting with snow peaks that provides the source of water for the Lake. Accessibility to the lake is limited to summer season only. The lake formerly had an outlet to the south, has contracted considerably and has become land locked; as a result; the water is now brackish  to saline. The lake is fed by springs and snow-melt in two major stream systems, one entering the lake from the north, the other from the southwest. Administratively Tsomoriri has been declared as a wetland reserve. A Number of species of birds included Bare-headed Goose, the Great-crested Grebe, the Brahmin Duck and the Brown-headed Gull. Himalayan Hares and the Tibetan Wild Ass or the Kiang are abundantly found here.



TSO KAR lake is a part of the Salt Lake Valley, which covers an area of around 140 sq km. and is  at a distance of 45 km northwest of the Tsomoriri Lake. Tsokar Lake shares a beautiful landscape with the fresh water Panluk Lake in this  Salt Lake Valley. The local shepherds 'Changpas' can often be seen collecting and extracting salt from the Tsokar Lake to distribute it to the other parts of the state. On a trip to various lakes and valleys of the state of J&K, you may travel another 22 km east from the Tsokar Lake to visit the Puga Valley, which is famous for its borax and sulphur deposits and hot water springs. These hot water springs are considered to have several medicinal elements that can cure skin diseases. The heavy amount of the salt in the lake makes it look like a 'White Lake', which is basically the main element of its charm and attractiveness. Tsokar Lake is a well known salt lake in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, located near Rupso in Leh district. Spotting a white water lake surrounded by several hot water springs at an altitude of about 5000 metres is simply a wonder of the nature. Tsokar, the salt water lake, covers an area of about 10 sq km.

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