Part of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, the natural enchantress, Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses two of the world-famous high altitude water lakes, Tsomoriri and Pangong Tso. The altitude of the sanctuary varies from 14000 to 19000 feet, and the topography is formed of deep gorges and vast plateaus. There are around 11 lakes and 10 marshes in the Changthang Cold Desert Sanctuary, and the majestic River Indus dances through the sanctuary, dividing it into two parts.  

The snow leopard is the major attraction of this wildlife sanctuary. Rare and threatened animals such as Tibetan wolf, Tibetan argali, Wild Yak, Tibetan gazelle, and the Tibetan antelopes also reside in this vast cold desert landscape. Around 44 species of water birds have been recorded. The endangered Black-necked crane breeds in the marshes here before flying to its winter home in northeast India.

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Flora: More than 200 species of wild plants grow in the higher pasture. These wild plants are mostly edible by animals.

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Fauna: This sanctuary hosts Kaing (Tibetan Wild Ass), snow leopard, lynx, wolf and wild dog. Also, one can spot wild ungulates Tibetan Gazelle, Tibetan Argali, Blue Sheep, Wild Yak, Ibex, and Ladakh Urial.

Avian-Fauna: Brahminy Ducks, Brown-headed Gulls. It offers an ideal breeding habitat for Black Necked Crane and seasonal species of migratory birds.

Best Time to Visit: May to Dec

Area: 4,000 sq. km

Location: In the east of Leh (state J&K), located between Ladakh and the Tibet (China) border.

Things to keep in mind:

- Prior permission to visit the Protected Area required by the District magistrate Leh

- It's better to make arrangement of accommodation in advance from Leh

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Other major attractions of Ladakh:

01

Pangong Lake

 Pangong Lake
Pangong Lake, also known as Pangong Tso, is one of the most spellbinding sites in Ladakh. It is a glacial lake approximately 150 kilometers long which extends into both the Indian and the Chinese territories. The lake is perched at a height of 4350 meters but is in a liquid state even in the deep winters owing to its salinity. One must try camping around Pangong lake to experience the beautiful serenity of the place.

Pangong Lake is a destination straight out of a fairytale- the still waters of the lake against the background of an intense blue sky are fascinating enough in themselves, but the ever-changing colours of the lake further add to its charm. Visiting the Pangong lake is an activity that you absolutely must undertake when in Ladakh. The lake is only 5 hours away from Leh and transportation to and from it is easily procured.
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02

Khardungla Pass

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Khardungla Pass

One of the most famous passes in Ladakh, the Khardung La is one of the few high-altitude motorable roads in the world. When you are on a road trip the might and majesty of its entire setting adds to its imposing aspect and makesvisiting the Khardung La an experience to remember. 

The sights and sounds to be experienced here exceed all expectations- the high altitude (scaling almost 18,500 feet) of the pass makes it a fantastic viewing point from where some of the most awe-inspiring views can be seen. An army canteen near the pass provides tourists with the chance to enjoy a nice hot cup of tea and some snacks as they gaze tirelessly upon the view.

A bike trip is the best way to explore Ladakh's raw beauty. One can start the biking expedition from srinagar, delhi or from manali


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03

Tso Moriri Lake

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Tso Moriri Lake

Another beautiful lake in Ladakh, Tso Moriri is a sight fair seen. It falls on the Ladakhi end of the Changthang Plateau and is fed by sundry streams and the melting snows of neighboring mountains. Surrounded by flourishing mountains on all sides with snow-capped peaks gazing down from far above, this glacial lake is one of the prettiest spots you can visit in Ladakh. 

Nature is at its most benign and benevolent in this lakeside landscape, and gazing upon it will make you want to bow your head in reverence for the powers of nature. The lake is situated approximately 250 km from Leh, 8 hours’ worth of drive away, and can be accessed via tour jeeps and rental cars. Also, don't forget to indulge yourself in camping in Tso Moriri lake


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04

Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley
When in Ladakh you simply cannot miss paying a visit to the iconic Nubra Valley. One of the most beloved sites in Ladakh, this valley offers a range of interesting tourist activities to be enjoyed. Camel safaris on sand dunes or visit monasteries in Diskit, village tours around Hunder and Diskit and Turtuk, and a lot more can be enjoyed in Nubra Valley.

It is one of the prettiest places you will visit in Ladakh and one that will leave you with a whole lot of beautiful memories. You can enjoy Nubra Valley by undertaking a week-long trek or engage in jeep, bike or bicycle safaris. Camping in Nubra Valley is also a fantastic experience so do not miss out on it.
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05

Shanti Stupa

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Shanti Stupa

Leh is significantly influenced by the Buddhist ideals, and stamps of this influence are to be seen all around the state. The Shanti Stupa in Leh is a landmark site in the city and is an example of this far-ranging influence. It is a white-domed chorten which stands proudly on a hill in Leh and is visible from far off. 

The stupa is famous for the relics of Buddha that are preserved at its base and have been enshrined there by the 14th Dalai Lama. The views from the top of the hill only add to the beauty of the place and make visiting the Shanti Stupa a must-do activity in Leh.


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06

Alchi Monastery

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Alchi Monastery
Alchi Monastery is an ancient Buddhist monastery complex in Ladakh that houses many chortens and temples including three major shrines- the Dukhang (Assembly hall), the Sumtsek and the Temple of Manjushri. All three shrines date back to the 12th century and are considered to be of great significance in the Buddhist history of Ladakh.

Beautiful wall paintings also decorate the monuments of the monastery and reflect both Buddhist and Hindu ideals. Woodworks are also an important part of the monastery art. Alchi Monastery is not just a monastery, it is also a monument to Jammu and Kashmir’s past and as such plays an important role in the region. Its location on the banks of the Indus river only adds to the depth of the experience of visiting the monastery.

You can also check out the best hotels in Leh.
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07

Royal Leh Palace

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Royal Leh Palace
An important part of the culture of Ladakh, the 17th century Royal Leh Palace is a palace that stands to overlook the town of Leh. The situation of the palace makes it a wonderful place to look out upon a vista comprising of the small Leh town with the Stok Kangri and Ladakh mountain ranges in the background.

Though the condition of the palace has deteriorated over the years, it is nonetheless an important touristic attraction in Ladakh, and it also houses a museum with artefacts dating back almost 450 years. Visiting this museum is a great way to get some valuable insight into the history and culture of Ladakh.

The visit to the building will also provide you with an excellent example of medieval Tibetan architecture, thus adding to the depth of your Ladakh visit.
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08

Hemis National Park

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Hemis National Park

Hemis National park is a high-altitude national park in Ladakh and is a wonderful place to explore. Open all around the year, this park offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy a heightened level of stillness and peace in Ladakh. The national park houses a wide range of flora and fauna and is home to several exotic species of life. 

But the best claim to fame that Hemis National Park of the park is that it is supposed to be the best place in the world to sight a snow leopard in the wild. For this reason, the Snow Leopard trek inside the park is a favourite trekking trail with adventure lovers in the winter months from December to February.


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09

Diskit Monastery

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Diskit Monastery
Diskit Monastery is one of the places you cannot miss visiting in Ladakh. Located in Nubra Valley, this monastery is the oldest and the largest monastery in the Ladakh region. A grand 100-foot statue of the Maitreya Buddha is enshrined at the entrance of the monastery and makes an imposing picture as you approach the monastery. A number of other shrines and temples are also to be seen inside the monastery.

Located on the plains above the Shyok River, visiting this monastery makes for a wonderful photogenic outing. Though the best time to visit the Ladakh is during the summer, the monastery also conducts a “Festival of the Scapegoat" during February- a festival which reflects the spirit of the culture of Ladakh.
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10

Hall of Fame

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Hall of Fame

Ladakh has often been on the frontlines of the wars between India and Pakistan, and numerous soldiers have lost their lives in the mountains around the region. In order to honour the memory of these brave soldiers, the Indian army constructed the Hall of Fame- a museum dedicated to celebrating the courage of these war heroes. It's a must visit from leh to kargil.

The Hall Of fame comprises of two floors with the first floor detailing the lives of the soldiers and the second floor featuring a hall which contains several artefacts from the Indo-Pak wars, most notably from the Kargil war of 1999. A souvenir shop is also a part of the museum. Since it is located right next to the Leh airfield, visiting the Hall of Fame is an easy matter and can be accomplished whenever you have a couple of free hours in Leh.


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Excellent
"the experience was awesome. The whole thing organized by Thrillophilia was great. Our tour operator Jigmet sir and the whole crew were 1 no. SHAMAAASS. Julley.
05 October 2017
Excellent
First, I would like to say thank you to shyam@thrillophilia.com for their coordination and cooperation by writing my thrillophilia reviews.The trip was well planned and executed extremely well by the tour operators, I am very happy with the services provided by thrillophilia during this trek. 1) Our trek leaders Salman and Stenzin are really a wonderful Guys, they were very helpful and supportive all the time during trekking.Other staff members were also supportive and helpful. 2) Food quality and quantity was good. 3) Accommodation was good, camps were in good shape, neat and clean and quite spacious. Let's review the Trek about which I had read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. No doubt Stok trek was awesome as well as difficult. It would not be correct if I will say Stok trek is the most beautiful trek ???? but there is something which makes this trek different from all other treks and which is the main reason to attract tourist from every corner of the word, that is its height. At 20,500 feet Stok Kangri is the highest trekkable summit in India (6,153 m), what google says but when I googled it bit more and try to find if there is any other trek exist in this word which is above Stok, I did not get any information so I assume this is the highest trekkable summit in world ???? Highlights of this Trek 1) Trekking till base camp is not very tiring, which itself a big achievement as you would be able to achieve the height of 16300 feet ???? and the best part what I found in this trek is “you don’t need to walk too many hours to reach base camp” 2-4 hours walk a day is max you will walk. 2) Leh treks are totally different from Himachal and Uttrakhand treks in terms of scenic beauty, it’s a different experience, you would be able to see some splendid views of the Stok mountain ranges. 3) The last day “Summit day” will give you a totally different experience. You start your trek at night time which generally don’t happen in other treks. Moreover, you will get a chance to do snow trekking in summers as well “Only in summit Day”. Here is a great saying "the best view comes after the hardest climb" Very True!!! Preparation: I should say this is not a trek for first time trekkers but still if someone wants to give a try, Start your preparation at least 2 months before this trek as last day “Summit Day” is really a challenging one, compare to other days where you have to just walk 2-4 hours max here on final day you have to walk for a 12 – 14 hours and Trekking at night on Snow is bit tricky task and it becomes more challenging when you have to walk by putting Crampons on your shoes as rightly suggested by many people at thrillophilia reviews. a) Aim for 5 km running in 30 minutes b) Do breathing exercise which helps you a lot during this trek especially. c) Drink as much as water you can.
It had everything that you dreamed about. It had ice (lots and lots of ice), even when I was sleeping battling the cold at night I was could see those ice sheet right in front of my eyes. We were walking on ice, we were drinking those ice (of-course the boiled one), but the most exciting part was that we were never complaining even under these extreme condition. Thank to these amazing group of people I was travelling with. The support staff, the organiser and each and every people related to this trip were an amazing host. They made us feel at home, they fulfilled almost all our demands. I had done 2 treks before with other organizations, but these people were the best. The fun we had is quite vivid with this picture, but trust me nothing can be explained in words, you just have to feel it. Keep yourself fit and go for it . It will change the way you see nature , it will change your perception towards people and many more things. Stay happy and keep trekking
12 February 2019
Excellent
Being a fauji kid i always dreamt to do something adventurous and so i chose the most dangerous most exciting chadar trek as my first trek. After reaching the hotel in LEH i was welcomed by Satya sir and guess what we both shared common backgrounds i.e. fauj. After having breakfast i went to the room and slept for an hour or two. In the evening we were briefed by Satya sir and Shashank sir about the trek which actually helped me during the trek. We were a group of 14 among which 8 came solo just like me. At night we introduced each other and slept. Next morning we went for sightseeing and explored beautiful Shey palace and monasteries and by that time we all knew each other names. On day 3 we all went for medical checkups and every member from our group was fit for the trek. In the meantime we went to LEH market for some shopping. We were again briefed by Satya sir , Shashank sir and Sonam Sir and guess what we slept in the tents with our sleeping bags. Next day we started our journey from LEH to Chilling . After reaching chilling we were all set to step our foots on chadar for the first time and that feel was amazing. We walked for 3 hours and reached our first campsite. After having a lovely dinner by our porters we sang songs and went to sleep. Next morning i experienced first snowfall of my life and everything all around us appeared to be white and ahhh what an amazing feel i had that time. By God's grace we all successfully made it to Nerak on day 6 and saw that frozen waterfall for the first time. The josh and the deshbhakti inside me came out, i removed my jackets and stuff, wrapped myself in INDIAN FLAG and waved it at NERAK. I cannot describe that feeling until you experience chadar trek, we spent two hours at Nerak. Alright we made it to Nerak so easily and we all were like wow that was easy but nah something was about to come. After having lunch at Tibb caves we started our journey , after an hour there was a patch when our trek leader Dorge sir saw that chadar is weak ahead and went solo upto 50-80 meters & came back and said we cannot go from here, so we climbed up the hill carefully as it was all covered with snow. And again after this we saw the same thing but this time we couldn't go through the hills as those were standing hills. And at this point we all thought one thing that we all made it to nerak so easily, this has to be happened. Dorge sir again went solo up to 50 meters to check the chadar and suddenly his legs went inside the chadar upto knee. Being an experienced trekker he immediately came out and changed his socks. We didnt have any option so we started walking on the chadar. I being second last in my group saw my group mates how carefully they were walking on chadar, I heard the satisfying sound of crushing the chadar when my right foot went inside the chadar and my gumboots was filled by water. Ah i didn't went mad but stayed calm, my friend Dev behind me shouted Dorge sir come here, and he within 30 seconds came back to me removed my gumboots and helped me to change the socks. We successfully made it to our tents that day and the rest of the journey. All I want to say is we were a group of motivators, we became a family and from day 1 to day 9 we all were positive and supported each other. Much thanks to all the porters who made such yummy foods for us. Thank you to dorge sir & Sonam Sir who always said we will go to Nerak. Thank you to Satya sir and Shashank sir who's briefings really helped me during the trek. I wish again to be with this group because we became a family. Thankyou Thrillophilia for such a wonderful journey on chadar. I will be uploading my chadar trek journey on youtube soon i.e. PUNEET VLOGS. Peace
16 July 2019
Excellent
We had a wonderful experience with Thrillophilia Out tour was Leh-Ladakh 6N7D, which includes Leh Sightseen, Nubra Valley Overnight Stay, Pangong Overnight Night. 1. First of all you should know that Thrillophilia doesn't have its own Travel Team. Thrillophilia actually linked up with several local Travel Agency. Once your Tour is booked Thrillophilia tagged one local Travel Agency for your Tour and that particular travel agency will take care of your entire tour. Our travel manager is Lobzang Tseldon. She is very helpful and you will not face any problem in your entire tour. 1. Hotel provided in Leh: Ladakh Heights. The hotel was very good,neat and clean.It is a new hotel so you don't found any pics in the internet. But lobzang will send you the pics of the Hotel. There is a canteen within the hotel where you will be having complimentary breakfast and dinner. Non Vegetarian please let Lobzang know that you want non-veg items as well.they generally prepare veg items only.but on request they will provide you omlette in breakfast and chicken/mutton in dinner. So if anyone wants to book Thrillophilia please ask Thrillophilia to tag you to the travel agency that offers non veg items too. The Hotel Ladakh Heights is a bit far from the main city but don't worry Lobzang will provide you car for visit to Leh market whenever required and she will not charge you for that. You will get a beautiful view from this hotel but if you want to stay near the main city you will not get any view from the hotel. 2. The stay at Nubra Valley was awesome. They have Royal Camp in Nubhra and it's is a nature-friendly camp. You will love it, I can guarantee you. 3. They stay at Pangong was okay. You can understand that at that altitude you will not get luxury.so the camp provided at Pangong was good for 1 night stay. Overall my experience with Thrillophilia was very good. We enjoyed a lot. Thanks a lot to Lobzang Tseldon for the wonderful arrangements of our tour.
As we visited Ladakh we got to know that everything about it is exceptionally attractive and worth exploring. And also when we have such good and cooperative team it becomes more comfortable and reliable for the travelers. Thanks for a memorable trip.
24 February 2020
Excellent
It was the best experience of my life I have visited many places but this place was amazing because of its environment there was a lot of ice this trip have a good impact on my life, we get away from the daily hustle-bustle of city I enjoy this trip very much I really love this place and I want to visit it again.
22 February 2020
Excellent
Ladakh was on top of our list. It was an awesome guide we have on the trek, so beautiful place and totally different adventure. The meals were nice as per the location, in mid there were some problems but we all combine deal with it.
12 March 2020
Excellent
We were the group of five we decide to visit this Ladakh together, so we book the trek from Thrillophilia because they always provide the best deal, This place was very beautiful and we love this place. snow was just beautiful, the weather was also in our favour, the guide was excellent and professional this was one of my best trips.
I book the trek from Thrillophilia because I want to visit this place, suddenly my friend suggests me to book it, as there was a discount going on the website so I book the trek and it was a good experience, and the place was wonderful.

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People Also Ask About Leh

  1. What are the best places to stay near Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary?

    1. Tsokar Eco Resort: Set amidst lush greenery, Tsokar Eco Resort offers cozy rooms, a restaurant, a fireplace, and a dining area. It also has a fully-furnished kitchen where you can prepare your own meals.

    2. The Grand Dragon: 
    The Grand Dragon features tastefully decorated deluxe rooms, heritage rooms, heritage suites, and luxury suites offering stunning mountain views. They also arrange trekking tours, bonfire, and barbeque on demand.

    3. Ladakh Himalayan Retreat: 
    Surrounded by beautiful plantations and glacial streams, Ladakh Himalayan Retreat features well-lit deluxe and suite rooms and an on-site restaurant. It also has a lush lawn where you can sit and enjoy a cup of hot coffee while listening to the enchanting chirpings of the Nubra Valley birds.

    4. Goose Homestay: 
    Equipped with 4 clean and spacious rooms, Goose Homestay offers a totally home-like staying experience. The homestay offers its guests in-house cooked meals in its spacious dining room. 
  2. How to reach Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary?

    Situated at an approximate distance of around 75 kilometers from Ladakh, Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is a drive of 2 hours and 10 minutes from the city. You can also take a private taxi from Leh and travel to the sanctuary.

    However, taking a local taxi to reach Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary can be more pricey in comparison to renting a self-drive car. You can also travel to the sanctuary via the Srinagar-Manali route by availing a bus service.
  3. What is Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

    Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is famous as the world’s 2nd largest nature reserve. It is also popular for its umpteen varieties of unique flora and exotic fauna including Tibetan Argali, Blue Sheep, and Kiang.
    This wildlife sanctuary is also known widely for sheltering 3 famous lakes including Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, and Pangong Lake.