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Lakes of Ladakh

Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, Nyak Tso, Yarab Tso, Mirpal Tso, Stat Tso and Lang Tso, Kiagar Tso, Chagar Tso, and many more beautiful lakes of Ladakh.

Ladakh is a land blessed by nature and the lakes in Ladakh are simply a case in point. There is something very awe-inspiring in the sight of the graceful blue waters reflecting the intensity of the clear skies set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and sweeping plains.

This is exactly the picture that bursts upon you the first time you set your eyes on a lake in Ladakh, and no matter how many times you see in again, it never ceases to amaze you with its subtle simplicity and unobtrusive beauty. If you are on your tour to Leh, you simply cannot miss visiting the famous lakes in Ladakh. They are an integral part of the landscape and play a very central role in blessing the land with variety and add to its vibrancy.

There are dozens of lakes in Ladakh, many of which do not even have documented names. Of these lakes, the Pangong lake and Moriri lake are perhaps the best known and attract hordes of tourists every summer season. And while paying a visit to these popular lakes is an absolute must in Ladakh, you should not confine your lake visits only to the popular lakes.

There are many other marvellous lakes all around the place and visiting them gives you a chance to enjoy the majestic scenery without the hassle of crowds. The adventure that these lakes of Ladakh present make every moment spent around them a memorable experience and the photography opportunities you get to satisfy the soul.

While these lakes can be visited individually and one day at a time, there is also the option of visiting them by planning a Ladakh lake trek. This kind of trek will involve trekking from one lake to the next over a period of a week to 10 days. This kind of trek in Ladakh not only gives you the chance to enjoy multiple lakes but also introduces you to the other beautiful attractions of Ladakh. 

No matter how you choose to enjoy the lakes in Ladakh, it will be an experience worth remembering.

Here are some of the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh:

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01

Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso is one of the most famous lakes in Ladakh. 150 kilometres long, extending into both India and China, and rich in natural beauty, this lake must be seen to be believed. Set against a backdrop of intense blue skies, golden plains and snow-capped peaks, Pangong Tso seems purely magical. The lake has several unique characteristics which separate it from other lakes in Ladakh. For one, Pangong Tso Lake never freezes. 

Though it is perched upon a high altitude of 4,350 metres, the lake remains in a liquid state even in the depths of winter. This is because of the saline content of the lake- a unique outlaw in a region rich in glaciers. But nature’s magic does not stop here. There are various camps around Pangong lake which attract a lot of tourists.

 Pangong Tso is also famous for the ever-changing colours of its water which makes it a picturesque delight. There are many camping facilities around the Pangong Tso, so make sure you spend some time admiring it in all its moods when you are in Ladakh.

Distance from Leh: 250 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: There are several jeep safaris that take you to the Pangong Lake and you can also rent a bike or car for yourself in Leh.

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02

Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri, which translates to “Mountain Lake’, is a glacial lake situated high in the Ladakhi mountains of the Changthang Plateau. Tso Moriri is one of the most beautiful sites in Ladakh and should not be missed when you are in the region. It is situated at an altitude of 4,522 metres and is vast in its dimensions. 

Tso Moriri is fed by mountain streams and snow melt-off from the mountains which makes the lake one of the many freshwater lakes in the Ladakh region. Its surroundings are verdant in the summer and an atmosphere of freshness and positivity fills the air around the lake and birdcalls thrill with their music. 

Its high-altitude means that the lake is only accessible during the summer months, and you will find several tourists enjoying its beauty during that time.

Distance from Leh: 240 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: There are several jeep safaris that take you to Tso Moriri and you can also rent a bike or car in Leh.


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03

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Ladakh Bike Trips Explore All (38)
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04

Tso Kar

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Tso Kar

Located on the Rupshu Plateau in Southern Ladakh, Tso Kar is a breathtaking lake renowned for its size and depth. It is a unique lake, but unfortunately, is not well-featured on the Ladakh itineraries. There is a beauty about the lake which comes from its very difference- 

Tso Kar is a heavily saline lake with weeds, nettles and other lake plants growing within and a tendency to form salt crusts on the outside. Though it is not as large as the Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri, Tso Kar’s strength lies in its serenity. 

Since not many people visit the lake, those who do actually end up enjoying a greater level natural beauty in a blessed solitude which the popularity of the two other lakes denies their visitors. Visiting Tso Kar is a wonderful experience while on your Leh Ladakh road trip, and if you really want to know all about the various lake landscapes of Ladakh, a trip to Tso Kar is a must-do.

Distance from Leh: 160 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: You can rent a car or bike in Leh and drive over to this lake.


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05

Nyak Tso

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Nyak Tso

Nyak Tso is a small and delightful lake situated in the upper reaches of the Himalayas. Unfortunately, Nyak Tso does not fall within the Indian borders but falls in Tibet, 30 kilometres away from Rudog in Ladakh. Visiting Nyak Tso may turn into a complicated matter because of its border division, but if you can visit it, the lake will reward you with a very pleasant picture of natural beauty. 

Nestled in the midst of stern mountains and sheer cliffs, this lake is almost like an oasis of extraordinary worth. The photographic beauty embodied by it is stunning, to say the least, and the force of nature is easily understandable in its environs. The peace and solitude that hangs over the lake only add to the complex beauty of Nyak Tso. Many travellers on their Leh Ladakh bike expedition often visit this place for a peaceful experience.

Distance from Leh: 120 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: You can rent a car or bike in Leh and drive over to this lake.


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06

Yarab Tso

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Yarab Tso

One of the many lakes in Ladakh, Yarab Tso is located near the Panamik village of Nubra Valley and is a must-visit spot for anyone touring the valley. Yarab Tso captures all the peace and serene stillness of Nubra Valley and sends out its fragrance into the air all around. 

Surrounded by steep mountain cliffs and towering mountain peaks, this lake is considered to be among other highest in Ladakh and is full of a magnificence that is hard to rival. 

Yarab Tso is not just a lake, it has also had important Hindu Leh legends and is thus considered to be a holy lake in the region. If you wish to go offer Bitten track, definitely considered paying a trip to its place during your Manali Leh Srinagar bike trip.

Distance from Leh: 180 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: You can rent a car or bike in Leh and drive over to this lake


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07

Mirpal Tso

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Mirpal Tso

Ladakh is rich in lakes and Mirpal Tso is another spectacular example of the same. While most popular lakes in Ladakh are brimming with tourists, Mirpal Tso is an isolated lake which only has solitude and silence for companions.  The lake is located in Chushul and has both sandy shores and fresh waters to its credit. 

If you want to head out on an adventurous outing in Ladakh and want to see sights that have only been seen by a few eyes, Mirpal Tso will fulfil your requirements and provide you with an awe-inspiring experience to cherish for long.

Don't forget to check out the list of hotels in Leh before you start planning your next trip and make your stay wonderful.

Distance from Leh: 202 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: You can rent a car or bike in Leh and drive to the lake.


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08

Stat Tso and Lang Tso

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 Stat Tso and Lang Tso

Stat Tso and Lang Tso are the twin lakes in Ladakh and make for a particularly enchanting visit. The lakes are situated in the Zanskar region of Ladakh, close to the Pensi la pass and can be visited in tandem with the pass. 

They are small lakes situated close by each other, and because of their relative lack of popularity, remain one of the lesser explored destinations in Ladakh. Exploring Stat Tso and Lang Tso will give you a chance to create unique memories in Ladakh since this is one destination that not many know of which makes it a must visit a place during their Manali to Leh bike expedition.

Distance from Leh: 369 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: You can opt for a shared jeep safari to this lake or drive there in your own (rented) vehicle.

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09

Kiagar Tso

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Kiagar Tso

If you are travelling to Ladakh via the Manali-Leh highway and take the road leading to Tso Moriri, you will pass by the Kiagar Tso Rupshu Valley. Located at a height of nearly 4000 metres, this lake provides tourists with a well-deserved refreshment in the form of a serene landscape made up of shimmering blue waters surrounded by stalwart mountains all around. 

The lake is saline in nature and is almost like an oasis in the middle of a desert. The cool mountain winds in combination with the warm sun and sweeping landscape make for a very enticing picture. Wild animals can be seen grazing around the shores of the lake and the entire ambience is very refreshing. A stopover at this lake is a good way to enjoy some time on your Ladakh trip.

Check out the Srinagar Leh guide and start planning your trip.

Distance from Leh: 270 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: If you are travelling to Leh via Manali, just take the road which leads to Tso Moriri. If you are travelling from Leh, you can include visits to Tso Moriri and Tso Kiagar in the same outing.


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10

Chagar Tso

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Chagar Tso

Located en route to Pangong Tso, Chagar Tso is one of the many small lakes in Ladakh which add to the beauty of the Ladakhi landscape. This lake is fed by glacial waters and can be seen calmly sparkling in the sunlight all day long. There is hardly any crowding around the lake because of its lack of popularity. 

But this only makes stopping at the lake a far more pleasant experience for those who choose to visit it. You can easily incorporate a visit to Chagar Tso on the trip to Pangong Tso. Spending some time on its banks will relax and refresh your body after the long car ride during your Manali Leh jeep safari and make the remainder of the trip a more enjoyable one.

Distance from Leh: 200 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: If you are travelling via a shared jeep, you can ask them to stop here or you can simply rent a vehicle in Leh and drive over to the lake.


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11

Kyun Tso & Ryul Tso

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Kyun Tso & Ryul Tso

Kyun Tso and Ryul Tso are twin lakes located near Hanle and Nyoma in Ladakh. These lakes are marvellous to behold. Nestled in the midst of towering cliffs and peaks at over 5000 metres these lakes provide some of the most pristine experiences in Leh

Their attitude and location also make them rather difficult to visit and only hard-core adventure enthusiast find it in themselves to surmount the road obstacles necessary to reach these twins. 

But the exhilaration that you experience once you do reach here is worth every ounce of effort and you will long remember the trip to Kyun Tso and Ryul Tso as one of your best trips in Ladakh.

Click here to check the Delhi to Leh guide and plan your  trip accordingly 

Distance from Leh: 255 kilometres approx.

How to Reach: You can drive over to this lake on your own (rented) vehicle.


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"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.
11 July 2019
Excellent
We went for Manali to srinagar Bike tour. It was the best bike trip of my entire life It all started with the person named Shubham from thrillophilia who helped me in selecting the best trip and processed with my booking, all thanks to him! Without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience the best trip of my life. On arrival there, we met our tour guide Tani and our Mechanic Shashi about whom I have read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. These 2 guys were so supportive during the entire tour that no matter what happened they were always there to look after us. They always made sure we are safe and we are following them and there is no overtaking taking place. Tani, the tour guide, one chilled out person he is! Make sure you get him as your tour guide and Shashi as the mechanic as these guys will always make sure that they are there for you no matter what. And in the end, it’s all the Main man behind everything, Jimmy Sir. Thanks a lot Sir for making me experience the best trip of my life! Without you and your team this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks for helping us out in every way possible. The roads here are difficult terrain to ride on. You gotta be careful. You gotta carry your gum boots during water logging which is the most difficult to cross. But these guys made sure that we were all safe and had sound health till we reached home. Not even a single person was hurt. Our group was a mixture of all age groups, I’m fact we even got to meet 2 people From the Indian navy as well. One mad kickass experience! Unbelievable. Reaching the worlds highest Pass, Khardungla Top, was the highest achievement of my life till date which happened on this trip! And if at all you wish to go, don’t forget to ask Tani and Shashi as your tour guide and mechanic, and go only through Jimmy Sir as he has the best team! Thanks a lot to everyone out there for which I thought the best way would be to write at thrillophilia reviews.
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.
"Trip was really awesome. I feel everyone should consider this trip at least once in their lifetime. My eyes were never tired of looking around at such beautiful and scenic views. I would like to extend my special thanks to Tour leader Mr. Jigmet Tandar. He is highly trained professional. The way he lead the tour made us have more fun. Thanks to the whole crew Jigmet, Stanzin, Wangyal, Kaushal, Tundoop. Made a lot of new friends. One suggestion to Thrillophilia team: Since this is not just any casual trip that anyone can go through please consider keeping a screening process for people who opt for it. This is one of the most extreme adventures where your body and mind will go through a lot of challenges, one can successfully complete this trip only if they are determined and well prepared."
03 June 2019
Excellent
An exhilarating life-changing experience. If you are able bodied, a biking lover, a landscape / scenery admirer and a crazy adventure seeker, this is a must try for life. Our group of bikers were fun-loving yet very responsible riders. We became friends on the very first day and all of us enjoyed every moment, giving mutual respect at every instance, having each other's backs at every dangerous turn. Even elderly couples in the group made amazing memories with all the young folks! The Ladakhi food, the heritage site visits, the campfire dancing, the photos, the market shopping, the music, the hikes, the snow, even the adorable mountain dogs, furry yaks and double-hump camels, every-bit was amazing. The road team was extraordinary, specially Tani (captain) and Shashi (bike repairman). They were very friendly, accommodating, knowledgeable and also helpful at every step. We had a truck carrying our luggage all along, running behind us all through the roads, making sure no one is left behind. Jigmet has a lot of local connections, so you will be well taken care of at camps and hotels (even Jain food, on request).
24 October 2020
Excellent
I had a wonderful trip with Thrillophilia. Hotel provided in Leh was clean and good. All sightseeing places covered as per itinerary. The camping stay at Nubra Valley and near Pangong lake was awesome. We enjoyed a lot and overall experience was great.
The Sham Valley Trek was one of the most enjoyable treks I have undertaken in the last few years, and all the credit goes to Thrillophilia. The booking experience was extremely smooth and I would highly recommend this company for all your travels in the valley.
17 November 2019
Superb
It was an awesome experience. Completed the tour in July 2019. We had booked for 8 persons on Thrillophilia. The facilities were good, Tani-the tour guide, was superb. Amazing tour, to say the least. I have penned down my entire experience of Ladakh bike tour on my blog. Sharing the link here.
17 November 2019
Excellent
When we made the booking for 6-days trip to Ladakh via Thrillophilia, we had a lot of questions in our mind on how it's going to turn out, especially on whether it's a suitable honeymoon destination even for those who love a bit of adventure. That is primarily because the reviews of Ladakh were a bit scary. Almost all of the people who wrote reviews had a lot of things to warn you about- the extreme climate, sudden decrease in Oxygen levels, deserted/uninhabited places where it's difficult to get some help from anyone in case of any issues and so on. And there were some people who wrote bad reviews about Thrillophilia for some negative experiences they had to endure from the operators. But it was reassuring to see how Thrillophilia answered all the reviews, even the negative ones. They clarified how they assign tour operators based on customer reviews and in case of any negative experiences from the operators, there is not much Thrillophilia can help with apart from not assigning those operators anymore. As we were getting immediate response from Amit on all our queries on a timely basis, we decided to book the package. Cutting to the chase, we were contacted by the operator(Thupstan) the day before our arrival and he ensured that there was a taxi to pick us up on time. The tour guides and the driver of the backup vehicle he assigned for our group were so experienced that all we had to do was to keep riding until they ask us to stop. The halts were all well planned that we didn't have to worry about anything. And they were so approachable in case of any issues. And whenever we rode for a long time, they would come and inspect each bike and fixed any issues immediately. They were always willing to go the extra mile to make us comfortable. Let me quote an instance here - The driver of the backup vehicle had an issue with Blood Oxygen level when we reached Pangong. We had enough stock of Oxygen cylinders in the backup vehicle. But he didn't consider using it and hence took one of the bikes and rode to where he could find a pharmacy to get an Oxygen cylinder for himself. When one of us asked him on why he didn't use one of the cylinders that we had carried, he told us that the cylinders are just for our use and himself or any of the guides won't use that. Such was the concern they had for everyone in the group. In case anyone reading this still has a question regarding whether it's a suitable place for couples, the answer is YES. The accommodation they provide is suitable for couples as well. Even the tents are nice and safe. I could go on like this and I never thought this review is going to be this long when I started writing it. As others have mentioned in the reviews, it's such a beautiful destination and the experience is awesome. If you are thinking of taking a trip to Ladakh, go ahead and embark on this beautiful journey with Thrillophilia. I'm sure that you won't regret it.
"it was a very well organized trip,the hotel was very good,the tent in nubra was lovely and the food was good too..overall a good experience "

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People Also Ask About Ladakh

  1. Which are the best lakes to visit in Ladakh?

    Pangong Lake: One of the most visited lakes of Ladakh, the Pangong Lake is 150 KM long and extends from India to China. The crystal blue waters of the lake get more charmed up with the panoramic views of mountains standing guard behind it.

    Tso Moriri: Providing sceneries of birds flying above the shining lake and wetland reserve, the Tso Morisi is the second most visited lake in Ladakh. The lake stays usually calm and attracts flocks of migratory birds, thus presenting various eye-catching views.

    Tso Kar: Enveloped by snow clad mountains and located at a distance of around 100 KM from Leh, this lake stands at a height of 2098 metres above the sea level. What makes it one of the must visit lakes of Ladakh is that its surroundings get covered in heaps of salts every now and then.

    Mirpal Tso: If looking for a place filled with solitude and serenity, then the shores of Mirpal Tso are made for you. Exhibiting vast scenery of clear waters, the lake is isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city and stays very calm.

    Kiagar Tso: Exhibiting panoramic views of wide mountains, this lake lies at a height of around 4000 metres above the sea level. Being saline in nature, the lake lies like an oasis in the middle of barren land.

  2. Which are the frozen lakes of Ladakh?

    Pangong Tso Lake: Being a saline lake, the Pangong Tso does not hold marine life and stays cooler than other lakes. In the winters, the temperature can drop upto -40 degrees which results in a frozen lake.

    Tso Moriri Lake: Around the months of November to April, the lake remains frozen and is used for ice skating by the locals. The surroundings of the lake get covered with sheets of snow and attract loads of tourists towards it.

    Lang Tso: Lang Tso consists of clear water which makes the lake look like a giant mirror reflecting the shades of mountains from every corner. In the winters, the temperature here drops really low, thus making the water freeze.

  3. Which are the high altitude lakes of Ladakh?

    Pangong Lake: Being one of the most famous lakes in ladakh, Pangong attracts flocks of tourists towards it. Having a breathtaking elevation of 14,270 metres above the sea level, the lake freezes in winters and provides a perfect spot to enjoy ice skating.

    Kiagar Tso: Located at a height of 4000 meters above the sea level, Kiagar Tso lake stays comparatively calm than other lakes of Ladakh. Located in the middle of a desert, the lake looks like an oasis in the middle of nowhere.

    Kyun Tso: Standing high at a height of 5000 metres above the sea level, Kyun Tso is considered to be one of the highest lakes of Ladakh. Located close to the Himalayas, the towering cliffs and snow clans mountains make its ambience even more beautiful.

    Tso Moriri: This calm and serene lake stands at a height of 4595 metres above sea level and is considered to be a paradise for nature lovers. Surrounded by high standing mountains, this lake provides the best panoramas of natural vistas.

  4. How many lakes are there in Ladakh?

    There are around 10 lakes in Ladakh and most of them are located on the upper reaches of Himalayas. The Pangong Lake is one of the largest and most famous lakes in Ladakh and the Nyak Tso is the smallest lake.
  5. Why is Pangong Lake Blue?

    The salinity of Pangong Lake makes it change its colours to various shades of blue and green. In the winters, the lake freezes and the whole scenery looks like a blue coloured mirror.
  6. Which is the biggest lake in Ladakh?

    Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is one of the biggest lakes in Ladakh. The area of this lake is around 699.3 square kilometres and extends from India to China. Apart from being the biggest lake, the Pangong Lake also attracts an array of tourists from all over the world, thus making it one of the most famous lakes in Ladakh.
  7. Why is there no fish in Pangong Lake?

    Pangong Lake is a salt water lake, thus any kind of aquatic life is not possible in such conditions. In addition to this, the temperature of this lake remains -30 to-10 degrees celsius which results in water freezing. The thick sheets of frozen water here attracts loads of tourists from all over the world, thus making it one of the most famous lakes in ladakh.

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