Tso Moriri is one Ladakh’s two most famous lakes. It is located in eastern Ladakh approximately 230 kilometers via Tso Kar from the capital town of Leh. The lake sits at an elevation of 4595 meters/15,075 feet and is surrounded by snow covered mountains rising well over 6000 meters. This region is extremely remote and very sparsely populated, but is full of amazing beauty. This area is part of the Changthang, or Northern Plateau that stretches for well over 1500 kilometers east across northern Tibet. I saw quite a bit of wildlife the last time I was in this area including Tibetan gazelle, black-necked cranes, foxes and kiang (wild Tibetan ass).
There is one small settlement along the lake called Korzok. This tiny village is quite poor and is inhabited by pashmina goat herders. Korzok also has a small monastery, home to around 50 or 60 monks who follow the Drukpa branch of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The village has several simple homestays and guesthouses. I had a great time with the family I stayed with. The family made all of my meals and offered me a basic, but clean room for the night. I was fortunate enough to be the only foreigner in the region.
To visit Tso Moriri, an Inner Line Permit (ILP) is required. Only a travel agency can arrange this for you in Leh. There were a few checkpoints along the way to the lake, including a military checkpoint before entering Korzok village. The soldiers at the checkpoint were quite friendly and cordial. In fact, 4 of them joined me at my guesthouse later than evening just to talk. This is something that would NEVER happen in Tibet!
To reach Tso Moriri, I used a great travel agency in Leh who took care of all my permits and arranged a good vehicle and driver for me to use. It took me about 5 or 6 hours to reach Tso Moriri from Leh making several photography stops along the way. For more information on how to get to Tso Moriri, feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org