The smallest of the three important lakes in Ladakh, Tso Kar Lake is situated in Rupsa or Rupshu Valley, nearly 250 kilometers Southeast of Leh. Another salt water lake, Tso Kar, is situated at a high altitude of around 4500 meters. This lake lies in the vicinity of Tso Moriri Lake, at a distance of around fifty kilometers. Though Tso Moriri is the major attraction in this region, Tso Kar is none less interesting.
Over the last few years Tso Kar has grown popular among birdwatchers. The lake is surrounded by the marshlands that host amazing bird life. Amongst the commonly seen birds here are Brahmni ducks, bar-headed geese and the great crested grebe. But the major attraction at Tso Kar is that of black-necked cranes. Tso Kar is one of the rare places in the world where these amazing but nearly extinct birds can still be seen and admired. Living in couples, they come here to lay their eggs. With a wingspan of nearly 8 feet, these birds make an amazing site as they takeoff over the green, picturesque plains on the backdrop of snow-clad mountains.
Apart from the birdwatchers, Tso Kar attracts a lot of wildlife lovers as well. The most easily spotted mammals here are Kiangs, the largest of the wild asses. It won't be an exaggeration if Tso Kar is deemed to be the best place for Kiang sightings. This wild, untamable mammal lives in large groups. They can run for long distances at an amazing speed. The widespread grasslands at the plains of Tso Kar make an ideal habitat for the Kiangs. The hills and mountains around Tso Kar are also home to ibex, snow foxes and snow leopards. Wild life photographers and experts spend several days here in row and rarely return without optimum satisfaction. But for the flexibility of roaming around you will have to bring more supply of fuel than the tank of your vehicle can hold. If you run out of fuel, the nearest fuel station is farther than you would like, either at Leh or Keylong.
The lake itself makes a wonderful view with hills and mountains surrounding it from all sides. The water of the lake has no scope for seepage, which is why it is brackish. Due to the handsome amount of salt that deposits at the banks of this lake, it got the name Tso Kar, the White Lake. The nomads here, called as Rupsa Chang, have been selling this salt in nearby regions for years. Also called as Khampas, they herd yaks and goats and can be spotted around, though in a rare frequency.
Tso Kar offers a facility of night camping. Though the number of tents is not very high, you may find a room without too much of hassle. Yet, to be on the safer side, it is better to get a proper booking through your travel agent at Leh before coming here. A stay in one of these tents in Tso Kar can be touched by extreme cold. Being on the widespread plains, the tents are often beaten up by chilly winds. But if you have a spirit for adventure and a liking to gaze at a brilliant sky full of stars, you may want to suit up and step out of your tent late in the night. The views at Tso Kar, just as breathtaking as they are during the day, can be even more exciting during the night, with the mountains around shining in the glow of moonlight. At night, the fall of temperature below -10 degrees Celsius is not rare at Tso Kar, even during summers. Although the days in summer can be sunny and pleasant, unless the cloud cover decides to play an unwelcome visitor.
Tso Kar is located near a point on Leh-Manali road and it is recommended that you pay a visit during your journey towards or from Leh, due to the longish distance between the two places. It is best if you club the visits to Tso Kar and Tso Moriri together. Fancied greatly by the trekkers who come here every summer and root camps in the beautiful and fascinating surroundings, Tso Kar is a must-visit not only to see the freely roaming Kiangs and the amazing black necked cranes but also to camp here and witness the magnificent night skies and greet the free wind that runs across the grassy plains.
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The Tsokar Lake situated in the Rupsa Valley is the smallest of the three lakes in Ladakh. It is nearly 240 kilometers away from Leh. It lies at an altitude of 4500 meters and is a popular tourist spot. Like the other lakes of Ladakh, Tsokar is also a saline water lake. Marshlands of this lake host an amazing bird life. Birds like Brahmni ducks, bar-headed geese and great crested grebes can be seen here. The main attraction of Tsokar is that of Black necked cranes, nearly extinct birds. Kiangs, the largest wild asses can be easily spotted here. Night camping facility is available at Tsokar. The Tso Moriri Lake lies only fifty kilometers away from Tsokar; it is thus convenient to club the visits to Tsokar and Tso Moriri Lake together.
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||Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh
|Nearest Major City(s):
|How to reach:
||By road from Leh. 240 kilometers from Leh.
|Major Tourist Attraction:
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