Essential Information about Leh to Tso Moriri
Leh to Tso Moriri Route
You can get Leh to Tso Moriri in around 7–8 hours, depending on how many stops you take along the way. The following is the itinerary, as well as the distance between the successive locations: Leh – Karu (36 KMs) – Upshi (13 KMs) – Kumdok (19 KMs) – Kere (53 KMs) – Chumathang (34 KMs) – Mahe (22 KMs) – Sumdo (10 KMs) – Korzok or Tso Moriri(53 KMs) = 240 KMs
All other routes benefit from the finest road conditions on this route.
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Leh to Tso Moriri Road Conditions
In general, the road from Leh to Tso Moriri Lake through Upshi – Chumathang is suitable for all types of vehicles, including hatchbacks and sedans. The road is rather smooth for the first portion of the journey till you reach Upshi, providing you'll have a pleasant ride. It's an unpaved road from Upshi to Chumathang, and then it's simply a dirt track. This road can take up to 7 hours depending on how many breaks you take and how good your driving abilities are.
Vehicles with greater ground clearance, particularly 4x4s, are preferred, especially between Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri through the Man – Merak – Chushul – Nyoma (Changthang) road. However, many individuals travel the broad route from Chumathang in hatchbacks and sedans, depending on their driving ability and road conditions at the time of trip.
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Leh to Tso Moriri Distance
In typical conditions, Leh to Tso Moriri, distance is around 220 kilometres, and it will take at least eight hours of drive. If travelling via Chumathang, the distance between Leh and Tso Moriri is 211 to 240 kilometres. Depending on your speed and stops, travel duration might range from 6 to 7 hours.
Around Polo Kongka La, there is a particularly terrible area, and the remaining 50 kilometres between Sumdo and Karzok are entirely on dirt roads. This distance would grow to roughly 260 kilometres if you used the Tso Kar route. Travel time is likely to be in the range of 7-8 hours.
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Best time for Leh to Tso Moriri Trip
The greatest time for Leh to Tso Moriri day trip is during the summer months, when Ladakh is at its best self. From January through March, Lake Tso Moriri is mostly frozen, with limited possibilities for staying along the lake due to the harsh cold.
The road trip from Leh to Tso Moriri, on the other hand, is not an option since it requires crossing Tanglang La, which is closed during the winter months.Chumathang is the best option for staying near the lake, except for a few homestays in Korzok. In April, the lake begins to thaw, revealing a stunning palette of multi-hued blue tones. Then there's the main tourist season, which runs from May to August, although it's not as busy as Pangong Tso.
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Things to Carry for Leh to Tso Moriri Trip
Carry spare fuel on your way from Leh to Tso Moriri.
Take enough warm clothes as the weather is unpredictable.
Take enough cash because there is no internet connectivity too at Tso Moriri.
Carry packed mineral water throughout Leh to Tso Moriri day trip journey.
You should always have some basic medicines on hand in case you have an upset stomach, a headache, a cold, or a fever.
Always have crucial papers with you, such as a pollution check, a driver's licence, a vehicle registration card, and photo identification.
When travelling from Leh to Tso Moriri lake, don't bring any additional luggage. Leave your additional luggage in Leh since the climb to the high-altitude mountain passes is difficult.
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Weather and Temperature
The ice on the lake begins to melt as summer approaches, transforming ice into a multi-shade pallet of blue colours. The weather stays warm with an average of 20°C to 25°C towards the end of May and the beginning of June and the temperature is relatively warm during the day and cools off in the evening.
Ladakh is under a rain shadow zone during the monsoon season. As a result, it is seldom subjected to heavy rains. This is an excellent time to travel from Leh to Tso Moriri. You can see far-flung views of snow-capped mountains and beautiful green open plains since the sky is clear.
Winters are rough and brutal in this location. Only a few concrete accommodations are accessible on Lake Tso Moriri, which is mainly frozen. The temperature plummets to below freezing. Temperatures vary from -10°C to –25°C on average.
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Medical Facilities Nearby
The nearest basic medical health centre is located in Korzok Village on the Leh to Tso Moriri route. Some tents/camps provide basic first aid, including oxygen dosages. Tso Moriri is a high-altitude lake, therefore you'll need to be well-prepared to acclimate to the thin air.
While the nearest medical facility/health centre will be accessible at Korzok Village, basic oxygen cylinders may be obtained from surrounding campgrounds and motels.
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Places to Eat near Tso Moriri
Due to the distant location, you will either eat at Korzok Village's homestays or at the camps/tents near Korzok where you may spend the night. So, Korzok Village has a variety of cuisine places and kiosks. However, you may obtain meals and true local cuisine at any of the camps and homestays around Tso Moriri where you stay. Some list of places on your Leh to Tso Moriri route are as follows
Cafe Backpackers, Chumathang
The Singey Villa Restaurant, Karu
Pangong Restaurant, Karu
Rancho Cafe, Shey
Chang La Queen Cafe, Shey
Punjabi Dhaba, Shey
Lazeez Restaurant, Bilal, Thiskey
Cafe Cloud, Thiksey
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On the way from Leh to Tso Moriri, you won't be able to use your phone or get a signal, as there is no cellphone service. In Leh Ladakh, only postpaid connections are available, with BSNL having the most coverage, followed by Airtel and Reliance Jio. Chumathang, 70 kilometres from Tso Moriri, is the closest place to get mobile service.
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Petrol Pumps near Tso Moriri
In the Ladakh area, there are just a few gas stations. The nearest Petrol Pump is in Karu, which is about 204 kilometres from Tso Moriri and is located on the road of Leh to Tso Moriri. You must fill up your tank in Leh and then drive/ride up to Tso Moriri.
If you intend to quit the Manali Leh Highway, be sure you have enough petrol to reach Tandi. On the Leh – Tso Moriri – Sarchu – Manali route, you will traverse a total distance of 550 kilometres without stopping at a gas station.
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There are no ATMs in the vicinity of Leh to Tso Moriri route, therefore it's best to bring cash from Leh (the only city in Ladakh with an ATM). The final ATM you'll find between Leh and Nubra Valley is on the Khardung La road, just as you begin climbing the huge pass.
The best thing to do is bring cash because Tso Moriri has no internet access, which means you won't be able to use internet banking as well.
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Itinerary of Leh to Tso Moriri
Day 1 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang – Namashang La
This is the quickest and most popular route from Leh to Tso Moriri. The itinerary for the journey is as follows.
Shey – Karu – Upshi – Kumdok – Kere – Chumathang – Mahe – Sumdo – Namashang La – Karzok Leh - Shey – Karu – Upshi – Kumdok – Kere – Chumathang – Mahe – Sumdo – Namashang La – Karzok (Tso Moriri)
Travelling this route would cover a total distance of 220 kilometres. Depending on your speed and breaks, travel duration might range from 6 to 7 hours.
Continue on the Manali-Leh highway till you reach Upshi. It shouldn't take you more than an hour and a half.
At Upshi, turn off the Manali-Leh highway and follow the signs to Mahe. A bifurcation may be seen in the Upshi market.
The road on your right leads to Manali, while the road on your left leads to Mahe. Continue driving to the hamlet of Mahe via Chumathang by turning left. At Mahe, there is a checkpoint where you must register yourself.
Ater crossing Namashang La, there will be no road and you will have to drive on unpaved roads till you reach Karzok.
Kiagar Tso is the first lake you'll come across after Namashang La. Continue on the lines until you reach a bifurcation 10 kilometres before Karzok.
The dirt road will continue straight ahead, and you will see a tarmac road on your left. However, if you continue straight on the dirt trails, you will arrive in Karzok Village.
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Day 2 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring – Taglang La – Rumste – Upshi – Karu – Leh
Because of two high altitude passes in between and terrible roads, this route is significantly longer in terms of mileage and travel time than the first. The itinerary for the trip is as follows.
Korzok – Namashang La – Sumdo – Puga – Polo Kongka La – Tso Kar – Debring – Tanglang La – Rumtse – Upshi – Karu – Shey – Leh
Take the road to Karzok from Sumdo. Despite the awful road conditions, the climb is not that steep and you will hardly notice it.
The rise towards Polo Kongka La begins a few kilometres beyond Startspuk Tso. Startspuk Tso is the second lake on this trip.
Tso Kar, the first lake on this route, is roughly 22 kilometres away from this detour. Turn off the Manali-Leh Highway and into this road.
You'll arrive at an Army base named Debring once you've passed through the pass.
After Rumtse, the ascent to Tanglang La begins. However, instead of turning left towards Chumathang when you reach Upshi, continue on the Manali Leh route towards Rumtse. The final half of this voyage will be the same till you reach Upshi.
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