Ladakh is, in a word, beautiful. The stunning backdrop of Himalayas coupled with the complete lack of urbanisation or commercialisation has left Ladakh as one of the last untouched places of beauty in India. It is known for being a bikers’ paradise and has a large number of tourist destinations scattered throughout the region. One of the things that this ‘cold desert’ is famous for is its large array of lakes, which are unrivalled in their beauty by any other water body in India. Here are the 3 most beautiful lakes in Ladakh which are just stunning in their beauty:
Pangong Tso, Tibetan for “high grassland lake”, is a salt-water lake (also known as “closed sea”) in the Himalayas and is situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). The lake which is 134 kms in length and 5 kms wide at its broadest point, lies in both India and China (40% lies in India). Despite being a saline lake, it freezes completely during the winter. Pangong Tso is not part of the Indus River basin area but is a separate landlocked river basin by itself. It is also in the process of being identified as a wetland of international importance by the Ramsar Convention – the first trans-boundary wetland in South-Asia to be recognized as such. Pangong Tso was made famous by the climax scene in 3 Idiots and the tourism here is increasing exponentially every year.
Tso Moriri is a beautiful lake that lies in Korzok. It’s known for it’s crystal-clear blue waters and the stunning surroundings of barren hills with a backdrop of snow-covered Himalayan peaks. Since Pangong Tso is more popular among tourists, Tso Moriri is ideal for those who hate crowds of people. It lies at an altitude of 4,522 m (14,836 ft) and measures about 28 km in length from north to south and about 4-6 km in breadth. This makes it the largest highland lake that lies entirely in India. Just like Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri is also a saltwater lake (known as a ‘closed sea’). This lake, along with unique species of flora and fauna around it, forms the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve and is also recognised as a ‘Wetland of International Importance’ (the highest in the world) by the Ramsar Convention.
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Tso Kar is a stunning lake located in the Rupshu plateau and valley in the southern part of Ladakh. Tso Kar is connected by an inlet stream at its south-west end to a small lake, Startsapuk Tso, and together they form the 9 sq. km More Plains Pool, which is dominated by the peaks of two mountains, Thugje (6050 m) and Gursan (6370 m). Until a few years ago the lake was an important source of salt, which the Changpa nomads used to export to Tibet. Due to the high altitude, the climate is extreme in the winter; temperatures below -40 °C are not uncommon. In the summer the temperature rises above 30 °C, with extreme fluctuations during the day. Precipitation in the form of either rain or snow is extremely rare.
(Also read: 5 most beautiful off-beat places to visit in Ladakh)
img source: wikimedia.org
Which one of these lakes in Ladakh will you visit first?
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