Top 10 Lakes in Ladakh: A Unique Himalayan Experience


When one thinks of Leh Ladakh, images of towering high-altitude mountains, expansive cold and arid deserts, the meandering Indus River, and a vibrant Tibetan-Buddhist culture often come to mind. However, there's more to this stunning region than meets the eye. Leh Ladakh is also home to some of the most breathtaking high-altitude lakes that glisten like precious gems amidst the rugged terrain. These lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, high altitudes, sizes, and the captivating stories that surround them. If you're considering a trip to Leh Ladakh and are drawn to the allure of its mesmerizing lakes, you'll want to explore our Leh Ladakh tour packages to embark on your ultimate adventure. Here, we present a list of ten must-visit lakes in Leh Ladakh.

1. Pangong Tso

pangong lake

Image source:

Thanks to its feature in the movie '3 Idiots,' Pangong Tso lake has become an iconic tourist attraction in Leh Ladakh. Situated at a lofty altitude of 4,300 meters, Pangong Tso spans across three countries: India, China, and Tibet. What sets this lake apart is its mesmerizing turquoise hue, which varies at different vantage points. If you view the lake from a higher elevation, you'll witness a stunning array of blue shades. Pangong Tso can be accessed via two routes: the more common path through Khardung La and an alternative route via Chushul, which is less frequented. During the peak season, the lakeside offers picturesque tent accommodations, while in the winter, the lake freezes over, making access challenging. The sparse flora and fauna around the lake do little to diminish the breathtaking 360-degree views.

2. Tso Moriri

Located in eastern Ladakh, Tso Moriri is another captivating lake known for its striking colors, isolation, and the towering peaks that surround it, some exceeding 6,000 meters in height. This lake sits at an elevation of 4,522 meters and is steeped in myth and legend. Tso Moriri is believed to be a cursed lake from which no one draws water. According to legend, a girl drowned in the frozen lake while trying to save her yak, and since then, the nearby village of Korzok has refrained from using the lake as a water source. You can reach Tso Moriri via two routes: one through Upshi – Chumathang – Mahe and the other via the Manali Leh Highway, passing through Tso Kar – Puga – Sumdo. Recently, tourism has posed a threat to the lake's ecosystem, and during winter, temperatures plummet to -40 degrees Celsius.

3. Kyagar Tso


Image source:

Kyagar Tso is a petite saline lake situated at an altitude of 4,705 meters, located near Tso Moriri. If you're en route to Tso Moriri, you'll come across Kyagar Tso just a few kilometers before reaching your destination. This lake is surrounded by barren landscapes and features a bumpy road that can lead to altitude-related discomforts like headaches and nausea. Adequate preparation is crucial, as there are no petrol pumps in the vicinity. Despite its small size (7.5 kilometers), Kyagar Tso's pristine colors and remote location make it a beautiful gem in the Ladakh region.

4. Tso Kar

Nestled in southern Ladakh's Rupshu valley, Tso Kar stands proudly at an elevation of 4,660 meters, approximately 250 kilometers from Leh. This lake is often referred to as the 'White Desert' due to the salt deposits along its banks. It distinguishes itself from other lakes in the region with its marshy surroundings, making it a haven for diverse wildlife. Bird enthusiasts can spot species like the black-necked crane, Brahmi ducks, and great crested grebes, while wildlife lovers may encounter kiang, ibex, and snow foxes. As with all Ladakh lakes, the views from Tso Kar are simply magnificent, as the lake seamlessly merges with the towering mountains.

5. Yaye Tso

Another hidden treasure in Ladakh is Yaye Tso, a volcanic lake perched at an astonishing altitude of 4,988 meters. The vicinity around this lake is desolate, with few signs of life aside from yaks and sheep. The nearest roadhead is Mahe, located 12 kilometers away from the lake. Yaye Tso offers a harsh climate, so adequate preparation is essential. Additionally, there are no petrol pumps in the vicinity. Despite its diminutive size, measuring just 7.5 kilometers, Yaye Tso boasts the same pristine colors and charm as other lakes in Ladakh.

6. Chilling Tso

While Chilling Tso may not be the most renowned lake in Leh Ladakh, it certainly warrants a visit. Situated at an impressive altitude of 4,900 meters above sea level, Chilling Tso is one of the highest lakes not only in India but globally. It sits adjacent to another picturesque Ladakh lake, Ryul Lake, often referred to as the 'twin lakes.' The best time to visit Chilling Tso is between May and September, and it is advisable to travel in groups due to the lack of immediate assistance in case of emergencies. Visitors traveling to the lake from Hanle require a special permit, and it is crucial to familiarize oneself with the necessary permits for routes in Leh Ladakh.

7. Spanggur Tso

A unique addition to the list of beautiful lakes in Leh Ladakh is Spanggur Tso. Due to the absence of a motorable road, this lake has been closed to tourists. Spanggur Tso is situated at an altitude of 4,305 meters above sea level and was entirely within India's territory until the 1962 war with China. This dispels the notion that Pangong Tso is the sole lake shared by both India and China.

8. Chagar Tso

While Pangong Tso often steals the limelight, there's another equally stunning lake nearby that remains relatively undiscovered by travelers. Meet Chagar Tso, located just 20 kilometers before Pangong Tso. This hidden gem offers the same breathtaking vistas but with fewer crowds. Located 135 kilometers from Leh's main city, Chagar Tso can be considered one of the best offbeat destinations in Leh Ladakh that deserves more attention.

9. Yarab Tso

Imagine a place nestled in high altitudes, surrounded by towering mountains, cool mountain breezes, and unrivaled beauty that you won't find elsewhere. Yarab Tso, located near the Nubra Valley, approximately 15 kilometers from Diskit, brings this vision to life. This pristine gem sits at an elevation of 4,988 meters and is considered a sacred site, offering tranquility and serenity. The lake boasts crystal-clear waters, making it a treat for photographers looking to capture its aesthetic beauty. While visiting Yarab Tso, don't miss the nearby attractions such as Panamik Village, Diskit Village, and the cold desert in Hunder. The best time to explore this Ladakhi gem is from July to September.

10. Mirpal Tso: A Hidden Gem in Leh Ladakh

As previously mentioned, Ladakh stands as an exceptional destination, brimming with adventure, excitement, rich culture, warm hospitality, and unparalleled natural beauty. Nestled among the lesser-explored gems of Leh Ladakh is Mirpal Tso, a testament to the region's breathtaking wonders. With fewer tourists gracing its shores, this lake offers a tranquil haven, inviting you to soak in serenity and calm. Situated in Chushul, the journey to Mirpal Tso spans approximately four hours from Leh's bustling city center, which includes a drive through one of the nation's highest motorable passes, Kaksang La. Upon arrival at this hidden gem, prepare to be captivated by the awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding landscapes, providing a perfect addition to your Instagram gallery.

Ladakh's lakes, including Mirpal Tso, typically freeze over during the winter months, rendering the period from June to October as the ideal time to pay a visit. Beyond November, temperatures plummet significantly, rendering visits a risky endeavor. It's important to note that access to some isolated lakes may necessitate permits, readily obtainable from the tourism office in Leh. When venturing into these areas, especially during nighttime, it's advisable to travel with a personal vehicle equipped with extra fuel. We sincerely hope that this guide assists you in charting your travel adventures for the upcoming year. Safe and joyful travels!




Many of our readers have been bored lately as they are stuck at home because of the pandemic of COVID-19. Thanks to the technology we have today there are different ways to entrain yourself since the world wide web is a big place to explore. We make it easier for you to give you the latest TV shows, movies, celebrity gossip, and many more worthwhile articles, but today we found a new site called from the best online casino sites for gambling with real money in India. Dive into the excitement of playing top-class online casino games on the most reliable and safe real rupee premium gambling sites available today., this site provides all of our readers from India, the best in from the best online casino sites for gambling with real money in India. Dive into the excitement of playing top-class online casino games on the most reliable and safe real rupee premium gambling sites available casino. Time to check out those new TV shows we love to recommend while playing different fun games. from the best online casino sites for gambling with real money in India. Dive into the excitement of playing top-class online casino games on the most reliable and safe real rupee premium gambling sites available today.