Ladakh is located in the Kashmir area of India. It has been declared as a Union Territory in India recently in the year 2019. Before this declaration, Ladakh fell in Jammu and Kashmir state. With the majestic Himalayas at its back, Ladakh is a unique place compared to no other place in India.
Ladakh got popular among the tourist community for the many adventure tourism options it provides. The most famous adventure tourism activities people engage themselves in are rock climbing, river rafting, and trekking. Most of the trekking trails are situated in a high-altitude region which makes trekking a unique experience compared to other trekking areas.
Before considering to travel to Ladakh, you need to know that around October, the roads and the passes get closed until May. During these times, the only option to reach Ladakh is by taking a flight.
Ladakh is an ideal travel destination for both adventure seekers and regular vacation seekers. The land of Ladakh has many things to offer to the visiting tourists. Some of these attractions include Buddhist monasteries, beautiful white Stupas, and vast landscapes. Ladakhi people are a friendly community of people whose culture is similar to that of the Tibetan people.
One of the most important features for the tourists visiting Ladakh is that it is blessed with some of the most beautiful lakes in the entire country. During certain times of the day and the year, these lakes provide amazing views along with a sense of tranquility. There are several lakes in Ladakh and these are the most beautiful Ladakh lakes to consider visiting on your next trip.
The most popular activity tourists engage in during their visits to these lakes is camping. There are many camping sites available for you to camp. Camping is a perfect way to stay close to the lake and admire the beauty of the lake and the landscape during the different times of the day.
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10 Most Famous Lakes in Ladakh
Some of the lakes mentioned below are lesser-known but are now gaining popularity among adventure travelers and other tourist communities. You should consider these Lakes visiting on your trip.
1. Tso Moriri
Tso Moriri Lake (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Tso Moririlake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh that is also the most famous among the tourists. This lake is almost always mentioned in the popular tourist destination listings. For the photographers, this lake provides the ideal conditions to make a photograph rich.
Tso Moriri is one of the biggest lakes in Ladakh. This lake is situated at a height of around 15,000 feet above sea level. Tso Moririlake gained the international spotlight after it was declared as the lake of international importance.
Tso Moririlake is formed from the waters flowing in from two streams. The nearest village of Korzok also became popular due to the tourists visiting the Tso Moririlake. The lake is accessible only during the summer season because that is when the snow cover melts away.
Tourists are required to get a permit to visit this lake. To reach the lake, tourists have an option to rent a bike or a jeep.
The feeling of calm and serenity is something you can carry back home after spending some time here. Tso Moriri remains one of the must-visit lakes in Ladakh.
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2. Pangong Tso Lake
Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh, India (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Pangong Tso is one of the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh. The unique feature of this lake is that it is shared by both Indian and Chinese borders.
Camping near the lake is a perfect activity to engage in. During the night, the clear sky gives the view of the stars like nowhere else. It is one of the best experiences that tourists talk about after returning from their trip.
The Pangong Tso is a saltwater lake with minimum vegetation in and around the lake. This lake is popularly known as the world’s highest lake with brackish water. To visit this lake, the tourists need to acquire a permit from the local authorities. The required permit is called ‘In-Line Permit (ILP)’. The application for the permit is available online.
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3. Mirpal Tso
This lake is also considered one of the best Ladakh lakes to visit. Mirpal Tso is a lesser-known lake and due to this, there are not many tourists visiting this lake. That means if you wish to avoid the crowd and are looking for a secluded destination, then this lake is perfect for you.
For a peaceful and quiet destination, Mirpal Tso should be considered a must-visit. To visit this lake, you need to acquire a permit just like Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri lakes. This lake is situated between the area of Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri.
Mirpal Tso is a freshwater lake with sandy shores and a perfect place to admire the beauty of the Ladakhi landscape. This lake is located in the Chushul area and the best time to visit is during the summer months.
4. Twin lakes of Ryul Tso &Kyun Tso
These twin lakes are considered by many tourists to be the most peaceful destinations to visit. The gorgeous sunset and sunrise are the scenes that are admired the most at this location.
These twin lakes are usually not included in the popular Leh Ladakh tour packages. This is because the location is quite secluded and only travelers who are seeking solace choose this destination.
The view of the lake with its turquoise waters is a wonderful sight to behold. This destination is not necessarily for adventure seekers. Most travelers visiting here are looking for sites that are away from the crowd and a little isolated from civilization.
The silence of the place with its scenic beauty is enough to entice people looking for a peaceful destination. For a short vacation from the hectic city life, these twin lakes are an ideal destination for a peaceful quiet time. The best time to visit the twin lakes of Ryul Tso and Kyun Tso is from May until August.
5. Yarab Tso
Yarab Tso is clearly among the best Ladakh lakes you can visit. This magnificent lake is surrounded by mountains and it is a peaceful experience to be here. The nearest village to Yarab Tso lake is called Panamik Village which is just a walking distance to the site of the lake.
This lake is an ideal destination for the people who love to trek. Situated in the famous and magnificent Nubra Valley, this lake can only be reached on foot. There is no road made for this destination. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh.
Some people even consider Yarab Tso lake as a holy lake and the site is considered by the local people to be spiritual. This lake was also visited by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is the political leader of the Tibetan people.
Yarab Tso is a lesser-known destination despite its beauty. This is because of the reason that it is much secluded compared to the popular lakes in Ladakh.
This lake is relatively smaller in size compared to the big lakes in Ladakh. However, it is still a great place to visit. The best time to visit is during summer, however, many people travel here even during the winters when the lake is frozen solid.
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6. Kiagar Tso Lake
Kiagar Tso Lake, Ladakh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This wonderful lake is situated in the Rupshu Valley. Travelers going through the road to Tso Moririlake can take a route towards Kiagar Tso lake. This lake is situated at a height of 4,000 meters above sea level.
The beautiful view that is commonly experienced by travelers is that of the grazing sheep with the majestic background of the mountains and the lake. This saltwater lake right in the middle of the cold desert looks like something out of the storybooks. Among the tourist community, this is a popular lake that people visit every summer.
The best time to visit is in September and October when the climate is perfect for an ideal vacation. Traveling is much easier during these months because of the lack of heavy snow which impedes your trekking and camping plans. However, many adventure seekers visit this lake during the winter season to challenge themselves against the natural elements.
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7. Twin Lake of Tso Kar
Tso Kar Lake, Ladakh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The twin lake of Tso Kar is another lake for the travelers who wish to visit a solitary place to spend their vacation. This lake is located in the southern part of Ladakh. The water of the lake is a combination of both saline water and freshwater.
The twin lake of Tso Kar is not a very popular destination for tourists as it is often overlooked. But in the past few years, this location has gained popularity. Camping at this site is a wonderful experience. Tso Kar is one of the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh.
Experience of star-gazing in the night sky is something to remember. To visit this site, the international tourists require a permit but for the Indian citizens, there is no such requirement.
Tso Karlake is also a destination for a cultural festival during which the local community participates in displaying their culture and traditions. You can find local food during this event and this ‘Gala Festival’ attracts many tourists from all over the world.
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8. Chagar Tso Lake
Chagar Tso Lake, Ladakh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This lake can be visited while on the road to the famous Pangong Tso lake. Chagar Tso is comparatively a smaller lake to Pangong Tso but worth visiting. This lake is much lesser known in the traveler community.
Chagar Tso lake gets its waters from surrounding glaciers. Usually, the tourists visiting this place camp here to avoid the crowd of the popular Pangong Tso lake. Usually, the people visiting Pangong Tso also visit this lake on their way.
Having a cup of tea with some snacks while camping around this lake is a wonderful experience. The best time to visit this lake is during the summer season. Photographers and bird watching enthusiasts find this lake a perfect location to appreciate nature’s beauty and diversity.
9. The Twin Lakes of Stat Tso & Lang Tso
Travelers are often seen photographing themselves during their vacation to preserve their memories. Posting these photographs on Social Media is another common practice especially among young millennials. Considering that, the twin lakes of Stat Tso and Lang Tso is the most ideal destination for clicking those amazing selfies for social media.
This twin lake is situated at an altitude of 5000 meters above sea level. It is one of the best Ladakh lakes to visit. These lakes are located in the region of Zanskar which is perfect for photographers and nature lovers.
The tranquil vibe of the lake is perfect to relax on your adventure. To reach the lake many taxi and jeep facilities are available. The most ideal time to visit Stat Tso and Lang Tso is during the summer months starting from May until August.
10. Yaye Tso
This lesser-known lake in Ladakh is a gorgeous lake that is known to be heart-shaped. The lake is quite odd-looking but is a beautiful lake for the people seeking solitude away from the crowd. The serene beauty of the lake and the mountains in the background cannot be expressed in words.
The closest village to this lake is Yaye Village which also is home to a Buddhist monastery. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh and should not be missed. One thing to know about this lake is that there are areas around the lake with Quicksand and it should be avoided.
This heart-shaped lake is a favorite among both adventure travelers and travelers who wish to travel by road. Reaching this place does not require tourists to obtain a permit. The best time to visit is during the summer season.
The above-mentioned lakes are the 10 best Ladakh lakes which are famous and the lesser-known lakes which are gaining popularity in the last few years.