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  • Writer's pictureHarish Joshi

9 Fascinating Lakes in Ladakh (Must Visit in 2023)

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

Ladakh, the northernmost region of India covered with snow-capped peaks, clear blue skies, alpine meadows, and barren mountains with meandering rivers, boasts a landscape that can leave you with your jaws dropped!

Not only known for its scenic beauty but also for some of the most difficult treks, Ladakh is an ideal and delightful travel destination not only for both adventure seekers and regular vacation seekers but also for people who love workcations.

The land of Ladakh has many ravishing things to offer to visit tourists. Some of these attractions include Buddhist monasteries, valleys, beautiful white Stupas, and vast landscapes.

Apart from being adorned by the lofty barren mountains, it is blessed with some of the most beautiful lakes in the entire country. During certain times of the year, these offer a great camping opportunity for tourists.

Ladakh showcases a dozen of marvelous lakes in its different regions such as Tso Kar, Nyak Tso, Pangong, Yarab Tso, Tso Moriri, Mirpal Tso, Stat Tso, and Lang Tso, Kiagar Tso, Chagar Tso.

Of these lakes, Pangong Lake and Tso Moriri lake are perhaps the best known and attract hordes of tourists every summer season.

Must-visit Fascinating lakes in Ladakh

Ladakh is a region in India that is famous for its natural beauty. The landscape is dotted with lakes, rivers, and mountains.

It is a great place to visit for those who love nature and outdoor activities. There are many fascinating lakes in Ladakh that are worth visiting. Some of these lakes are:

  1. Tso Moriri

  2. Pangong Tso Lake

  3. Tso Kar

  4. Yarab Tso

  5. Miral Tso

  6. Twin lakes of Stat Tso & Lang Tso

  7. Chagar Tso

  8. Ryul Tso & Kyun Tso

  9. Nyak Tso

1. Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri situated in high altitudes changthang plateau is one of the most popular lakes in the Ladakh region that is capable of being breathtaking for its visitors with its tranquil features.

The calmest and most serene, Tso Moriri Lake also known as ‘Mountain lake’ is formed from the waters flowing in from two streams.

The lake is accessible only during the summer season because that is when the snow cover melts away due to the sun's scorching heat. Camping around this lake gives you mesmerizing views to admire its magnificence.

The lake is encircled by high mountains, making it a hidden gem in the cold desert land of Ladakh. It is an ideal travel destination for offbeat travelers as well as those who wish to explore the unmarked beauty of Ladakh.

Placed across Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary it attracts loads of connoisseurs and visitors to adore its calming natural beauty. Moreover, the wetlands and also salt marshes around them provide breeding grounds for an outsized sort of flora and fauna.

Altitude:14,836 ft. above sea level, Length: 28km

How to reach Tso Moriri: 220 km, 5hrs drive or reach via Leh-Manali Highway for an adventurous Road trip.

Things to do at Tso Moriri: Tso Moriri viewpoint, the visit took the monastery

Best time to visit Tso Moriri: The summer months (April - June) is the best time to visit this lake and has a fascinating view at its peak and it is similar to the best time to visit Ladakh.

2. Pangong Tso Lake

Pangong lake achieves the title for being extremely popular and one of the favorite tourist attractions ever.

The interesting part is that only one-third of this lake lies in India and the rest of it is under the control of China’s territory that’s why it has derived its name from the Tibetan language.

Pangong lake can be called the perfect epitome of a miracle as it is believed to change its colors several times during the day leaving the visitors in an astonishing state. The lake becomes a frozen sheet of ice during winter as it is quite deep.

Pangong lake is the topmost choice of maximum travelers who love to explore nature while experiencing the eh Ladakh road trip.

Moreover, one may get to pay a visit to a large number of migratory birds like Brahmani ducks, Bar-headed goose, and wildlife like marmot and wild ass locally known as ‘Kiang’.

Apart from being the highest saltwater lake, Pangong offers the perfect camping conditions and night view of a million little shining stars like nowhere else adding immense grace and perfection to its name.

Your trip will be incomplete without visiting and absorbing the beauty of this wonderful place.

Altitude: 14,270 ft. above sea level, Length: 134km

How to reach Pangong Lake: 222.9 km from Leh city, 5hrs 30 mins drive

Things to do at Pangong Tso Lake: Night stay in camps, watching the rare endemic species Mormot and Ice skating during peak winters

Best time to visit: May - September

3. Tso Kar

Adding one more spot to the beauty of Leh Ladakh, Tso Kar lake is another amazing lake for tourists who want to spend time in peace looking at the shimmering and shiny blue waters and enjoying the utmost calming element in nature. Different species of birds can be spotted here.

This place remains the least crowded during the daytime. If you are a bird lover, you may love to sit here and watch the different species of birds for hours capturing amazing clicks and creating a wonderful memory altogether with your family or loved ones.

Since there are a few visitors to this lake you can enjoy the marvelous scenic picture of this area without any crowd.

You can find accommodation easily at a short distance on the western banks of the lake, otherwise, camping provides a rich connection to this lake.

Tso Kar Lake is also a destination for a cultural festival during which the local community participates in showcasing their culture and traditions with a lot of enthusiasm and a warm welcome for the tourists.

You can also discover mouthwatering local food during this event and this ‘Gala Festival’ attracts many tourists from all over the world. It’s considered one of the most delightful places in Leh Ladakh.

Altitude - 15,280 ft. above sea level, Length - 22km

How to reach Tso Kar Lake - 160 Km from Leh city, 3hrs 37mins drive

Things to do at Tso Kar - a short trip to kyagar tso, trek around Rupshi valley

Best time to visit - peak summers (May-July)

4. Yarab Tso

Surrounded by steep mountain cliffs and soaring mountain peaks, this lake is taken into account to be among the highest in Ladakh and is jam-packed with magnificence that’s arduous to rival.

Located at a distance of 15kms away from the Diskit region of the Nubra valley it is a splendid scenic lake enclosed by the village of Sumur that acts as a cherry on top of the divine elegance of Nubra valley.

This spectacular lake is surrounded by mountains and it is a peaceful experience to be here. The nearest village to Yarab Tso lake is named Panamik Village which is simply a walking distance of the site of the lake.

The lake is an ideal destination for people who love to trek. Yarab Tso captures all the peace and serene stillness of Nubra Valley and sends out its fragrance into the air all around. Yarab Tso may be a lesser-known destination despite its beauty.

This is often a result of its much-secluded state compared to the popular lakes in Ladakh. The crystal clear water of this lake compliments the barren land superbly.

Altitude - 3300m above sea level

How to reach Yarab Tso Lake - 15 km from Nubra Valley, 20 mins walk

Things to do at Yarab Tso - visit beautiful Nubra valley, the cold desert at er, visit Dis monastery

Best time to visit - (July-September)

5. Mirpal Tso

The lake with peace and solitude, Mirpal Tso accompanies the visitors who love to relish the awe-striking beauty of this magical place in an isolated condition.

If you’re looking for a secluded destination to spend some time this destination could utterly sway to be your favorite of all. Miral Tso is a freshwater lake with sandy shores and a perfect place to admire the wonder of the Ladakhi landscape.

Even if it takes a long time to reach there, the picturesque scenery that awaits you there is completely worth it. The lake is located close to Chushul and it can be discovered while traveling to Kaksang la.

The lake contains freshwater even though the bed looks completely sandy. One should visit this lake for admiring its serenity and mystical aura.

Altitude - 17,834 ft. above sea level

How to reach Mirpal Tso Lake - 205.6 km from Leh city, 4hr 59 mins drive

Things to do at Mirpal Tso - Mirpal lake viewpoint might experience snowfall around winters

Best time to visit - June to September

6. Twin Lakes of Stat Tso and Lang Tso

The most gorgeous and enchanting destinations to hunt solace are no doubt the twin lakes or the so-called dual lakes of Stat Tso and Lang Tso. The silence of the place with its scenic beauty is enough to lure folks who are searching for a peaceful destination.

For a brief vacation from the hectic city life, these twin lakes square measure an ideal destination for a peaceful quiet time. The view of this lake gives amazing vibes to feel the crystal clear waters.

Located adjacent to each other, these tiny and charming lakes are easily accessible and have a unique aura of their own. This is a must-visit location for unconventional travelers as they offer a calm and composed atmosphere.

The superb vibes you feel from the crystal clear waters and pristine snow-covered mountains will take you to another world.

Altitude - 5000m above sea level

How to reach Stat Tso and Lang Tso - 369 km from Leh. The journey needs to be split into 2 days Leh to Kargil (217 km) the from Kargil to Lake (155 km)

Things to do at Stat Tso and Lang Tso - best photography view, bird-watching, night camping

Best time to visit - (April - August)

7. Chagar Tso

The lesser-known gem is something that should be renowned. Chagar Tso Lake, of all the places, is one of the most undisturbed and idyllic lakes there. On the way to Pangong Tso, there's a small lake that commends well with the Ladakh valley.

The lakes have glacial water that sparkles like stars that twinkle at the time sun rays fall onto them. It seems like being able to see the biggest stars with small ones. The scenery is majestic and it makes you want to be there forever. Camping here offers you a moment to cherish all life. As it's a little unheard-of, crowding isn't an issue. Therefore, there are only a few tourists camping over there.

If you're wondering, the best time to make plans and visit this place is during the summer season to beat the scorching heat. Evenings are a delight because of the glorious appearance of the lake. This is a flawless spot to capture nature's charm and multiplicity.

Altitude - 13,756 ft. above sea level

How to reach Chagar Tso - 135.4 km (3hr 21 mins) via Pangong Lake Rd

Things to do at Chagar Tso - sightseeing, stargazing at night, best camping experience

Best time to visit - (June-September)

8. Kyun Tso & Ryul Tso

These twin lakes are considered by many tourists to be the most calming destinations to visit. The impeccable sunset and sunrise are scenery to remember. These twin lakes are usually not included in the popular Leh Ladakh talks. But the travelers who wish to have a moment of calmness in their life often find themselves wandering on the soil beside these lakes.

The turquoise water shimmers on the starry night which is a sight to behold. It might not provide the thrill but visiting here feels like a fortunate, and in the loveliest way, a stroke of serendipity. The silent and soothing environment with the garnishing of the scenic view is the best meal to devour.

A short vacation from the busy schedule might make the fondest of memories here. The altitude and location might make them count as a difficult visit but crossing every obstacle to reach this wonder indeed is a success in itself and a relief for all those looking for some adventure.

The exhilaration that you experience once you do reach here is worth every ounce of effort and you will long remember the trip to Kyun Tso and Ryul Tso as one of your best trips in Ladakh.

Altitude - 5000m above sea level

How to reach Kyun Tso & Ryul Tso Lake - 216.7 km , 4hr 59mins via NH3

Things to do at Kyun Tso and Ryul Tso - A couple of tourist attractions such as stupas and monasteries route, camping, night sky gazing

Best time to visit - (June-September)

9. Nyak Tso

Nyak Tso (or Naktsang Tso) is a beautiful and serene lake located in the Leh district of Ladakh, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The lake is situated at an altitude of 3,662 metres (11,999 feet) and is surrounded by picturesque mountains.

It is fed by the glacial waters of the nearby Nyak glacier.Nyak Tso is a popular destination for trekkers and nature lovers. The best time to visit the lake is from June to September when the weather is pleasant and the snow has melted.

The lake is accessible by a short trek from the village of Nyak.The lake is a great place to relax and take in the stunning views. It is also a popular spot for fishing and bird watching. If you are lucky, you might even spot a Tibetan black-necked crane, which is the national bird of Tibet.

Nyak Tso is a truly magical place and is sure to leave you mesmerized. So, don't forget to add it to your Ladakh itinerary!


1. What are the two main lakes of Ladakh?

Pangong Tso and Tsomoriri are the two main lakes of Ladakh. Pangong Tso is the largest of the two and is also the highest lake in the world.

2. Which is the biggest lake in Ladakh?

Pangong Tso is the largest lake in Ladakh. It is also the highest lake in the world.

3. Why are the Ladakh lakes blue?

Ladakh lakes are blue because of the high concentration of minerals in the water. These minerals reflect sunlight and give the water its blue color.

4. Why Ladakh lakes are salty?

Ladakh lakes are salty because of the high concentration of minerals in the water. These minerals make the water dense and cause it to taste salty.

5. Why there is no fish in Pangong lake?

Pangong Tso does not have any fish because the water is too cold for them to survive. The lake is also very salty, which would make it difficult for fish to live in.

6. Which month is best for Ladakh?

The best time to visit Ladakh is from June to September. This is when the weather is the most stable and the roads are open.

Final Words

The Ladhak lakes bestow eclectic views to tourists all around the year, shining sun shades across the lake with warm colors in summer.

Milky white snow blanketed all around in the winter would be an enchanting sight to travelers.

For more such information and self-curated itinerary stay tuned to

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1 Comment

Jun 14

Your blog on the 9 fascinating lakes in Ladakh is a fantastic read! The detailed descriptions and breathtaking photos provide a wonderful glimpse into the serene beauty of these lakes. I especially appreciate the practical tips on how to reach each lake and the best times to visit. This guide is incredibly helpful for travelers looking to explore the hidden gems of Ladakh in 2023. Thanks for sharing such an informative and captivating piece!

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