Changthang – Changpa Tribe and The Wildlife Sanctuary


Changthang, basically meaning Northern Plateau in Tibetan, is a high height level in western and northern Tibet reaching out into South Eastern Ladakh, with huge high countries and monster lakes. From Eastern, Ladakh Changthang extends around 1600 km east into Tibet, to the extent the territory of Qinghai. Every last bit of it is geologically essential for the Tibetan level. It is the home of the Changpa wanderers. The environment of Changthang is unforgiving and eccentric. The summers are warm however short and rainstorms can happen whenever of year, frequently with hail. The winters are cold and Arctic-like, notwithstanding the scope, because of the great elevation.

Changpa Tribe of Changthang

The individuals of the Changthang are traveling pastoralists, they are known as ‘Changpa’, for ‘northerners,’ or ‘Drukpa’ for ‘wanderers’ in Tibetan. Starting in 1989 there was a large portion of 1,000,000 migrants living in Changthang. Not at all like numerous other roaming bunches, the Changpa are not under tension from settled ranchers as by far most of the land they possess is excessively unfriendly for farming. The economy of the area is based around the animals of the Changpa tribe, and the main asset is the plants the animals brush on. The development of the Changpa for more than one year restricts the effect that their creatures have on the nibbling lands, the grasses of which are dead for 8 – 9 months of the year, and give helpless grain during that time. Not at all like numerous other itinerant pastoralists, the Changpa don’t move to start with one climatic area then onto the next; this permits them to move more limited distances by and large, in the scope of around 10 – 40 miles. Transitory courses are set up and followed quite a long time after a year, remaining in similar settlements every year, regularly in camps that have stone dividers for corals and for shielding the tents. More affluent travelers may have structures for capacity and living in for the piece of the year they spend at that place to stay.

The Changpa are said to have originally migrated from ‘Hor’ in Tibet around 800 A.D.


As well as evolving pastures, there are various different procedures created by the Changpa to try and out the times of excesses and deficiencies. Dairy items are changed over into less transitory structures (like spread and cheddar) throughout the late spring when the domesticated animals are delivering undeniable degrees of milk. Animals are butchered in the colder time of year, subsequent to filling out in the late spring and keeping in mind that the climate is helpful for storage. Trade has assumed a significant part for the Changpa as they can’t deliver every one of the merchandise they devour. Salt, meat, live creatures, fleece, and natural cashmere are exchanged for nuts and bolts like grain, cooking pots, and other metal executes, just as more present-day goods. Only a little piece of Changthang crosses the boundary into Ladakh. It is, nonetheless, on a verifiably significant course for voyagers venturing from Ladakh to Lhasa, and now has various qualities due to being essential for India.

Changpa tribe

As in the remainder of Ladakh, Changthang has been encountering numerous socio-conservative advancements since the late Twentieth Century. Ladakh is one of the locales generally presented to global mass the travel industry in India. Exceptionally old social and social textures are presently evolving quickly, impacted by consumerist and current ways of life. This is turning into a wellspring of both concern and expectation for the general population of the locale. Another significant impact in the district is Tibetan settlement because of relocation brought about by the Chinese takeover. The settlement was first settled in 1963 with just about 3000 occupants however today has in excess of 7000 pioneers. For the authoritative reason, the Ladakh settlement is isolated into two, Sonamling and Changthang.

The Wildlife of Changthang:

The wildlife Sanctuary in Ladakh is captivating from multiple points of view. Spread over a colossal territory of roughly 1,, its home to an extraordinary assortment of greenery. In that capacity, a visit to this safe-haven guarantees you mind blowing openings for review the natural life as well as investigating the astounding scene of this spot. Visiting the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary can be a remunerating experience. The Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary is home to numerous uncommon types of widely varied vegetation, which are all around focused on in this untamed life asylum. The asylum is situated at a high elevation in the UT Ladakh locale of India. The Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary has common meadows and a wide assortment of in excess of 200 types of wild plants fill in the higher fields of this region, the greater part of which is palatable for creatures. The Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary (or the Changtang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary) is a high elevation natural life asylum situated in the Ladakhi aide of the Changtang level in the Leh District of UT Ladakh. It is significant as one of only a handful few spots in India with a populace of the kiang or Tibetan wild ass, just as the uncommon dark necked crane.

Establishing the Basic Understanding of Changthang Wildlife in Ladakh:

The Changthang natural life asylum, otherwise called Changthang cold desert untamed life safe-haven is a very notable spot in region Leh, Ladakh. The spot stays freezing for its high area and stunning perspective astounds everybody consistently. The kiang, a sort of Tibetan Wildlife ass is very well known in the spot and dark necked crane which is extremely uncommon in India. Or then again elsewhere on earth.

The untamed life asylum is a segment of Hindukush Himalaya very mainstream there. The tallness of the safe-haven is the explanation of its notoriety which is 14000 to 19000 feet. The Chagthang untamed life is comprised of restricted profound slopes and exceptionally enormous tableland dispersed in the natural life safe-haven, and the stream Indus has separated the asylum into two, going through the spot.

There is a lot of action going on around this pleasant spot and the historical backdrop of Changthang discloses to certain occasions that influence the spot to such an extent. Since 1962, Chanthang experienced colossal savagery and that is the reason the spot has turned out to be more similar to a combat area, yet the magnificence of the spot cannot be overlooked. That is the reason the government-endorsed immense regions for untamed life safe-haven, which can protect the greenery which is existing there.

Ladakh- Wildlife Sanctuary in Changtang:

Ladakh, the northernmost piece of India, covers in excess of 92000 Sq. Kms (over 70%) topographical zone of the state. It is the most elevated occupied level of the world known for its blocked off distance and cold climatic conditions with a human populace of roughly 150 000, is one of the most unpopulated region in the Indian Subcontinent.


Ladakh frames part of the trans-Himalayas, a huge region of high elevation semi-desert and steppe. The Himalayan Ranges quickly toward the north of The Great Himalayan Range are called Trans-Himalayas, which stretch for a distance of about 1000km east-west way. The Zanskar, the Ladakh, the Kailash, and the Karakoram are the fundamental scopes of the trans-Himalayan framework. Ladakh establishes more than 80% of the trans-Himalayan plot in India. Indus river abandons goes under the Trans-Himalayan zone and the significant pieces of the desert are restricted to Ladakh which covers a zone of around 68,321 sq km followed by Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. Two significant mountain chains, the powerful Himalayas and the Karakoram separate their characteristic boundaries towards the south and the north individually, though the Zanskar and Ladakh ranges go through it cut by the progression of waterway Indus.

The Biodiversity:                

India is one of the twelve super biodiversity-rich nations of the world which together backings almost 60-70% of the world’s biodiversity. Ten bio-geographic zones address the biodiversity of India and Ladakh is considered as one of the zones. The zone has been further sub-split between the Ladakh mountain which incorporates the high ranges and valleys of Zanskar, Indus, Shyok-Nubra, and Lahul Spiti, and the Indian bit of the Tibetan Plateau and a little zone of Sikkim north of Kanchen Jonga.  

Ladakh area, involving two areas to be specific, Leh and Kargil incorporate valley, mountains, and glacial masses. It is the westernmost expansion of the huge Tibetan Plateau, covering a height that goes from 2700 to 7650m and over 85% of the territory of Ladakh part lies above 5000m above mean ocean level. Physiographically, the whole district might be characterized in five significant valleys: Indus, Nubra, Changthang, Suru, and Zanskar which lies along the significant streams like Indus, Shyok, Nubra, Suru, and Zangskar waterways.


A few facts about Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at the Ladakhi Changthang level in the Leh district.
  • It covers a zone of very nearly 1,600 sq. km
  • It is home to the most noteworthy height water lakes, in particular, Tso Moriri (which additionally turns out to be the most noteworthy lake on earth), Pangong Tso, and Tso Kar.
  • Another intriguing spot to look at Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is the Korzok town, which is likewise viewed as the world’s most elevated town.

Fauna and Flora of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary

The Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is a house for some uncommon Flora and Fauna of Ladakh, which is all around focused on in this natural life asylum. The safe-haven is situated at a high height in the Ladakh area. Changthang untamed life safe-haven is encircled by two enormous and world well-known water lakes that are Tsomoriri and Pangong Tso. Tso-Moriri is one of the gigantic mountain lakes in the southeastern piece of Ladakh. Karzok town is arranged on the southwest bank of this lake and it’s the world’s most noteworthy possessed village. The verdure of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary has characteristic prairies and a wide assortment of in excess of 200 types of wild plants that fill in a higher field of this region and a large portion of which is palatable by creatures.          

Aside from its area and the fabulous scene that Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is prestigious for, it’s likewise home to a fantastic assortment of untamed life. The significant fascination in any case, is the snow panther. It’s fascinating to realize that Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is one of only a handful few spots in India which is the home of the Kiang or Tibetan wild ass alongside the Dark-necked crane.

Aside from the snow panther, the other uncommon creatures discovered here are Tibetan wolf, wild yak, bharal, earthy colored bear, and the marmot, which is by all accounts present all over the place. Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary additionally boats a wide assortment of avifauna. Around 44 kinds of water birds and occasional types of transitory birds are likewise found here.

Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is home to very nearly 200 types of wild plants that fill in the higher fields and are nourishment for the creatures inside the asylum. You will infrequently go over vegetation in this asylum, notwithstanding, certain uncommon and jeopardized plant species with therapeutic properties are found here.

Best an ideal opportunity to visit Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary:

The best and ideal opportunity to visit Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is between the long periods of May and December. This is on the grounds that the climate is best during these months.

Climatic Conditions

On account of high stature, the area is freezing where the temperature goes from – 5 degrees Celsius to freezing – 35 degrees Celsius. Hence, make arrangements for adequate woolen pieces of clothing, palatable water, and food in prior. The mid-year is pleasant anyway of a short period of the time period. Furthermore, whirlwinds can happen at whatever point of the year.

Close by attractions to Changthang:

Aside from Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, there are different attractions that you should look at to make your excursion to Ladakh a paramount one. Here are some close by attractions to Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.

Pangong Lake:

Pangong Lake is perhaps the most dazzling destination you will at any point run over in Ladakh. Reaching out to practically 150km, one side of it lies in India and the opposite side in China. Outdoors close to Pangong Lake is quite possibly the most fascinating exercises to do in Ladakh.

Pangong Lake or Pangong Tso is an enormous lake that covers eastern Ladakh and Parts of China at LAC India and is located at a height of about 4, 225 meters. It is indeed a unique and enchanting lake situated close to Changthang wildlife Sanctuary. It is indeed a saltwater body located on the west side of Tibet. It is a popular travel destination for adventure enthusiasts and it has been visited by them since ancient times.

To visit this exotic lake you can take a trip to Ladakh in India. Here you will be able to visit this charming lake and enjoy a peaceful stay. The best time to visit Pangong Lake or Tso Tsan is from May to September. It has been reported that during the monsoon in the northern Indian UT of Ladakh it becomes a popular tourist spot for trekkers and travelers.

Tso Moriri Lake

The Tsomoriri Lake is located in the Changthang Plateau region of northern India. It is also known by the name Tso Moriri, Lake Moriri, or “Mountain Lake”. The lake is an artificially created reservoir and is the fourth largest in the world, after Lake Mead, Lake Powell, and Lake Hyder. The lake is protected as the Tso Moriri wetland conservation reserve. This enchanting lake contains the water of springs and snowmelts.

Tsomoriri Lake is a wonderful attraction to visit during your Ladakh trip. The exotic wildlife, beautiful lake, and idyllic climate make it a perfect destination for your next trip to Ladakh.

About Wildlife Tourism in Ladakh:

Like its extraordinary scene, Ladakh likewise gloats being home to someone of a kind and uncommon types of greenery making it a fascinating natural life objective with regards to India. The fauna of Ladakh shares much for all intents and purpose with that of Central Asia and Tibet, the vegetation additionally coordinates with that of the Tibetan Plateau. Notwithstanding, what makes Ladakh somewhat not the same as Central Asia is the assortment and number of birds it gets from the hotter pieces of India in the late spring season. Ladakh is noted for being home (perpetual and transitory) to upwards of 318 types of birds.

Among the types of creatures found in Ladakh, the ibex is a significant fascination. Other than this, Ladakh is among not many spots in India for snow panther locating. Bharal (blue sheep), Tibetan urial sheep (shapo), marmot, Tibetan argali sheep (nyan), and Tibetan wild ass are a portion of the normally seen species in Ladakh. On the opposite side, Tibetan gazelle, Tibetan eland, red fox, lynx, Pallas’ feline, and Tibetan Wolf are a portion of the uncommon creature species seen in Ladakh.

Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary:

The untamed life hold is situated in the Changthang level of Ladakh. It is home to some uncommon types of creatures and birds. It is also home to around 200 types of wild plants.

Well known Birds in Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Dark-necked Crane
  • Brown-headed Gulls
  • Brahminy Ducks
Mainstream Animals in Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Tibetan Wild Ass or Kiang
  • Snow Leopards
  • Tibetan Gazelle
  • Wild Yak
  • Tibetan Argali
  • Tibetan Wolf

Instructions to Reach Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary:

Leh, Ladakh is a spot really like no other. Each side of this vacationer location has been cut by God in the most superb way, and one of the jewels of this spot is this natural life asylum. It is situated a ways off of around 1,009, 2,415, 3,179, 2,526 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata separately. Here is the means by which you can arrive at Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.

On your journey up to the Changthang, you will have to carry with you all the required things required for your expedition such as the tent, food supplies, and all the equipment that will make your trip fun-filled and adventurous. There are several trekking trails within the area that will allow you to reach the Changthang. They are easy to follow and provide you a wonderful view of the majestic mountains.

One thing you must understand before embarking on your adventure expedition is the tracks as well as the routes that are best for you. It would be better to take an expert trekking guide who will advise you as to which route should be taken and what should be carried on with the required items. In addition to the expert guidance, the Changthang also offers some adventure trekking programs from time to time so that the tourists can fulfill their interest in adventure and trekking. Once you reach the destination and are done with your trek then you can enjoy your stay in the tranquility of the Changthang camping ground.

Via Air. Maybe the least demanding approach to arrive at Leh, Ladakh is by means of air. The closest air terminal is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL). Considered the 23rd most elevated air terminal universally, the air terminal has incredible availability with different urban communities. Strangely, because of its area in the mountains, it is likewise alluded to as perhaps the grandest air terminals on the planet. Subsequent to getting off the air terminal, you will require a private taxi or a jeep which are accessible locally, to additional arrive at your objective.

Via Train. The closest train station is Udhampur situated in Jammu and Kashmir with a sum of 3 stages which have been interconnected by foot over spans. This station has great availability with different urban communities. Subsequent to getting off the station, you should additionally cover a distance of around 800 km. For this, you can recruit a taxi or transport.

By Road. In view of the unsure climatic conditions, it is for the most part not prescribed to venture out to this spot by means of the street organization. Notwithstanding, still, numerous individuals like to go here through street, particularly the bikers who favor the Manali Srinagar course to go here. From Leh, you can recruit a taxi to reach here, nonetheless, that would demonstrate exorbitant for you. You can likewise think about going by transport, yet there aren’t numerous alternatives accessible in regards to something very similar.

It is difficult to tell where the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary starts. There is no pass to be purchased, no entryway that marks the section, no noticeable fencing. That nature of immense borderlessness is supported by the idea of the landscape — around 4,000 sq km at elevations going from 4,267 to 5,791 m, yet practically every last bit of it level.

As you leave Leh and start the move towards Tanglang La (5,328-m-high pass), the air gets cooler, and the bunches of trees obvious around Leh — generally non-local species like willows and poplars, planted lately by the Forest Department — start to vanish. Before long, you abandon the tenderly bending mountain streets to enter the good countries of the Changthang Plateau. This is a whole spread bifurcated exclusively by the incomparable Indus stream, referred to in Ladakhi as ‘Singhe Khabaps’, in a real sense, the waterway that streams ‘from the mouth of a lion’.

For a large part of the drive to the pool of Tso Kar, the street runs close by the waterway. A ring of mountains stands monitor over the quietness: sparkling snow-covered pinnacles framing the furthest layer, while steep stone appearances in heap colors ascend in the closer distance. Between the street and the mountains is level ground — exposed, sandy, and stony for huge stretches, yet accentuated by periodic muddy patches, where tufts of grass have cleared their path through the drenched earth. Taken care of by icy streams or snow liquefy from the encompassing mountains, these high-elevation wetlands support an entire host of animal types, just as being the help of conventional networks in Changthang.

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