How to reach Tso Moriri Lake?

Tso Moriri Lake is located in the Indian union territory of Ladakh at an elevation of 14836 Feet (4522m), in a remote area called Changthang, and is accessible by road from Leh. It is approximately 220 km away from Leh town, which takes a 5 to 6 hours drive to reach there.

The best way to reach Tso Moriri Lake is by taking a flight to Leh from any of the major cities of India. Once you reach Leh, you need to obtain a permit to travel to Tso Moriri. Once you get the permit, hire a taxi from Leh to Tsomoriri lake.

  • Reach Leh by air or by road from Manali/Srinagar route.
  • Obtain a permit from the DC office, Leh.
  • Rest for at least a night in Leh to Acclimatize.
  • Hire a Taxi or rent a bike from Leh to Tso Moriri Lake.
Tso Moriri

Read this article to get all the required information to plan a trip to Tso Moriri Lake. You can always contact us to get the latest updates about the Tso Moriri lake.

We arrange trips to Tso Moriri Lake at a very reasonable price. View all tour packages.

A detailed guide on how to reach Tso Moriri Lake

By Air

  • The nearest airport to Tso Moriri Lake is in Leh; you have to arrive at Kushok Bakula airport and then travel to Tso Moriri Lake by road. 
  • Kushok Bakula Airport receives direct and connecting flights from all over the country. Direct flights to Leh are available from Delhi, Jammu, Mumbai, Chandigarh, and Srinagar.
  • Most tourists prefer to fly to Leh from Delhi or Mumbai airport. Read more about Kushok Bakula Airport in Leh.
  • Once you reach Leh by flight, it’s essential to rest a night in Leh to acclimatize before traveling to Tso Moriri Lake at an altitude of 14836 feet.
  • Obtain the inner line permit a day before visiting Tsomoriri Lake. You can also contact us to obtain the permit for you.
  • Book a cab from Leh right up to Tso Moriri Lake.

By train

  • Ladakh is not connected with railway lines, so; there is no direct train to any part of Ladakh, including Tso Moriri Lake. However, you can travel by train up to Jammu Tawi or Kalka Railway Station.
  • Please make sure which route (Jammu Tawi or Kalka) you want to take and make the train reservations accordingly.
  • If you want to visit Manali or enjoy the road trip through the lately opened Atal Tunnel, you should make the train reservation for Kalka.
  • If you want to enjoy Kashmir’s beauty, you should take the Jammu Tawi train.
  • On reaching Jammu or Kalka, you will easily find buses and shared taxis to Leh.
  • From Leh, you need to obtain a permit to travel to Tso Moriri Lake.

By road

To reach Tso Moriri Lake by road, you should arrive Leh using one of the two given routes:
  • Manali – Jispa – Leh
  • Jammu – Srinagar Leh
Route1 – Manali – Jispa- Leh – Tso Moriri
RouteTravel TimeDistance
1Manali to Jispa2 hr90 km
2Jispa to Leh9 hr336 km
Route 2 – Jammu – Srinagar – Leh – Tso Moriri Lake
RouteTravel TimeDistance
1Jammu to Srinagar6 to 8 hours260
2Srinagar to Leh8 to 12 hours430

Read this blogpost to know how to reach Leh. From Leh, you can easily plan your road trip to Tso Moriri Lake.

How to reach Tso Moriri Lake from Leh?

The tourist preferred way to travel to Tso Moriri Lake from Leh is by hiring a Taxi. Also, driving your own car would be a great idea. The journey to Tsomoriri Lake will take about 5-7 hours.

Vehicles that are easily available to hire from Leh to Tso Moriri lake are:

  • SUVs such as Innova and Xylo
  • Eeco/van
  • Tempo traveler
Advantages of travelling in a taxi or your own car to Tso Moriri
  • Flexibility: Shared taxis or public transportation have a defined route for Leh to Tso Moriri. The advantage of traveling in your own car or hiring a cab would be; you get to choose your own route, specifically through the areas you want to visit.
  • Stops: On the way to Tsomoriri lake, you will notice some stunning sceneries where you can make stops. It’s an amazing surprise treat to yourself by visiting plenty of breathtaking places that you never knew existed.
  • AMS: Tso Moriri is at a very high altitude place. It’s rare, but there is a chance that you might suffer from AMS (acute mountain sickness). Your vehicle (hired/self-owned) would be readily available for you to take you to the nearest health facility in such emergencies.
  • Oxygen Cylinder: You can carry an oxygen cylinder (first aid for AMS) in your car on your trip to the lake.
  • Comfort: On the way to Tso Moriri lake, roads are rough and bumpy at places such as Polo Kongka La, so private transportation would make your ride very comfortable as compared to public transportation.
Following are the most common and easiest routes to reach Tso Moriri Lake from Leh:
RouteDistanceTime
via Chumathang222 km6 hrs
via Tso Kar234 km7 hrs
via Pangong410 km12 hrs

The table represents the three best routes recommended by experts and preferred by tourists. If you want to visit Tso Moriri from Leh directly, you should take the 1st route or the 2nd route as mentioned in the table (via Chumathang or Tso Kar). Otherwise, if you plan to go to Tso Moriri lake after visiting Pangong Lake, then you should consider the third route given in the table above.

Now, let’s dive into the details of these three routes to Tso Moriri Lake:

Route 1 – Leh to Tso Moriri Lake via Chumathang

This is the most common route from Leh to Tso Moriri Lake because it’s the shortest and the least challenging. Also, this route is accessible throughout the year. It takes about 6 hours to complete this journey through Chumathang.

Tso Moriri Map
FromToDistanceTime
LehThiksay20 km30 min
ThiksayKaru17 km20 min
KaruUpshi13 km15 min
UpshiKumdok54 km60 min
KumdokChumathang37 km60 min
ChumathangMahe24 km30 min
MaheSumdo15 km20 min
SumdoKarzok42 km90 min
Google Map

A road trip from Leh to Tso Moriri lake through this route will also allow you to go around the major tourist attractions that include the Thiksay monastery, Karu, Upshi, Chumathang, Mahe, Sumdo, and so much more.

  • You can make your first stop in Thiksey and visit the magnificent Thiksay Monastery.
  • On the way, when you reach Karu, you have to take the road towards Upshi.
  • From Upshi, take a left at the diversion, which will lead you towards Kumdok.
  • The road from Kumdok to Chumathang would be rough and bumpy.
  • At the Mahe check-post, you need to stop for a while to register your entry towards Tso Moriri Lake.
  • After passing the Mahe check-post, you have to take a turn at the bridge towards Sumdo.
  • From Sumdo you have to drive for more than an hour to reach Karzok. Again, the road would be rough and bumpy here, but keep driving until you reach Tso Moriri lake.
Route 2 – Leh to Tso Moriri lake via Tsokar.

If you decide to travel to Tso Moriri Lake via Tsokar, you can take this route. This route offers some great sceneries, but it’s more challenging than the other routes. It takes 7-8 hours to complete around a 234 km road trip to Tsomoriri via Tsokar.

FromToDistanceTime
LehThiksay20 km30 min
ThiksayKaru17 km20 min
KaruUpshi13 km15 min
UpshiRumtse29 km40 min
RumtseTanglang La32 km60 min
Tanglang LaDebring14 km30 min
DebringTsokar31 km60 min
TsokarPuga30 km70 min
PugaSumdo6 km20 min
SumdoKarzok42 km90 min

Leh to Tsomoriri lake through this route will give you an opportunity to explore some amazing places that include Rumtse, Tanglang La, Debring, Tso Kar, Puga, Namshang La, and much more.

Route 3 – Leh to Tso Moriri lake via Pangong

Through this route, Leh to Tso Moriri via Pangong lake will allow you to travel through some mindblowing places that include Nyoma, Tsaga La, Chusul, Kakstet Merak, Spangmik, and much more.

FromToDistance
LehThiksay20 km
ThiksayKaru17 km
KaruSakti15 km
SaktiChang La34 km
Chang LaDurbuk32 km
DurbukTangtse10 km
TangtseLukung35 km
LukungSpangmik15 km
SpangmikKakstet25 km
KakstetChusul20 km
ChusulTsaga la35 km
Tsaga LaNyoma65 km
NyomaMahe25 km
MaheSumdo15 km
SumdoKarzok45 km

As Tso Moriri Lake is at a higher altitude, travelers usually visit Pangong Tso first to stay there for a night and then visit Tso Moriri lake to make the acclimatization process work more effectively. Also, a special permit to travel through Chusul is mandatory. You can obtain the permit along with the Pangong Lake inner-line permit from the DC office Leh.

Insider travel tips

There are a few key tips you can follow to make your road trip to Tsomoriri more amazing.

  • Plan the traveling route to Tso Moriri lake as per the routes given in the blog post.
  • Obtain the permit to Tso Moriri Lake a day ahead of the journey. You will get the permit from the DC office, Leh.
  • Tso Moriri lake is at a very high altitude area (14836 feet). So, carry an oxygen cylinder from Leh to use it in case of emergency.
  • If it’s a day trip, start the journey early in the morning.
  • It would be best to acclimatize in Leh for two nights or at least one night before visiting Tso Moriri lake.
  • Tsomoriri is located in a remote region where cell phone signals are weak. However, BSNL SIMs receive better signals than other SIMs, so carry a postpaid BSNL SIM from your hometown before visiting Ladakh.
  • Rent an oxygen cylinder in Leh to carry it in your vehicle to Tsomoriri Lake
  • Carry enough cash with you from Leh, as you won’t find many ATMs through this route.
  • Fill your fuel tank to full and also carry some spare fuel before starting the journey from Leh.

Leh to Tso Moriri Lake bike trip

Riding a two-wheeler to Tso Moriri Lake to explore the pristine beauty of the places through this route provides an amazing and unparalleled experience.

Use the same routes given in the table for a bike trip to Tso Moriri Lake.

The most common types of bike available to hire to go to Tso Moriri Lake are:
  • Royal Enfield Himalaya – 411cc
  • Royal Enfield Classic – 500cc
  • Royal Enfield Standard – 500cc
  • Royal Enfield Classic – 350cc
  • Royal Enfield Electra – 350cc
  • Royal Enfield Standard – 350cc
  • Bajaj Avenger – 220cc
  • Bajaj Vikrant – 150cc
  • Scooty

Planning a bike trip to Tso Moriri lake is an excellent way to explore the stunning beauty of the area. The trip starts from Leh town. The road trip then takes you through some of the most beautiful places in Ladakh such as Thiksey, Upshi, Tsokar, Sumdo, and much more.

Travel tips for bike trip to Tso Moriri Lake
  • Road conditions can vary greatly, so you must make sure your bike has good road approval before you set out. By doing a simple inspection of your bike, you can ensure that it is roadworthy before going on a road trip to Tsomoriri.
  • If possible, always try to take longer, more comfortable, and enjoyable routes than take shortcuts. It allows you to explore and experience a variety of unique landscapes and views on the way to the lake.
  • The weather in Ladakh changes a lot, so make sure to check the weather prediction report before starting your bike trip to Tsomoriri lake.
  • June, July, and August are the best three tourists’ preferred months for the bike trip. Also, May and September is a good time for a road trip to Tso Moriri Lake.
  • If it’s a day trip, start your trip early in the morning.
  • Download an offline map of Ladakh, including Tsomoriri, and plan the day’s route on Google Map a day before the bike trip.
  • Check for the windshield on the bike, as you need one during this trip, and install it if it already doesn’t have one.

Bus services from Leh to Tso Moriri Lake

Leh to Tso Moriri buses travels on the 10th, 20th, and 30th of every month at 6:30 am. The bus fare from Leh to Tsomoriri is INR-470. And the same buses return to Leh on the next day on 11th, 21st, and 31st (or 1st). So, it would be best if you plan your travel accordingly.

Insider tips to travel on a bus
  • Get ready for a bumpy ride, as these buses are not very comfortable. And traveling on these buses for 8-10 hours would not be a pleasant experience. So if you are uncomfortable with a bouncy and harsh ride, you should not travel to Tso Moriri Lake on a bus. Instead, you can travel on a shared tempo which is way more comfortable than a bus.
  • Get the permit to Tsomoriri lake from the DC office, a day ahead of the journey to Tso Moriri Lake.
  • Carry small oxygen cans available at local chemists in Leh.
  • Eat breakfast in Leh and carry some snacks and beverages with you on the bus, as it would be a long journey.

Conclusion

To visit Tso Moriri Lake, you should reach Leh via road or air. Once you arrive in Leh, you can choose the route and vehicle of your choice from the options given above to reach Tso Moriri lake. Follow the steps mentioned in this article and keep the travel tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to having a memorable vacation.

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