A trip to Tso Moriri in Ladakh:

The trip to the mystical Tso Moriri, a lake in Ladakh, India turned out to be a surprise outing for me, as we had not planned for it.

Witnessing this high altitude lake which lay at a distance of 250 km from Leh at an altitude of 4500 mtrs is an experience that can never be forgotten.

How can one describe something which evokes feelings like – vastness, abundance, mighty, endless, beautiful, clear and pure…the list can go on and you would not have touched even the surface!

This is how Tso Moriri happened in our lives –

"Photograph by Chetan Karkhanis"Prelude

We had reached Ladakh, after spending two months wondering in the Himalayas and had been thinking of some “plains time”. Ladakh was to be only as a stop-over on our way to Manali.

But sometimes strange things happen; and rather unexpectedly. As we were alighting from the bus at Leh, three guys came looking for fellow passengers for a trip in their land rover to Tso Moriri. After some discussion, we agreed.

The trip

Setting off early in the morning, we crossed the famous Mahe bridge and came across the first checkpoint on our way to Tso Moriri. Here they check the permit, which you need to obtain from Ladakh before you start.

We crossed some of the most hauntingly beautiful villages’ en-route and marveled at the romance of such an isolated life. Here, Living in tune with nature seemed to be the only way of life.

Tso Kyogar

We came across the beautiful lake called from Tso Kyogar a few hours later as it seemingly appeared from nowhere; looking beautiful and stretching for miles into the mountainous countryside. I guess it was a perfect prelude to what we were going to witness on reaching the Tso Moriri.

The Vast Plateau

Having crossing Tso Kyogar, our drive thereafter to Tso Moriri consisted of the zig zags in the route and quite suddenly we encountered a steep incline that led us to a gigantic plateau- somewhat a surprise because one wouldn’t expect such a vast flat land high up into the mountains.  It gave us our first enchanting view of the far away Tso Kyogar.

"Photograph by Chetan Karkhanis"Tso Moriri

The glimpse of Tso Kyogar had elevated our hopes and we were wondering about the magnificence of what lay ahead for us.

Tso Moriri is designated as a wetland sanctuary; hence vehicles cannot go beyond the village called Korzok. Therefore, we made the arrangements to stay at the base village called Korzok, and started our trek to Tso Moriri.

And suddenly we saw it!

Our hearts started thumping with excitement as we witnessed one of our life’s most exceptional moments ever!

What lay before us was a lake that reflected an untouched purity and its sheer raw beauty with an unending vastness and its pristine beauty that touched the heart!

In one sentence, all I can say is that after being there at Tso Moriri, all I can do is feel blessed.

 

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