Tso kar Lake, Leh

3.8
#7 of 12 in Nature in Leh
The Tso Kar or Tsho kar, known for its size and depth, is a fluctuating salt lake situated in the Rupshu Plateau and valley in the southern part of Ladakh in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Tso Kar is connected by an inlet stream at its south-west end to a small lake, Startsapuk Tso, and together they form the 9 km2 More plains pool, which is dominated by the peaks of two mountains, Thugje (6050 m) and Gursan (6370 m). From the geology of the More Plains, it can be concluded that the Tso Kar in historical times ranged up to this high valley. Until a few years ago the lake was an important source of salt, which the Changpa nomads used to export to Tibet. The nomadic settlement of Thugje is located 3 km in the north. There is a tented camp on the west bank of the lake which provides accommodation for tourists.
Due to the high altitude, the climate is extreme in the winter; temperatures below -40 °C are not uncommon. In the summer the temperature rises above 30 °C, with extreme fluctuations during the day. Precipitation in the form of either rain or snow is extremely rare.
The inlets of the Tso Kar are a source of non-saline water; pondweeds and basic nettles grow there, forming floating islands of vegetation in the spring and dying off in the winter. Sedge and large numbers of buttercups grow on the shores of Startsapuk Tso and of the tributaries of the Tso Kar, while some parts of the high basin are marked by steppe vegetation interspersed with tragacanth and pea bushes. The shore of Tso Kar is partly covered with a salt crust, which keeps vegetation away from the inflows.
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38 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • we merely had a photostop here, but it was a large lake with sale deposits seen from far. excellent views of the mountains. a must stop.  more »
  • the most exciting of laghji! you breathe an air of familiarity, people are very welcoming and smiling. a real dining and sleeping experience in the guesthouses with the owners. simplicity and kindness are indisputable.
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