Register Here | Don't Click Here

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Go to Reviews
Go to Quick Reference

The smallest of the three important lakes in Ladakh, Tsokar Lake is situated in Rupsa Valley, nearly 240 kilometers Southeast of Leh. Another salt water lake, Tsokar, is nearly 8 kilometers wide at its widest point and 28 kilometers long. It is situated at a high altitude of around 4500 meters. This lake lies in the vicinity of Tso Moriri Lake, at a distance of around fifty kilometers. Though Tso Moriri is the major attraction in this region, Tsokar is none less interesting.


Over the last few years Tsokar has grown popular among birdwatchers. The lake is surrounded by the marshlands that host amazing bird life. Amongst the commonly seen birds here are Brahmni ducks, bar-headed geese and the great crested grebe. But the major attraction at Tsokar is that of black-necked cranes. Tsokar is one of the rare places in the world where these amazing but nearly extinct birds can still be seen and admired. Living in couples, they come here to lay their eggs. With a wingspan of nearly 8 feet, these birds make an amazing site as they takeoff over the green, picturesque plains on the backdrop of snow-clad mountains.


Apart from the birdwatchers, Tsokar attracts a lot of wildlife lovers as well. The most easily spotted mammals here are Kiangs, the largest of the wild asses. It won’t be an exaggeration if Tsokar is deemed to be the best place for Kiang sightings. This wild, untamable mammal lives in large groups. They can run for long distances at an amazing speed. The widespread grasslands at the plains of Tsokar make an ideal habitat for the Kiangs. The hills and mountains around Tsokar are also home to ibex, snow foxes and snow leopards. Wild life photographers and experts spend several days here in row and rarely return without optimum satisfaction. But for the flexibility of roaming around you will have to bring more supply of fuel than the tank of your vehicle can hold. If you run out of fuel, the nearest fuel station is farther than you would like, either at Leh or Keylong.


The lake itself makes a wonderful view with hills and mountains surrounding it from all sides. The water of the lake has no scope for seepage, which is why it is brackish. Due to the handsome amount of salt that deposits at the banks of Tsokar, it is also called as White Lake. The nomads here, called as Rupsa Chang, have been selling this salt in nearby regions for years. Also called as Khampas, they herd yaks and goats and can be spotted around, thorugh in a rare frequency.


Tsokar offers a facility of night camping. Though the number of tents is not very high, you may find room without too much of hassle. Yet, to be on the safer side, it is better to get a proper booking through your travel agent at Leh before coming here. A stay in one of these tents in Tsokar can be touched by extreme cold. Being on the widespread plains, the tents are often beaten up by chilly winds. But if you have a spirit for adventure and a liking to gaze at a brilliant sky full of stars, you may want to suit up and step out of your tent late in the night. The views at Tsokar, just as breathtaking as they are during the day, can be even more exciting during the night, with the mountains around shining in the glow of moonlight. At night, the fall of temperature below -10 degrees Celsius is not rare at Tsokar, even during summers. Although the days in summer can be sunny and pleasant, unless the cloud cover decides to play an unwelcome visitor.


Tsokar is located near a point on Leh-Manali road and it is recommended that you pay a visit during your journey towards or from Leh, due to the longish distance between the two places. It is best if you club the visits to Tsokar and Tso Moriri together. Fancied greatly by the trekkers who come here every summer and root camps in the beautiful and fascinating surroundings, Tsokar is a must-visit not only to see the freely roaming Kiangs and the amazing black necked cranes but also to camp here and witness the magnificent night skies and greet the free wind that runs across the grassy plains.


Back to article

Quick Reference

The Tsokar Lake situated in the Rupsa Valley is the smallest of the three lakes in Ladakh. It is nearly 240 kilometers away from Leh. It lies at an altitude of 4500 meters and is a popular tourist spot. Like the other lakes of Ladakh, Tsokar is also a saline water lake. Marshlands of this lake host an amazing bird life. Birds like Brahmni ducks, bar-headed geese and great crested grebes can be seen here. The main attraction of Tsokar is that of Black necked cranes, nearly extinct birds. Kiangs, the largest wild asses can be easily spotted here. Night camping facility is available at Tsokar. The Tso Moriri Lake lies only fifty kilometers away from Tsokar; it is thus convenient to club the visits to Tsokar and Tso Moriri Lake together.


Destination Grade: B (What is this?)
Rating: 7.5/10
Airport: Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh
Railway station: Jammu
Nearest Major City(s): Leh
How to reach: By road from Leh. 240 kilometers from Leh.
Major Tourist Attraction: Lake
Speciality(Famous for): Twin lake
Back to article

210 votes
1 2 3 4 5
Total Reviews : 2
Reviews by users : (2)
Back to article
Exciting Visit to Tsokar - by Prabhakar Deo  Dated : 2011-03-10
No doubt about the beauty of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, every region of the state has bewitching beauty that keeps you hooked all your life. Natural beauty always wins over metropolitan hustle bustle, amusement parks, shopping paradise and what not. I have always preferred tourist places that are close to nature than rather those having the urban feel all the time.

I must say I was fortunate enough to go to Ladakh at the right time, when everything from season, hotels was in my favor. The best time to visit Ladakh and the places around is from June to August. I and my wife were very delighted when we saw Leh and the monasteries around Leh.

For 4 nice days at Leh we planned to go and see the Tsokar Lake. Tsokar Lake is around 250 kilometers away from Leh. We had made a booking in the night camps of Tsokar. The Tsokar Lake is a salt water lake. We reached Tsokar late in the noon and it was a treat to the eyes. The lake is the smallest high altitude lake entirely in India unlike Pangong.

We had a great time looking around the amazing landscape of the lake; it is an enchanting sight to see birds fly over the surface of the deep blue colored lake. As the day was amazing even the night full of clear star filled sky was beautiful. I suggest that anyone and everyone must go to Tsokar, take a night stay at the camps there, enjoy the amazing landscape if planning to go to Ladakh. After spending a night at Tsokar camp we got back to our hotel in Leh. Really Tsokar was an enthralling experience.
Tsokar - The Best Camping Site in Ladakh - by Rishabh Shukla  Dated : 2011-03-08
Tsokar is a small but beautiful lake situated in Ladakh. This place is very different from most of the tourist places we get to see. We came here to spend a night in the camp. I was traveling with my friends on a bike and it had been our long time dream to go to Ladakh on bike. I think, after Khardung La, coming to this place on bikes and spending a night here was the next challenge that we were looking to achieve. It is a very adventurous idea, given the roads that lead here. If you are thinking that these roads had deep valleys at one side, it wasn’t so. The roads were mostly raw and full of dust, and so subtle that you could not make them in the big plans with similar look and feel. And it is very rare to spot someone on the road who would point you in the right direction or tell you that you are traveling in the right direction.

We reached Tsokar in the afternoon and very happy to come here. There was no one else here apart from us and it was a wonderful feeling to be in a beautiful place such as this with no one else around, much like the stories of adventure. There was a small camping site where we had booked a tent previously.

We soon understood that coming here on bikes wasn’t really the challenge that we should have looked forward to, but staying in the tent in the night was the hardest and the most exciting thing. It soon got so cold that we had to wrap ourselves in every woolen cloth that we had. The hot dinner cooked by our Nepali cook tasted awesome in that weather and scenery. We went to the warmth of our beds in the tents (carrying hot water bags with us) at around 8 as it was getting very cold outside.

When we woke up the next morning everyone had loved their adventurous stay here. And what we loved even more were the views that we saw in the morning. We wanted to go and visit the lake, but we had to make a move towards Keylong, till where there would be no fuel for our bikes.

With a heavy heart, we left Tsokar, but not without a strong determination that we will come here once more to root a camp for at least two days so we could experience the days as well as nights at Tsokar once again.