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Situated Southeast of Leh, bordering Tibet in the East and Spiti Valley in the South, Rupshu Valley consists of many high passes and mountains which are more than 6000m. It was opened to outsiders in the late 80s and was considered the least known area till a few years back (with Nyoma, Hanle sectors of the Changthang region closed to visitor, it still is!). This rugged terrain is home to the nomadic tribe of Chang Pa (Changpa) who can be seen grazing their sheep in summer pastures and the Khampa or Rupsa Chang who live in tents.

At the furthest end of Rupshu Valley and approximately 225kms from Leh, lies the largest and most beautiful lake in the valley. Tso Moriri (4595Mtrs, 15075Ft) or the lake of the mountains is surrounded by snow peaks of Chamser Kangri (6623Mtrs), Lungser Kangri (6666Mtrs), Mentok Kangri (6340Mtrs), Chumik (5660Mtrs) whose reflection on the glassy surface of the lake is truly mesmerizing. A smaller but an interesting lake on a detour (via Taklang La and Debring) to Tso Moriri is the Tso Kar (Tsokar) which is extremely brackish. The surrounding marshland is a paradise for birdwatchers as it is home to birds like Brahminy ducks, bar-headed geese, pin tails and the almost extinct black neck crane. The other wildlife of the area includes Kiangs or Tibetan wild asses, marmots, bharals or blue sheep, snow foxes and the rare snow leopard and lynx.

Pangong Tso, the largest lake of the region (130kms) has most of its portion in Tibetan China and is also the most famous lake of Ladakh. Situated at alleviation of 4350m, its visible various shades are truly captivating. The road to Pangong Tso passes through various terrains and the third highest pass of Chang La.




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