Ladakh Day 4 – 5: Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri is about 225 Km from Leh. We took route from Leh – Karu – Upshi – Kumdok – Kere – Chumthang – Mahe – Kiagar Tso – Tso Moriri. Our plan was, on 15th we’ll reach Tso Moriri at 4:00 or 5:00 PM.  Stay one night there and next day we’ll leave for Leh. Sameer’s health was improved. He joined us today. 15th August is Independence Day of India. It was a good feeling to be at Leh, watching Soldiers, base camp. We can just imagine how hard life of a Soldier, being away from family for many days, protecting our motherland. We heartily saluted them. We stopped at Karu, ate Aloo paratha and drank tea, this time at different Dhaba. Though that didn’t change taste.  But you can’t complain, at this place if you get Indian-Morning-Breakfast-Like and hot-water-powder-milk-tea. We decided to take a detour at Hamis Monastery. This Monastery has a museum of old things like carpets, clothes, books, paintings, jewelry, weapons etc. Kabir and I went to visit. Sid, Raju and Sameer stayed outside. We took 30-40 mins and when we came back, Sid gave us dirty look. I know, we took little bit more time. We checked on internet about road. It seems good compare to Pangong Lake. There should not be much hilly-Up-down road. We headed towards Tso Moriri.

I thought the route would not excite me much as most of Landscapes, mountains I had seen yesterday. Initially I was not interested to see it. We were passing through Indus River.  The route is very beautiful, river Indus never leaves for moment. On the way there was a very beautiful thought written “We all need time to be alone, To Think, To Dream, To Wonder”. I was looking outside window and saw a marvelous mountain. It was light purple color, I saw first time in my life. Later on I saw few more. We took break for lunch and ate Maggie.  We saw a small lake and thought it was Tso-Moriri, but it was not. It was Kiagar Tso. This landscape was picture perfect. The color of the water was sky blue, surrounded by desert Color Mountains. In the background, snow Mountains. It was marvelous.

We reached Tso-Moriri at 5:30 PM. Our first task was to find Tent. We inquire at the main entry of the village. It was expensive. We decided to look in the village. There were couples of Tent areas. But it was out of our budget. I decided to check in village for cheap hotels/guest house. I went into village. This village was not much different than any other village of Ladakh. I saw one group of men gambling. One can see in most of the villages of India, playing some sort of gambling game. One tourist was taking picture of them. I saw this village was not as clean as Leh. I went to very narrow lane in search of guest house. I saw few, they were average. I negotiated with one of guest house; he was telling me, many people are not coming after giving confirmation. I was going back and saw Raju. He was also searching for guest house. We came back to our car and Sid told me he has booked Tent within our budget. I felt sorry for that man. We had some time to visit Lake(Tso)-Moriri. Again, Sameer was feeling uneasiness and we asked him to take some rest. Sid, Kabir and Raju went straight to lake; I spend some time on landscape photography. I went to the Lake. Again I have no words to describe this Picture-Perfect place.

It was very peaceful. One can hear voice of his heartbeat. The sun was hiding in the mountain, converted whole lake into gold. Wind was flowing very slowly. There were not many tourists. I saw couple of tourist capturing this beautiful place through their expensive equipments. We did some group photography. We tried many photographs to capture jumping-we. After few attempts finally we got couple of good photos. It was getting dark. We headed back to our Tent. We took our dinner. There were not much people at Tent area. I saw one couple and one group of 3 Punjabis. We went to our Tent. The wind started to flow heavily. Kabir, Raju and Sid were tired. They took not much time to go into sleep. I read couple of pages from the book and went to sleep.

Next morning I woke up at 7:00. I saw everybody were already awake. I came out of Tent. I saw sun started to come up behind the mountains. It was very bright.  I saw Sid was standing with Panjabi Kudi. She was kinda Tom-boy. I said hello to her. We spoke for 2 mins. I really wanted a good breakfast. Yesterday dinner was good but not good enough for me. I was missing the Indian cuisine. We ate cornflakes, bread butter and drank milk and tea. We spoke to Punjabi group and came to know that one of the guys came here for seventh time. Yes this place has some magic. One should not have any excuse to not visit this place. We didn’t take much time to get ready. It was time for some morning photography and visits other part of the Lake.

Raju, Kabir and Sid went Ahead of Me. Sameer was not 100% fit, so he took our Taxi.I was busy taking snaps of the beautiful Morning. Yes this was the one of the beautiful morning in my life. I have not checked my emails, FB account for more than 5 days. Ladakh never gave me opportunity to think about it. Everybody reached at Lake Shore and I still need to cover approx. 300 meter distance. I saw Sid was waving hands at me, signing to come fast. I wanted to take some more snaps, but I realize we didn’t have much time. We took some photos. Sameer did some video shooting. And suddenly without our notice, time had come to go back. We all wanted to spend some more time here, but we all knew this would make our return journey late.

During return journey, we saw 1 woman who was in her 70 and 1 man, who was also in his 70, were doing cycling. I was amused to see them. At this age, they are very active.

We reached at Chumthang around lunch time. Our driver took us to Hot spring water spot. While heading towards, I saw steam coming out of one place. I put a finger in that water and took it back in fraction of seconds. Raju also wanted to measure temperature of it. He put his finger and took it back. Suddenly water started to vanish. In a few seconds there was only hot steam. I saw a group of foreigner visitor coming at this place. It would be bad if they can’t see hot water spring. We were waiting if water comes back but there was no sign of it. The group stopped at some distance and his guide was explaining something. Suddenly we hear the voice of water. It came back. The visitors came and took some photographs. We went to take a lunch.

The journey from Chumthang to Leh was very relaxed. We stopped at famous Mutra Visharjan Bridge shot in movie 3-idiots. We reached at guest house around 7:00 PM. Next 2 days we’ll go to Nubra Valley.

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