Yaya Tso: A birdwatching paradise in the heart of Ladakh

Picturesque landscapes, crystal blue lake & variety of birds


March 7, 2023

/ By / New Delhi

Yaya Tso: A birdwatching paradise in the heart of Ladakh

The magical and picturesque surroundings makes Yaya Tso the perfect place for experiencing nature in its purest from

Located in the heart of the mountainous terrain of Ladakh, Himalayan lake Yaya Tso has emerged as one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Union Territory. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, Yaya Tso, recently named as first biodiversity site in Ladakh, is also home to numerous beautiful birds, which enrapture visitors.

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Located in the midst of snowcapped peaks of Himalayas near the Chumathang village of Ladakh, Yaya Tso is one of the most enticing destinations for nature lovers, visiting Ladakh, the land which has been popular among tourists and travel enthusiasts for offering one of the most beautiful sightseeing and cultural experiences.

The magical and picturesque surroundings make it the perfect place for experiencing nature in its purest form as it offers the subliminal sights with its graceful blue waters reflecting the intensity of the majestic sky set against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains and sweeping plains.

The enthrallment stretches further, as the lake is also one of the most preferred nesting habitats for numerous birds and animals, including the bar-headed goose, black-necked crane, and brahminy duck (Ruddy shelduck). Especially for the black-necked cranes, it is considered the highest breeding site in India.

Located at an altitude of 4,820 meters, the lake is vast, deep, and dazzling, and it is impossible not to be blown away when the sun shines on it. Yaya Tso is located in the Chumathang village of Leh and is about 138 kilometres away from its district headquarters. The lake could also be reached from Mahe monastery, another major tourist destination in the region.

“Although there are several lakes in Ladakh such as Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Chagar Tso, Yarab Tso, and Mirpal Tso, the beauty that Yaya has to offer is second to none. This was one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in my life. I love being at the lakes or on the hills of the snow-filled mountains, and this gave me all of that plus the melodious churping of the birds. As a traveller and bird lover who has witnessed the bewitching offerings of the site, I would recommend everyone travelling to Ladakh include the place in their itinerary. The place is a living paradise to witness for people like us who spend most of their time in the cacophony of the metropolises,” Aman Jain, a travel enthusiast from Delhi, tells Media India Group.

The destination is set to attract many more tourists now that it has been declared the first biodiversity heritage site of the Union Territory of Ladakh in the last month. The declaration also means that an area of of about 60 sqkm around the lake, including the watershed of the lake, has been protected from any kind of construction or development, in order to ensure that the wildlife species here are secure from further degradation.

While visiting Yaya Tso, one can also explore other places close the lake such as the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers, Sand Dunes Leisure Park, Shanti Stupa, Dras War Memorial, Nubra Valley, Diskit Gompa and several religious shrines.

 When to Visit

Situated in the lap of the northern Himalayas, Ladakh is known to have extremely low temperatures throughout the year. Therefore, it is advisable to schedule the vacation to this beautiful land during the summer, especially from the months of April to June, as during this period the sun shines bright and keeps the temperature warm between 15°-30° C.

How to go there

Nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi, located around 700 km from Ladakh. One can take a taxi from there to Ladakh. However, the best connectivity is through airways. Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh, is just 3.8 km away from the city and is well connected with the major airports of the country, such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Srinagar, Jammu, and Chandigarh.

Where to Stay

In recent years, homestays have emerged as one of the most popular lodging options among tourists. As this does not only help them by exposing them to the place but also the people and their culture. Besides this there are numerous hotels available for staying near Chumathang including, Hotel Rimo Astrostays, Pangong House, Camp Blue waters, and Drampo House Shara.



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