Photographer's Note

At an altitude of 4,595m (15,075 ft) in the Himalayas, not too far from the Tibetan border, sits the lake of Tso-Moriri, a large and mind-bogglingly beautiful teardrop of melted Himalayan snow.

A calm expanse of water 19km (12 mi) long, 3km (1.9 mi) wide and barely 40m (130 ft) deep, Tso-Moriri is the centrepiece of the Rupshu valley which cradles the lake in mountains six kilometres (20,000 ft) high. From where I stood to take this picture, Tso Moriri is in the FG unseen in the frame.

Korzok is a small village situated 3 km from the northwest end of the Tso Moriri Lake. Most of the inhabitants of the Korzok are changpa nomads. At an altitude of 4595 m, Korzok is one of the India’s highest permanent villages. During the summers Changpas camp at various places in their robos (small tents) and look after their flock. Their sheep produce the famous pashmina, one of the costliest varieties of wool. Traditional weavers from Kashmir and Himachal buy this wool. The recent boom in its value has led to their prosperity, though that is not evident in their life-style. Korzok meaning is “Middle of the mountain” and it’s an excellent location to enjoy the lake side.

And, of course, there's a marvellous, picturesque monastery, Korzok Gompa, presiding over the village, where you'll find a tiny group of about 35 Tibetan Buddhist monks. Korzok Gompa dates back somewhere between 300 and 500 years and is home to stunning old paintings, relics and statues, including a stunning Shakyamuni Buddha.

Korzok Village cuts off the civilization for about 8 months in a year due to snow. The only way of getting around in winter is on foot or horseback. The climate at Korzok is cold arid, snow falls in winter, rain fall is very less, there is a wide variation in temperature, during summer it rises as high as up to 36 degree Celsius but same falls to 5 degree Celsius at night. Very harsh climate to live in…yet people choose to stay there

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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