Tso Kar, Ladakh
I arrived at Tso Kar with my group of fellow travelers and looked around at the barren vastness incredulously. We were exhilarated by the blues and magnificence of Tso Moriri, and my initial reaction on seeing the arid landscape of the More Plains in the Changthang was one of dismay. The land was barren, devoid of even the slightest green patch with the exception of some scattered desert scrub, the sunlight as it came through the clouds was harsh and we had no shade with the 18,000 ft mountains and high ridges set miles back.
It was a cloudy day and as the day progressed more clouds settled in, making conditions downright murky. Breathing conditions at 14,000 ft were a little better than Tso Moriri which was at 15,000 ft, but only just! I kept clicking away, hoping to capture as much light. The dry, salty air and lake bed made for very hard walking across the lake bed as we searched for "birding" opportunities. After all, Tso Kar was known for birding! I was a tad disappointed at the featureless offering of the moraine-filled landscape as I'm primarily a landscape photographer. But I kept clicking.
However, as I returned back to Delhi and began processing my captures, I unraveled one jewel after another. Tso Kar came alive to my eyes as I looked at the pics! I saw colors offered by the land that I had not expected to see! Where blue tones dominated Tso Moriri, Tso Kar saw a range of dominant browns, powerful in the tones, magnificent in the depths.