Korzok Village · Korzok Gustor : Civilization of High Himalayas

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December 29th 2010
Published: December 29th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

Korzok Village with backdrop of Tso Moriri

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 4572 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. There is a monastery at korzok which is believed to be about 500 years old. Korzok monastery lies on the traditional trading route between Spiti and Ladakh, it was visited by many of early explorers.

Social Networking at Korzok

In older days Korzok was headquarter of Rupshu. Earlier there was no Government facility for changpas in Korzok but now this valley has a school, PWD guest house and nearby ITBP camp. 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; the sky is usually clear and cloudless. Thunder and lightning are hardly seen

Korzok Village: Agriculture on the top of the world

The fields of Korzok village are among the highest agricultural lands in the world. During the summers, the Changpas who live in Korzok grow barley, oat and vegetables. A Major portion of agricultural land at Korzok belongs to gompa or monastery in the village. This land is divided into plots and given to the lamas (monks) for cultivation for the period of 6 to 7 years. Recently tractors are introduced for plowing these lands and are hired at the rate of Rs 600 per hour for plowing.

The changpas use horses for plowing. The fields are prepared for cultivation by application of fertilizer followed by water. People generally use natural fertilizer here. The first crop consists of barley, oats and vegetables are harvested in August-September, after which fodder grass is grown and harvested in December. Water of irrigation comes from chasma or glacier. A stream from the glacier flows into Tso Moriri Lake and agricultural fields are located along and around the stream, near the banks of the lake.

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