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Murgo is located in Ladakh
Location in Ladakh, India
Murgo is located in India
Murgo (India)
Coordinates: 35°02′28″N 77°56′13″E / 35.04111°N 77.93694°E / 35.04111; 77.93694Coordinates: 35°02′28″N 77°56′13″E / 35.04111°N 77.93694°E / 35.04111; 77.93694
Country India
Union TerritoryLadakh
Elevation4,500 m (14,600 ft)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-LA
Vehicle registrationLA
Murgo near the LAC

Murgo is a small hilly village which lies on the border of Leh district in the union territory of Ladakh in India, close to Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin. It is one of the northernmost villages of India.

Murgo in a 1916 Survey of India map of the region


The name "Murgo" means "gateway of hell" in Tibetic languages.[2] Record from the 1840s indicates the Turkic name was Murgai and Tibetan name was Murgo-Chumik.[3] (Chumik means spring.[4])


Murgo was a campsite on the difficult caravan route through Karakoram Pass,[5] the last place with sufficient vegetation for fuel and grass.[3] Czech paleontologist and biologist Ferdinand Stoliczka died here in 1874 during an expedition.[6] A memorial was erected for him in the Moravian cemetery at Leh.

There is a large Buddhist monastery at Murgo.

Current status[edit]

The village is now inhabited by a small civilian population of Baltis.[7] However, the Indian Armed Forces have significant presence in the area. The Darbuk–Shyok–DBO Road running between Leh and Daulat Beg Oldi passes through Murgo.

The temperature plummets as low as -50 C in the winters. The weather deteriorates frequently with strong icy winds lashing much of Murgo. Murgo has very little if any vegetation or wildlife. Telecommunication is only available through INMARSAT satellite phones.


  1. ^ Indian Mountaineer. Indian Mountaineering Foundation. 1983. At the extreme right corner of this 6 km long ground is a place called Murgo (14,600ft), situated on the bank of a tributary known as Burtsa nalla.
  2. ^ Kapadia, Harish (1999). Across Peaks & Passes in Ladakh, Zanskar & East Karakoram. Indus Publishing. pp. 229–230. ISBN 978-81-7387-100-9. Once down in Ladakh even lama scholars far away at Darjeeling also gave the same interpretation of the names as a Ladakhi ... Murgo: gateway of hell. (Mur: hell, go: gate).
  3. ^ a b Thomson, Thomas (1852). Western Himalaya and Tibet: A Narrative of a Journey Through the Mountains of Northern India, During the Years 1847-8. Reeve and Company. pp. 422–424. The encamping-ground is called by the Turki merchants Murgai, by the Tibetans, Murgo-Chumik ... It was the last place at which I was to expect a sufficiency of fuel ... or grass ... A number of springs appeared to break out of the ground close to my tent
  4. ^ American Alpine Club. 1975 American Alpine Journal. The Mountaineers Books. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-933056-30-2. Chumik: "spring" from chhu (water) + mik (eye)
  5. ^ (26 November 2005). "Murgo". Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2005. It is rightly named as the route beyond Murgo, towards the Karakoram Pass, passes through a desolate barren gorge ... Murgo is a camping site.
  6. ^ Kapadia (2005). Into the Untravelled Himalaya: Travels, Treks, and Climbs. Indus Publishing. p. 212. ISBN 978-81-7387-181-8. There was a memorial to Ferdinand Stolickzka ... He died at Murgo on 19 July 1874, and a tower has been erected here in his memory.
  7. ^ PTI (19 April 2013). "Chinese troops intrude into Indian territory in Ladakh, erect a tented post". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2 January 2020. The nearest inhabited town is Murgo to the south, which has a small population of Baltis who primarily depend on apricot farming and yak rearing.