Currently, it is in the process of being identified as an internationally acclaimed wetland under the Ramsar Convention. The saltwater of this lake has a very sparse vegetation and is bereft of any aquatic life except for small crustaceans. However, this lake is a haven for bird watchers as it acts as an important breeding point for several migratory birds such as Brahmini ducks and Bar-headed goose.
Pangong Lake is also known by the name of Hollow Lake and appears as a clear symbol of nature craftsmanship. The brackish water plays with sunlight to produce different effects of light. One-third part of the lake lies in India while the remaining two-third lies in Tibet, a region controlled by China. A large chunk of streams that fill the lake are located on the Tibetan part. The lake is located just 5 hours drive from Leh in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir.
The first glimpse of the tranquil, azure blue waters and shaky lakeshore remains etched in the memory of tourists. This area falls under army control and requires pass from deputy commissioner of Leh. During the winter season, the lake and its surroundings are engulfed by freezing temperature. The surface of the lake becomes so solid that one can’t walk over it. On the surface of frozen lake a gala festival of ice skating is organized. It calls on large number of skiers and ice skaters from several parts of the world. During this festival, tourists also get to see the local culture of the native people.
The route passes through beautiful Ladakh countryside, over Chang La, the third highest motorable mountain pass in the world. Traces of snow along the road welcome us. One can cross the valley on sinking road. The mountains in the backdrop appeared to be painted in the colors of green, brown and violet. There is a mountaineering school, which imparts training in various degrees of rock climbing.
Pangong is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas, nestled at an altitude of around 14,270 feet. 134 kilometers in terms of length, the lake stretch from Eastern Ladakh to Tibet. Around 60% portion of the lake lies in China. To access the Pangong Lake, one has to take a five hour long drive from Leh through coarse and dramatic mountain road.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Ladakh is between May to September as during winter, the Pangong Tso lake gets freeze.
Nestled at an elevation of 4300 meters, the crystal clear brackish waters of Pangong Lake changes its color in many shades of blue and green with the changing position of the sun in the sky. About 1/4th of the lake lies in India and the rest flows into the Tibet region of China. It is a breeding point for various migratory birds such as Bar headed goose and Brahmini ducks.
Located around 7 kilometers along the southern shores, it is the farthest village of Pangong area. From here, one can enjoy spectacular views of the Chang-Chenmo range mountains.
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How to Reach
The journey from Leh to Pangong Lake is a 5 hour drive, mostly through rough and uneven terrains. There is also a public bus service from Leh which drops off visitors at the Spangmik village.