Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas. At a height of 4350 m the 134 km lake stretches all the way from India to China with around two-third in China.
The charismatic lake is situated on the Changtang plateau in eastern Ladakh region approximately 140 km from the Ladakh capital city Leh. The route from Leh to Pangong Lake takes around 6 hours.
One can also visit the famous monastery of Thiksey on the way before reaching the village of Shakti from where the ascent to Changa La (Chang Pass at 5,360 m) starts through the treacherous roads up the mountains.
Chang La (Chang Pass)
Due to a landslide, the road further of Chang La was closed for clearance by the Indian Army. We waited in a small cafe at Chang Pass run by the Indian Army which has food, medicine, and toilet facilities. There is also a small temple of Chang La Baba at the pass. The pass is covered by snow throughout the year.
We came across this frozen lake on the way down from Chang La.
The slushy dirt roads are occasionally covered in gravels, sludge and gushing streams.
Ever-changing landscapes from Tangtse Village to Pangong lake
The ride from Tangtse to Pangong is breathtaking with picturesque landscapes unfurling magic at every turn much similar to our epic journey from Mumbai to Leh and will remain etched in our memory for the lifetime.
The arid terrain with massive mountains of contrasting shades.
The arid terrain sometimes showed traces of vegetation amidst the snow peppered bald mountains .
The road would sometimes wind through rocky and rugged mountains.
Suddenly out of nowhere we spot some wild ass camouflaged with the mountains in the background.
At some places, there were meadows where we could see yaks and mountain goats grazing.
We also got to see some cultivation lands at foothills of the same barren mountains.
Nature never ceased to amaze us with its creativity that enraptures and challenges our imagination.
A couple of km further the asphalted road meandered through deserted terrains loomed over by the massive mountains sometimes covered with snow and mist.
It is like you are chasing an oasis amidst the barren land and then you sight a glimpse of the shimmering blue lake afar surrounded by the daunting mountains leaving you awestruck.
The blue stretch of crystal clear lake surrounded by trans-Himalayan barren mountains is mesmerizing. The serenity and tranquility of the place are overwhelming. The pristine beauty of lake unfurls myriad of mystical colors from turquoise to indigo to emerald.
Migratory birds like black-necked cranes and seagulls in large number flock on the lake surface.
The Pangong Lake freezes during winters in spite of its salinity. Due to the brackish nature, the lake cannot have any kind of vegetation or even aquatic life.
One can camp on the shores of the lake or choose to stay at the Spangmik village which has plenty of Accommodation options.
To visit Pangong Tso one is required to get Inner Line permission which has to be endorsed at the checkpoint en route Pangong Tso. The best time to visit Pangong lake would be late June until September.
Aren’t the stunning landscapes and the lake enthralling enough to allure anyone? Have you visited this surreal lake of Pangong?
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