Lake Pangong where the air starts to smell of tranquility and the sky paints a perfect reflection of the crystal clear water underneath it. You know you have arrived at Pangong Tso’, a lake of 1001 colors (popularly known for its changing hue throughout the day). It is also one of the most loved road trips in India.
The sheer beauty of the lake is breathtaking. From the moment the lake comes into view all you really want to do is absorb all of it and may believe the trip to be the ultimate among many adventure activities. It has become one of the most talked-about pit stops for tourists visiting Ladakh. Tourists can tour the lake until the Spangmik village because it is situated near the Sino Indian border.
Where is Lake Pangong and how to reach?
Five-hour drive from Leh is this magnificent beauty of mother nature, Lake Pangong or Pangong Tso’.The lake is saline in nature and is believed to be one of the world’s highest situated salt lakes in the world, it stretches as far as 160 KM’s and is safely tucked in between two countries: India and China.
Certain areas are considered the inner line in Ladakh and Leh, which are closer to the foreign borders and Pangong Tso Lake is one of them. Hence permits are required to visit such places. A web portal named LAHDC Leh permit has been launched by the government to make permit availability a less cumbersome job. All you have to do is visit the website and follow the steps mentioned in it. INR 400 per Person as an environmental fee + 20 rupees per day as the Inner line fee is charged at the time of getting the permit.
So now when you are all done with the permits and safety guidelines the real fun begins. However, Lake Pangong Tso will keep you excited during the duration of your stay with many other activities. One of them is camping at Pangong Lake.T enting by the shores – it can’t get better than this!
Can you visit Lake Pangong in winter?
The season to visit the lake should be chosen wisely because the lake freezes in winter. The evenings are also very chilling irrespective of the season, so don’t forget to pack your woolen wears. The nights though harsh and cold do give away some of the best light shows to the mute spectators of nature, the sky and its stars are all like the diamonds.
Melting away the darkness are the first rays of sunshine which give you the natural therapy your mind will later (for many years to come) thank you for so, stalling your trip for the sunrise is a good idea.
Even though it is a saltwater lake, where no microorganisms grow, the lake hosts migratory birds which turns the site heaven for bird watching enthusiasts. Some rare species of rodents are also found in the area.
Accommodation near Pangong Lake
Near Pangong Lake are many hotels with all the amenities you can expect. You can still camp on the shore. Spangmik is the most commercial village of Pangong Lake. Most people live in this area. Camp Redstart is very popular and offers luxurious double beds around Rs. 5000 per night. Mysterious Pangong is located just a few hundred meters from the lake. 15 luxury tents cost from 3,500 rupees per night.
Prices at the Pangong Hermitage start at Rs. 18,000 per night, including breakfast. Pangong Sarai charges 3220 rupees per night for a double room. Pangong Travel Camp is a double room offering 23 luxury lakefront tents for 4,300 rupees per day. There are other accommodation options.
You can also choose a green house or lodging in the neighboring village of Pangong Tso.
The locals of this region are very friendly and will ensure that you do not feel out of place at all, moreover, it is always a great idea to get to know about the place, its food, its traditions, culture, and its unique lifestyle from them.
You may also plan a great camping trip around here. If you are traveling by car, you could carry a tent & place it at a camping site to enjoy nature & starry night. If you are an adventurous soul, hanging tents could be fun too!
What to eat?
Since food choices are very limited, you may not want to get your hopes all high. Garlic soup in cold climates helps to overcome the anxiety caused by the high altitude. At high altitude, some people get sick, It is better to pack dried fruits for some healthy munching.
If you feel uncomfortable and find it difficult to breathe, then the nearby Tangtse Village is fully medically equipped. If necessary, you can count on its first aid.
Things to do near Lake Pangong
The Pangong Tso’ adventure comes to an end and it’s time to pack up, yet there are a few things you can enjoy on your way back.
- The Buddhist monasteries on the way from Pangong Lake to Leh Stakna, Thiksey, Hemis, Shey and Tangtse. are worth a visit.
- A palace at Shey seems like a good option for a short tour.
- Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven to rare rodents and migratory birds.
- tourists love to pose and even enjoy the yak rides.
- And the much talked about Props, including yellow scooters from The 3 Idiots movie are also available for hire at Pangong Lake for those who want to get themselves clicked.
- Walks on the frozen lake. Yes, people can be seen strolling on the frozen lake. Have no doubt about it, it will be icy cold.
This place soaks you in itself till you are drenched in its serenity and then asks you to bid farewell with gratitude for the magnificent nature around.