Pangong Lake also known as Pangong Tso is a beautiful endorheic lake situated in the Himalayas and is 134 km long, extending from India to China. Pangong Lake is situated at a height of 4350 m and is one of the biggest tourist attractions of the country. The beauty and allure of this lake has attracted people from all over the country and beyond. The lake is said to be in the process of being identified as a wetland with international significance under the Ramsar Convention and if everything goes as expected then the Pangong Lake will be the first in South Asia to be a trans-boundary wetland and that too under this convention.
The one factor that makes this Lake so popular is the fact that it keeps changing colors. Situated in the Himalayan range it is approximately 156 km from Leh in Jammu and Kashmir. The name of the lake Pangong was got from a Tibetan word Banggong Co that means a narrow and enchanted lake. And now you know that the lake has got its name rightfully. You will know this when you visit the beautiful lake of Pangong. You are sure to be enchanted by the charm. And because the lake is a long stretch, one third area of the lake lies within our country and the other two third portion lies with Tibet and is controlled by China.
All you need to do is take a five hour drive from Leh to reach Pangong Lake. The best part about this journey is the route that leads to the lake. You have to pass through Ladakh which is another great tourist attraction of the country and drive over the world’s third highest motorable mountain pass called the Chang La. The first glance of this alluring lake and its blue waters is enough to leave a lasting impression on your mind. What tourists and explorers love the most here is the narrow stretch of land that goes straight into the lake. This spot has also been a favorite among many photographers. If you are planning to visit Pangong Lake, make sure you do not visit during winters because the whole lake freezes during this season of the year. Also the region has really harsh winters, so avoid places like these during winters. The fascinating fact about Pangong Lake is that it has saline water and even then the water freezes and also because of this the lake cannot have any kind of vegetation or even aquatic life. But again, you do not have to be disappointed; you will be treated to the views of many migratory birds like black necked cranes and also seagulls. This place is paradise for bird lovers especially with sightings of other birds like rodents that are said to grow up to the size of a dog. For activities, you can camp on the shores of this lake and this one is going to be sheer delight for adventure enthusiasts.
The Pangong Lake falls on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control and to visit this beautiful lake you are required to get Inner Line permission. Also because the Pangong Lake is situated very close to the border, you will be allowed to visit only up to a certain area. You can explore the lake till the Spangmik village. Whenever you plan to visit this magical place, make sure you do carry a lot of winter clothes. The climate is cold and after dawn it gets harsher. Do not expect any kind of boating activities here. Being situated so close o the border, the Pangong Lake is still considered to be a very delicate region to visit. Visit this place only for its beauty and magnificence. And for any kind of adventure, the only option that you got is to camp on the shores of the lake. If you love photography, this place is going to be an absolute delight.
And just for a gentle reminder, the Pangong Lake has also featured in a Bollywood movie- 3 Idiots. Remember the scene where Kareena Kapoor goes to meet Aamir Khan riding a scooter? That is Pangong Lake and those of you who have watched the movie know that the picturesque beauty of Pangong Tso or the Pangong Lake is unmatched for.