Pangong Lake

Pangong Tso lake in Changthang region of Ladakh has emerged as one of the most wanted places to visit among domestic tourists in recent times especially after the Bollywood blockbuster "3 idiots". Now, in India one can see a lot more movies and advertisements being shot around this mesmerizing lake. This slat water, beautiful ocean like lake is about 5 KM wide at its broadest point and about 134 KM long with about 60% of the length extending into Tibet. During winters the lake freezes completely, which itself is a great experience to witness if you have seen the other colors of the lake.The beautiful multi shades of blue color offered by this lake along with a picturesque landscape around gives this place an extremely romantic feel as shown in Bollywood film songs. However, sitting behind the TV/LCD it looks so but in actual reality the place is extremely harsh and difficult to survive especially in winters. There is only one cemented accommodation available around the lake and the facilities like electricity, medical aid, hot running water, western toilets etc. are rare to find. The lack of oxygen makes survival difficult if your body is not properly acclimatized to its high altitude and hence, one need to plan his/her journey extremely carefully to make it acute mountain sickness free vacation.Pangong Tso lake is located about 170 KMs from Leh town of Ladakh district.Pangong Tso lake is one of the high altitudes lakes of India at a staggering altitude of 4350 Meters or 14270 Feet.

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Pangong Tso is the most famous lake in Ladakh. It is located in eastern Ladakh along the border with Tibet. About 1/3 of the lake is in Ladakh with the remaining 2/3 being in Tibet. This beautiful lake sits at an elevation of 4350 meters/14,270 feet. The lake and sky are both amazing shades of blue that are a must see when in this part of India.

Pangong is about 158 kilometers from Leh. To get there, you cross over the 5360 meter/17,586 foot Chang La Pass, which is covered in snow for much of the year. An Inner Line Permit (ILP) is required to travel to this region, which can be arranged by a travel agency in Leh. Supposedly these permits are given to groups of 2 or 3, but I have been able to get a permit just for myself without any problems.

Travel agencies in Leh can arrange transportation to and from Pangong. The road is surprisingly good for most of the way. Some people just go to the lake on a day trip. The drive to the lake takes a little over 4 hours. The first place you arrive to at the lake, Lukung, offers tea houses and restaurants to eat lunch at. If you wish to stay at the lake, that is possible. There is a small village along the shores of the lake called Spangmik which has several basic homestays to choose from.