Whenever people talk about the top attractions of Ladakh, Pangong Tso comes to their heads first. It is one of the most beautiful places in India and is considered a heaven on earth. The beauty of Pangong Lake, Ladakh has been luring not just the hardcore adventurers but even the honeymooners. The enchanting lake is located on the Indo-Sino Border and is popular due to a lot of reasons. True, Pangong Lake is still a secluded region but during the peak season, it becomes difficult to find a place to stay.
The alpine lake is simply breathtaking and people love spending at least a night here which is another exciting thing to do around the lake. Over time, people have started gaining a lot of interest in visiting even the farthest of corners and Pangong Lake is one fine discovery of the adventurers. The lake is known to be a multi-colored or color-changing lake with barren and rugged mountains on the backdrop. If you are planning to take a trip to Ladakh, then this amazing lake would definitely be on your itinerary. So, give this blog a quick read to know more about the lake and how you can make your visit and stay even better; here!
Some quick and important facts about Pangong Lake in Ladakh
- The lake is located on the Indo-Sino Border (India- China border).
- The alpine lake is located at an altitude of approx. 4350 m above sea level.
- The widest part of this lake is approximately 5 km in length.
- The entire lake that comes within the Indian boundaries is only 1/3 rd part of the entire lake.
- Pangong Tso is approximately 134 km long.
- The maximum depth of Pangong Tso is approximately 328 ft.
- The amazing Pangong lake is located at a distance of 243 km from Nubra Valley if you want to cross Chang La and roughly 175 if you take the Shyok River route and 171 km from Leh city. Don’t worry, all the routes are explained below!
- While you visit Pangong Lake, from Leh you get to cross the Chang La pass which is another key attraction of Ladakh due to its high altitude.
Fauna of Pangong Lake
Pangong Lake is an adventurer’s paradise, but that’s not it. Even the bird lovers get their share of enjoyment. Bird Watchers spend a couple of days sighting multiple birds around the lake. Not only Ladakhi species, but the alpine lake is also the breeding place for a lot of migratory birds as well. During the peak season, birds like Brahminy Ducks and bar-headed geese can be spotted around the lake. If you are interested in the lake’s ecosystem, Kunar Snow Trout and False Osman reside in the lake.
Best time to visit Pangong Lake
The best time to visit Pangong Lake is between June and September when the temperature remains comfortable around the lake. After September, it starts to dip making it difficult for travelers. By the end of October, the lake starts to freeze a bit and by December it completely freezes. The lake remains in the same state till February. And when it starts to become hot in the country in March, the lake starts to melt.
Temperature and Weather
The temperature in Pangong remains between -3º degrees celsius to 15º degrees celsius.
In winter the temperature shuttles between 25º to 4º degrees celsius.
How to Reach Pangong Lake
There are basically four routes to reach Pangong Lake but mostly three of them are taken the fourth one is from Tso Moriri, which is going to an upside road. People first come to Pangong and then head to Tso Moriri further south.
So, here are the three major routes that can be taken while visiting Pangong Lake. As per your plans or itinerary, you can pick any of these.
The first route is from Leh to Pangong which is opted by the maximum number of people because all of them are too eager to visit the lake. They prefer visiting this alpine lake before any other attraction. So, if you too are one of them; here is the route that you will have to follow.
(Sir put this in a table if possible)
Route: Leh- Karu- Chang La– Durbuk- Tangste- Spangmik
Total Distance covered- 171 km
If you take this route, you can visit Shey monastery and a few more attractions. Additionally, you will get a chance to traverse the challenging Chang La pass.
This is probably the second-best route and people do take this when they plan on visiting Nubra Before Pangong Lake. This is the route you will have to take if you to decide on the same.
Diskit- Khalsar- Wari La- Sakti- Durbuk- Tangtse- Spangmik
Total Distance covered- 243 km
This is a completely challenging route that is followed by a lot of people.
There is another route that you can take from Nubra Valley. This one is through Shyok River avoiding Chang La pass. If you want to take that, here is the route.
Diskit- Khalsar- Agham- Shyok Village- Durbuk- Tangtse- Lukung- Spangmik
Total Distance Covered- 175 km
These are the three major routes that people usually take to visit Pangong Lake. You too can decide the same as per your plans.
If you are planning on visiting Ladakh by road, either pick a bike or go for a 4×4 (4WD) SUV or car. The roads are challenging and some of them are highly challenging. So picking up the right option will be something you won’t regret later. If you prefer to ignore this advice, there can be consequences. Keep this in mind that not only the highways connecting Ladakh but even the internal circuits lack many basic things.
If you face a breakdown anywhere, you might be stranded for quite some time. Unless someone comes to help you. So, get your vehicle serviced and keep good care throughout your trip. It is very important.
Permit for Pangong Lake
If you have to visit Pangong Tso, you will have to get a permit from the DC office in Leh. Pangong comes under the protected areas and this is the reason why everyone has to get themselves registered and obtain the permit for the lake.
Medical Facilities around Pangong Lake
There are no medical facilities on the route to Pangong but you will get some basic aid and help at the villages around the lake.
If you were to fall sick and need medical attention; you would have to come back to Leh or go to Kargil.
Eateries around Pangong Lake
There are multiple places where you can enjoy a lot of variety in dishes and drinks. You can head there straight away and ask for whatever you want. There are a few small cafes too.
Petrol Pumps near Pangong Lake
Be very careful about the petrol indicator because when you head to Pangong Lake the nearest pump is in Karu which is 135 km away. Therefore it is advised that you should fill your tank beforehand. If you are carrying jerry cans, you should fill them up too.
Camping around Pangong Tso
The adventurer’s paradise offers a lot of camping options around the lake. It was prohibited to put your private camp around the lake in 2016 due to an even but there are a lot of camp colonies at a safe distance.
People can book their rooms in normal Swiss camps and get themselves a ticket to enjoy the lake’s beauty even at night. Enjoying dinner under the sheet of stars, bonfire and a lot of other things make camping in Pangong Lake so much exciting and enjoyable.
As exciting and enjoyable as it may sound, you will have to be very careful and cautious in planning the entire trip to Ladakh. Make sure that you have already made a complete itinerary to avoid any confusion and hiccups during the entire trip.