Looking for one of the most wonderful experiences in your life? Start your journey from the famous huge monasteries of Thiksey village, covering an entire mountain range, and just about 160 km from Leh you’ll find a beautiful lake named the Pangong Lake.
We are in Ladakh, in one of the most stunning places in India, where two streams feed the lake from the Indian side, forming marshes and wetlands at the edges. Two Lines above the current lake level reveal a 16 ft thick layer of mud and laminated sand, suggesting the theory that the lake has shrunken recently in geological scale.
In fact, Pangong Lake is not just a tourist’s paradise. It is also a geologist’s domain and, from a political perspective, a strategic landascape and a melting pot the army need to take care in the biting cold. Hovever, this spectacular lakeside is open during the tourist season, which lasts from May to September.
How to get here and what to see
Pangong Tso can be reached in a five-hour drive from Leh. Most of the journey is through a rough and dramatically scenic mountain road that crosses the villages of Shey and Gya and traverses the Changla pass. Road down from Changla Pass leads through Tangste and other smaller villages, crossing river called Pagal Naala also known as “The Crazy Stream”. There you can visit also the Tsomoriri Lake.
At Darbuk village, near Tangste Valley, stands a chain of war memorials in commemoration of the soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-Chinese war of 1962. Some of the historic army bunkers and trenches present here, are still in use.
Who live near the lake
Villagers along with their large herds of Pashima sheep and long tailes yaks can be seen in these villages.
Talking about nature and due to the saltiness in the water of the lake, there is very less micro-vegetation. There are no fish or other aquatic life in the lake, except for some small crustaceans, some species of scrub and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes around the lake. However, the lake serves as an important breeding ground for a variety of birds including a number of migratory birds, ducks (as the Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks) and gulls. A number of species of wildlife including the kiang and the Marmot can also be seen here.
Photo adventure tips
- The landscape is really ultrawide: a wide angle lens and a good tripod are your main gear;
- A medium or long zoom will be a good addition to catch particular subjects like animals or people.