Pangong Lake

By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2016

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Pangong Lake got very popular post the movie 3 Idiots. The lake did not disappoint, in fact it was far better than what I expected. It is 185 kms from Leh via Changla Pass, the third highest motorable mountain pass in the world. We reached about 6 pm, the sun had set. This pic is about 10 am.

This is view of Pangong Lake before we reached. There was a road blockage a few kms before. Ishwar ki kripa see the road was cleared. This site was inviting enough. Since I went in August there were fewer tourists. Pangong is about a 5-6 hour drive from Leh.

About 6.30 pm. I stayed solo in a tent like the plywood and tin structure you see. They can accommodate 5. Since fewer tourists paid Rs 500/ for the night. Check the toilet before staying in a tent like this.

The album consists of pictures from about 5.15 to 11.30 am and covers the main touristy area plus drive along the lake. The Lake is 134 kms long of which about one third is in India and the balance in Tibet.

Early morning view. White structure that you see at bottom of pic is a hotel. Pretty good one with clean washroom. Tariff in August was Rs 2,000/ a night. In season lady said it was Rs 5-6,000/ Hotel is at a slight height compared to lake. They have a decent restaurant too.

Area is left of earlier pic. It is one end of the lake. On right is a pic of Kareena Kapoor on scooter. Locals told me of a couple who enacted the 3 Idiots scene between Kareena and Aamir. "Pangong Lake is also known by the name of Hollow Lake and appears as a clear symbol of nature craftsmanship. The brackish water plays with sunlight to produce different effects of light."

Front landscape view. The two you see in black are from Delhi busy adjusting the camera for the right shot. Did have some breathing problem at night due to less oxygen. Could manage by doing pranayam.

Sun behind the clouds with delicate rays falling on the water. "Pangong Tso, Tibetan for "high grassland lake", also referred to as Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m."

View of lake and sky. What I loved about Ladakh in general and this area in particular was the varying color of the sky and shape of clouds.

It was sunlight. Of the 4 in pic, 2 were from Delhi and the other NRI from the U.S.

The Delhi girls recalled their childhood days to play this game. It was fun watching them. All smiles and joy.

Rising sun rays on the lake.

Took this pic from one end of the lake.

Qualis vehicle that you see is the one I used. Served me well. Pangong Kitchen is the place where I ate meals. Very good food both Indian and Chinese. There are about 6 rest in this part of the lake.

Early morning view of one end of the lake.

This eating place run by a Tibetan. Right of pic see lots of noodles on the table. Wanted to click her mixing veggies with noodles but lady did not want to be photographed.

Post breakfast started the drive along the lake. Road all along the lake.

Was told that by about 12 noon the color of the water changes to turquoise, loved this blue any which way.

Note carefully water color is different all along.

Lots of tents. Was told pricing from Rs 3-5000/ per night. Some are virtually on the lake bank. There are log huts available for Rs 1600/ including food per day. A pal stayed there and was very happy. There are some home stays here too.

Here even the mountains look wow.

As we drove forward signs of vegetation. The tent area is the maximum that civilians can go up to. Some homestays available here as well.

Loved the color of water. Wish could go swimming but did not see anyone, locals or tourist go for a swim. Good thing is that there was no litter / plastic along the lake.

In some places there is a pucca road in others like what you see. No complaints because the Qualis took the rough and the smooth very well. Driver Nawang drove very well and was always in control.

The lake gets quite broad at points as you see in pic.

Water color in beginning of pic different from the rest.

We now came to a village. Note snow clad peak between the two mountains. Trick to keep yourself going there is to keep drinking lots of water.

Houses are simple. Happy to see a solar panel being used. Many houses had Tata Sky TV Dish antennas. Good site on Ladakh Tourism Click here

With a villager. He was nice enough to offer me tea. This link gives you good touristy information Click here

Happy to see rice being grown there. With this comes an end to the wonderful drive along the very scenic Pangong Lake. From here we went to Chushul. To see pics of WEC Chushul Click here

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