'3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It

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Haven't we all seen photographs of the majestic Pangong Tso looking like a spotless and pristine blue paradise? You might even know travellers who would vouch for the same since the spot has established itself as a travellers' mecca in the last few years.

But let's take you behind the scenes solely for the purpose of perspective.

The short stretch of land jutting out into the lake that you see in the photograph is now known as the 3 Idiot's Point. It's not a mere coincidence that most of the photographs of Pangong are taken at this particular spot.

Photo of Pangong Tso by Disha Kapkoti

Take a turn (for the worse) and you'll see a long row of restaurants with one intriguing similarity.

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

They are all named after that one Bollywood movie India immensely loved.

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

The intrigue turns into a puzzle in no time since every restaurant board features only the 3 Idiots.

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

Yes, you'll cringe while taking this tour but there's more awaiting you.

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

For those who still have a doubt about the obvious, here's more.

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

The list is long but midway down this cringe-worthy cafe hop, you'll find yourself contemplating about this new fame Bollywood has offered Pangong Tso.

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

Some of us might even applaud what we see and give credit to Bollywood for bringing this magical destination on to every traveller's map...

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

But it's only a thin line we cross that leads to a destination losing its essence completely.

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

Wait for winters and you'll see videos of Scorpios moving around on the frozen Pangong lake in your newsfeed.

(Don't do this, JUST DON'T)

There's increased vehicular traffic in the region since bikes are available for rent in Leh and Manali for Pangong Tso. Fortunately, Zoomcar has been forcibly banned in Ladakh by the local taxi union.

The important question here is how many more years do we need as a developing nation to realize the basic concept of sustainable tourism? We are surrounded by fragile ecosystems that remained hidden for years and a sudden boom in tourism make them open for exploitation without any check.

Most importantly it's our consumer habits that lead to the haphazarded unsustainable development in these tourist areas. Why else would we need 10 similar "Rancho Cafes" almost on the lake bed?

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

We have seen Kasol change from a quaint Himalayan town to a hub of the drug mafia. There are traffic jams daily at Rohtang Pass due to the touristy chaos. Nainital's erstwhile tennis court has now become a parking lot.

What's most disturbing is that these changes are absolutely irreversible!

Traffic Jam at Rohtang Pass.

Photo of '3 Idiots' Has Brought A Bunch Of Idiots To Pangong Tso And We Really Need To Talk About It by Disha Kapkoti

The commercialization that is almost at its nascent stage at Pangong Tso will soon take its full form. We see short-sighted restaurateurs using Bollywood billboards to attract tourists and that's a usual step in the process of turning a place into a tourist hub. Soon there will be hotels mushrooming around the spot and there will be no going back.

And it's amusing to notice that one Bollywood movie was all it took to sow the seed of commercialization at Pangong Tso.

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17 Comment(s)
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pangonglake is on rage now days. after it's being featured in Rajkumar Hirani's movie 3idiot.
Mon 02 18 19, 03:49 · Reply · Report
asaa
Fri 06 22 18, 01:11 · Reply · Report
Were these restaurants and cafés already there and just changed the name or added Amor Khans photos or they are new?
Wed 03 29 17, 05:30 · Reply · Report
Your intentions n arguments are genuine.. Yet you seem like the person who, if the commercialization was minuscule and not so mainstream, would've written "and do check out the Rancho Cafe when you're there, blah blah, flowery language" #uratourist
Fri 06 24 16, 13:11 · Reply · Report
This is the just a start. Real devastation is on its way. So called hill stations are now becoming deserted as there is no snow fall recorded during winter. Heart breaking this is.
Fri 06 24 16, 07:29 · Reply · Report
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