I am sure Everyone remembers it from the last scene of Bollywood movie 3 idiots, in fact favorite spot many other Bollywood movies like Dil Se and Jab Tak Hai Jahan.
Pangong Tso- One of the most beautiful lakes on India and undoubtedly rated number one on anyone's Ladakh trip. Below are some teaser pics to set the mood rolling .
Trust me, the first small glimpse of the Pangong Tso, with clear blue waters was a memorable sight. It looks like the reflection of the sky is on the ground.
The ride Along Pangong:-
The lake is something like 5 to 6 hours ( it will be easy to talk in terms of hours rather than km as in this difficult terrain it might even take a lot of time for a short distance ) away from the town of Leh.
As Pangong is on a little more height than Leh, I would not suggest going on Day 2 unless you are definitely feeling good and have accustomed to the low oxygen environment ( read my blog Leh Day 1 ).
The number of hours taken for a Pangong visit depends on how early you leave. The reason is as the sun starts to come out, the Ice from Hills starts to melt and water comes out on the road along with stones and mud. This slows down the pace of vehicle.
The village is beautiful with the Rocky Mountains at the backdrop and lush green vegetation along with glimpses of yellow mustard fields inside the village.
Most of the journey from Leh to Pangong is very scenic with rocky mountains and curvy roads with Tank tracks easily seen at some places.
Some portions of grassy meadows and small streams flowing along side.
The journey starts with Leh and as you just cross Leh, Monastery can be seen which lies in Sakti Village.
If you are lucky Marmots can be found here . Small furry Mountain squirrels.
The ride gets bumpy at times, as it passes through Chang La paas , which is the third highest motor able road in the world. Changla is at around 16000ft and you can witness Snow covered mountains, foggy and cloudy road almost all seasons of the year.
My driver told me that through Changla is third highest and at a lower altitude than Kahrdungla , but its more difficult to drive at Changla as roads are slightly inclined towards the ditch/slopes and one wrong move, and the car falls down the hill.
Temple at Changla Paas :
As you reach near to Pangong, the mountains start to take a muddy color and look very beautiful.They give a feeling of Cold desert
A short video of the first sight of Pangong while driving :-
When you reach Pangong and stay there for a few hours, you can witness the color of water changing with the position of Sun.
A feeling of tranquility can be felt when you are at Pangong. Make sure to take your vehicle uphill up to 6-7 km from Pangong towards where camps are located . The panoramic view from that spot is amazing.
The Lake is a salty lake and is situated at a height of about 14,270 ft.Approximately 2/3 of Pangong Lake lies in Tibet and China Though it's a saline water lake, it freezes completely during winters. there is no fish or any aquatic life in the lake.
There are lots of small outlets to have delicious Maggie ( noodles ) signature dish on Indian Hill stations.
If you are taking a day trip, make sure you start back by 3-4 to reach Leh on time. Most of the restaurants close by 10 at Leh and you would not want to miss your dinner after whole day .. :
A short video of Pangon Tso .
My driver for Pangong - Shirin ... It was really fun to be with him.He can be your guide as well as the driver. As I am a photographer, he took utmost care that he takes me to the best possible photography spots where there are fewer tourists. On the road journey, he was also helping me in shooting the videos with playing awesome songs side by side like a DJ. ( All music In viedo links is by his SUV's wonderful music system )
I strongly recommend him in case you are planning to visit Leh . His number +919469224225.
I did a day trip to Pangong Tso , but there are ( tented camps )options to stay there too which is also good option as you can witness both sunrise and sunsets at this beautiful lake .
On my way back, I just stopped by few locations I had missed to click earlier.
Starting back from Pangong :-
The most beautiful sight I remember was of Stanka monestry which in on the road just before entring back to Leh.
Third day - Drive to Nubra - Blog Comming Soon