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Pangong Lake - A Lake which changes its Color

Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake is situated at a higher elevation in the Himalayan mountain range, this spot has an astounding scene view. This lake has an amazing all-encompassing perspective with ultramarine water, a lakeshore with rocks, and dazzling scenery.

Having the mountains covered with snow makes this spot something that can't be depicted in words. You can likewise recognize the various shades of blue and green tones as the position of the sun changes in this lake. This spot resembles heaven for bird watchers and photographers as you can spot different transitory birds like cranes, ducks, and seagulls.

Adventure enthusiasts can likewise enjoy ice skating and setting up camp right close to the lake. Assuming you are from some other country, you need to have an exceptional inner line Pass that is given by the Indian armed forces authority since this spot is situated close to the India-China border, even though if you are an Indian, you can simply show your id confirmation and photograph at the military check post to enter this place.

Why is Pangong Lake popular?

Pangong Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes and is situated at an elevation of 4350 m. The beauty of this Lake attracts tourists from all around the world. Pangong Lake is most popular among the tourists of Ladakh due to its changing colors. This lake is located at a distance of 140 km from Leh and it generally changes its color due to the changing position of the sun.

This Lake got its name from the Tibetan word “Bangong” which means an enchanted and narrow lake. The best thing about exploring this lake is the path that leads to this lake has the most magnificent view where you need to pass through the world’s third-highest motorable mountain pass that is Chang La Pass. The most loved thing about this lake is this long stretch of land which straightaway goes into the lake. It is one of the most popular destinations amongst photographers too.

Activities to do at Pangong Lake

One can enjoy a night’s stay in the camp at Pangong Lake where you can do a barbecue and campfire. Though the temperature becomes low during the nighttime in Leh still you can do stargazing where you can see galaxies in the clear Sky of this place. You can also spot the endemic species “Mormot” in Leh.

If you are a photographer then you can take various high-quality photographs as this place offers a magnificent backdrop of mountains. One can also snowfall and snow activities in Leh. If you are an adventure enthusiast you can enjoy tracking and ice skating on the frozen water of this lake. You can explore the Fort and stupas located in the nearby region

Where can we Stay at Pangong Lake?

At Pangong, you can find a series of Chadar tents and also various campsites where you can spend your overnight just by the lakeside. Here you can get several options for hotel guest houses and paying guests the most oldest and appropriate option for accommodation near Pangong Lake is the Pangong Camp Resort which is a government-run run hotel maintained by JKTDC.

This hotel is generally booked by foreign tourists in advance. There are a series of camps where you can enjoy your night under the sky and can also do star gazing at night. The guesthouse at Pangong Lake is also a great choice for your stay for comfortable and not that costly accommodation.

Inner Line Permit

An inner line permit is an official travel document that is required while visiting restricted areas and is issued by Indian authorities. The maximum validity of this permit is 15 days for foreigners and 3 weeks for Indian citizens. If you want to apply for this permit then one complete day is required to process your application where you need to provide identity proof such as a driver's license, election card, Aadhar card, PAN card, and passport if you are an Indian citizen.

If you are a foreign tourist then you need to provide a valid passport with a visa or OCI card. The permit office remains open on all days of the week during the summer month and winter month it remains closed on Sunday. You need to have your permit even if you are traveling solo to this place.

The cost of this permit is in 3 different parts as environment fee costs Rs.400, the Red Cross donation costs Rs.100 and the Wildlife Protection fee costs Rs.20 per day. Even a processing fee of Rs. 200 is also charged but you can avoid this fee if you are directly getting your permit stamped by the deputy commissioner’s office.

Pangong Lake in the winter season

The Pangong Lake at as it treasure of nature during the summer months and the water of this Lake causes the sunlight to form different shades of blue color. Opposite it during the winter month, almost all the water bodies of Leh including the Pangong Lake freeze completely the tranquil water of this Lake becomes a thick sheet of ice where one can even play cricket. During the winter season, you can even drive your car over this lake and enjoy ice skating over it. The temperature goes down to -30 degrees Celsius during the winter season and hence nobody is allowed to spend more than half an hour at this place due to safety reasons.

Important Trips to Visit Pangong Lake

  • The mountain passes going towards Pangong Lake remain closed during the winter but you can still reach this place as the Indian Army keeps the Chang La Pass open all year round.
  • To move through the Chang La Pass, you need to get some necessary security clearance done.
  • To reach Pangong you can take the local government bus service as the fare is a minimum of rupees 250 per passenger.
  • The government bus service is available only on certain days of the week so you need to get all the details in advance.
  • You should plan your trip to Pangong Lake by booking your overnight stay near Pangong Lake.
  • If you are visiting Pangong Lake then do not forget to take the special inner line permit as you will not be allowed to this area without the particular permit.

Dont's at Pangong Lake

  • The first and foremost thing is that each lake in the Himalayan region is considered sacred for the Buddhist religion so do not try to disrespect the lake in any sense.
  • Do not try to drink the water of Pangong Lake as the water is salty or brackish.
  • Do not take your local vehicle or any kind of vehicle near the shores of Pangong Lake as it is strictly prohibited.
  • Do not use any type of Non-Biodegradable stuff or plastic products as it pollutes the lake and the area.
  • Though the lake looks very pleasing and beautiful do not try to swim in the water of this lake.
  • You are at a high altitude so do not forget to bring your woolen along with you while being on this trip.
  • If you are going to this place try to reach during the daytime as at night time it is very difficult to find the basic facilities in this area.
  • If you are at Pangong Lake then you should follow the local authority and army rules that are applied to this particular area.

How to Plan a Trip to Visit Pangong Lake

If you want to reach Pangong Lake from Leh then four major routes will take you directly to this place. The total distance can be covered in the period of 6 to 7 hours by covering the distance of 160 km. Pangong Lake can also be reached by the government bus services from Leh where you will be getting the bus every Saturday and Sunday at 6:00 a.m. and will reach Pangong Lake by the afternoon time.

The bus fare for a person is rupees 250 for one way. One can also take the local shared taxi to Pangong Lake which starts every morning between 6 and 8 a.m. and charges around rupees 500 for a single person. The major route to Pangong Lake is mentioned below:

Leh – Shey – Karu = 45 km

Karu – Shakti – Chang La = 40 kms

Chang La – Durbuk – Tangste = 60 km

Tangste – Lukung – Spangmik – Pangong Tso = 30 km

How to Reach Pangong Lake

By Air: The Pangong area does not have a particular airport and hence the closest Airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport which is located in the Leh district at a distance of 142 km. This Airport is connected to the major cities of India. The closest International Airport to Pangong Lake is Srinagar International Airport which is connected to major cities such as Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, etc.

By Road: You will not find too many buses going towards Pangong Lake the best way to get to Pangong Lake is through the bus service that is provided in Leh. This bus runs every Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and the bus fare is around rupees 250 per person.

By Rail: The closest railway station is the Srinagar railway station which is located at a distance of 385 km from Pangong Lake. Several trains run on this route. On arrival at Srinagar railway station, you can hire a local taxi to reach Pangong Lake.

Best Time to Visit Pangong Lake

The best time to explore the magnificent lake of Leh, Pangong Lake is during the summer months. The period from May till September month is most appropriate for visiting this magnificent Lake as during this period the temperature remains pleasing and worth visiting. During the winter season, the temperature becomes extremely cold and the lake freezes completely. During the winter months, it is very difficult to stay at Pangong Lake for more than half an hour as it will cause you a major health issue. Hence summer season is suggested to be the best time for tourists to enjoy the major attractions of this place.

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