An Excursion to Pangong:
PANGONG TSO lake , a synonym of pristine ,exquisite ,magnificent nature! & yes ,this is the last scene where 3 Idiots was shot. Getting curious?? Read on..
This day started as early as 6am to start off for Pangong & have a magnificent time there.
A bit of history:
Situated at approx. 4250mts ,far away in the barren terrain of Ladhak ,this gorgeous lake spread across 134 kms ,60% of which lies in China(Basically Tibet ,but the region is controlled by Chinese) & rest 40% in India. It falls under the Army & require special approvals to access the same (An Inner Line Permit is required to visit the lake as it lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control)
Travel from Leh to Pangong :
Approx. 155-160 Kms from Leh , it took us some 5 hours to reach Pangong lake via Changla Pass.
The scintillating route is something which keeps you binding & fall in love with this place even before reaching.
So the route took as –
Leh –Karu (45 Kms) ,this is the easiest Leh Manali stretch which makes your car run with great road maintenance
Karu –Chang La(35Kms) – Initially the roads are good but once Changla peak is touched which again gives you a cold chill in itself , slowly the roads begin to deteriorate. Hault at CHangla is a must to enjoy the chill waves & have some play in the snow spreaded across. At 17800 ft ,it is the 2nd highest pass & you can have a very warn handshake & pic with the saviours of our Nation…Our very own Army:) .On the top ,there is a Changla Baba temple with a little story & a cabin to protect oneself from the shrill of weather & enjoy some hot black tea & momo’s!!
Chang La -Tanskey (58Kms) – Next few Kms are a real adventure with dreaded roads in a very difficult terrain ,but the serene natural beauty is damn sure make you forget the tough time.. Although a rough patch ,but the amazing changing views & all shades of nature in a single stretch makes you feel stunned. Grasslands with little wild flowers in the mid ,rivulet flowing near to it ,huge rocky mountains on left & snowy caped in right? Isn’t it a miraculous place to be at? Horses running down the grasses just adds to the beauty of the passage. We did stop & took break for 15-20 minutes to capture these enticing scenes & imprison them in our eyes & minds for ever:)
Tangste (Tanskey) has few hotels & is a good place for a lunch stoppage!
Tanskey –Pangong Tso (32 Kms) – The similar views continue in this passage ,with sometimes water streams in the mid of the roads making a good splash & awakening you for a gala time . A mini crystal blue lake appears some 5-7 kms before the actual origin of Pangong ,which made a picnic spot for us.. Locating numerous fishes ,portraying the beauty & having Sandwiches made our 30-40 minutes fantastic one.
And yes in this stretch ,you will find numerous “Marmot” running here & there..Do keep an open eye to locate these beautiful creatures:) . You could also locate Ibex & beautiful horses post Chang La.
The air soars with freshness ,smiles crops ups widening slowly as some pristine ,huge ,very huge lake starts to appear .Simply breathtaking panorama ,every sight wants to be clasped ,embraced ..Such is the power of this location! The banks house Military camp & few Eco –huts as well. Drive on the rocky terrain until you reach close enough to the lake & appraise the tranquillity.
Here comes Pangong:
One of the brackish lakes in Asia ,the very first glimpse of this pristine Bluish –greenish lake made me fall in Love with itJ Winters leave this lake completely frozen ,despite it being completely saline lake(have even heard of few camps which allow walking on it& can be a superb adventure ,do browse if you wanna try something like this) . Sunrays coming amidst the mountains make the water change its shades so often that you feel magical here. Just don’t do anything ,sit & play on the beach ,walk in the lake near to shores , gaze at the beautiful birds as Brahmani Ducks ,Brown –headed gulls ,Black –necked cranes (if you are lucky enough to spot the specie) ,capture every scene ,as these few hours will make the best & an unforgettable moment for a lifetime. Due to salinity ,there is not much aquatic life or Fishes here except crustaceans.
You’ll never feel to go back to camp site or hotel or even the town you came from ..Such is the binding property of this paradise, serenity which allows you to feel bliss, forgetting all behind! It was this location which prompted me to visit at least once a year & it has been twice that I have been here in past 2 years!
- There is no eatery close to it ,so better carry your eatables /food along
- Best time to visit is May -September
- Better get your car/Bike tanks full as there are no pumps after Karu
By evening we had to bid adieu to this lake & happily returned back to the hotel.
Last day was a complete relaxation & a self-drive/walk mode for us .Never wishing to return back ,but this trip had come to an end ,but yes we vowed to love this place for life time & pledged to begin a living at some point of life to have the complete harmony amidst tranquillity of Ladhak!
To check out my “Nubra Diary” click on – https://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/tranquil-zenith-leh-part-i/
Let’s also have brief on Leh City ,read on – https://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/city-roamer-leh-part-iii/
Curious about Diskit ,Samstanling Monasteries ?Read on at –https://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/meeting-with-serenity-nubra-leh-part-ii/