Pangong Lake Experience
Pangong Views - Photos Courtesy Milind Kshirsagar
Pangong Lake (14000 + ft asl) is a high altitude lake at 5 hour drive from Leh (Ladakh) and was made famous by Bollywood movie 3 Idiots when it got featured in the climax scene of the movie.
The lake is 134 kms long and 5 kms wide, one half is part of India and other half in China. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
The lake is in the process of being identified under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance as its breeding grown for many migratory birds such as the Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks, which are commonly seen here. The region around the lake supports a number of species of wildlife including the kiang and the Marmot.
The five-hour drive from Leh is dramatic and passes through the Changla pass and a river stream, which is popularly called "The Crazy Stream" for its sudden gushes.
An Inner Line Permit is required to visit the lake as it lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control. While Indian nationals can obtain individual permits, others must have group permits accompanied by an accredited guide. Boating is not permitted on the lake.
Staying overnight in one of the lakeside camps is nothing short of an experience and must do for any nature traveler and photography enthusiast. Stay facilities here are simple and therefore not recommended for comfort seeking traveler.
Typical Stay duration: 1 night