Pangong Lake

This route takes the visitor past picturesque villages of Shey and Thikse, and turns off the Indus valley by the side-valley of Chemrey and Sakti. The Ladakh range is crossed by the Chang-la (18,000 feet / 5,475 m) which despite its great elevation is one of the easier passes, remaining open for much of the year even in winter, apart from periods of actual snowfall. Tangse, just beyond the foot of the pass, has an ancient temple.

But the main attraction of this circuit is the Pangong Lake, situated at 14,000 feet (4,267 m). A long narrow basin of inland drainage, hardly six to seven kilometer at its widest point and over 130km long, it is bisected by the international border between India and China.

Spangmik, the farthest point to which foreigners are permitted, is only some seven km along the southern shore from the head of the lake, but it affords spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, their reflections shimmering in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lake's brackish waters. Above Spangmik are the glaciers and snowcapped peaks of the Pangong range. Spangmik and a scattering of other tiny villages along the lake's southern shore are the summer homes of a scanty population of Chang-pa, the nomadic herds people of Tibet and south-east Ladakh. The Pangong Chnag-pa cultivate sparse crops of barley and peas in summer. It is in winter that they unfold their tents (rebo) and take their flocks of sheep and pashmina goats out to the distant pastures.

Pangong Lake in Kashmir is the world’s highest brackish lake at 14,256 feet above sea level. A few years back the government decided to open it to tourists though the lake and its surrounding is under army surveillance.

The tourism department intends to develop the infrastructure and facilitate the route leading to the lake.

A place too easily arrived at is scarcely worth traveling to at all. Consider the 'tired tourist' who simply seeks solace in much talked about destinations, where he tends to relax and stroll the evenings away, buy a few souvenirs and sample the cuisine from the endless menu. and there's the 'tireless traveler' - the learning by living person who opts for a destination in order to explore and experience the unknown. The 160 km trip to Pangong Lake from Leh is one such experience.It begins with Thiksey village famous for its huge monasteries covering an entire mountain ridge. Beyond this remote village there is nothing but the extreme mountain ridge andranges for company. Occasionally we encountered either patrolling army men or Ladakhi families waving at us.

Come Changla Pass (17,350 ft.) and its is time to test your lungs.Not to worry, oxygen is aplenty with army men doing their rounds on the rough terrain. They are a helpful lot indeed ever willing to assist anyone stranded in the wildness.Sunset and moonrise at Tangste.

Situated at an altitude of about ,4300 m, Pangong Tso is the largest brackish lake in Asia, with a larger part of it extending into Tibet. The lake is 130 km long and 5 km at its widest point with half of it running to the other side of the Indo-China border. Despite of being a salt-water lake, it freezes completely during winter. There is no marine life here, save for a few migrating birds now and then like gulls and brahminy ducks.

Being at the border, the furthest point one is allowed to go to, is Spangmik, about 7 km along its western bank, but it is enough to take back the most beautiful memories of Ladakh. The very barren-ness and vastness of the area contributes to its striking beauty. Spangmik offers spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, and their reflections in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lake's brackish waters. Above Spangmik, one can see the glaciers and snowcapped peaks of the Pangong range.

which is actually a cold desert. The long lake lies at a close proximity to the famous Chushul Mountains. The cold, clear, and extremely salty water of the lake holds sufficient quantity of lime to form a calcareous deposit. It also has numerous minerals in its basin, which are believed to be formed by the melted snow.

The lake changes its colours with every season. It sparkles in various shades of blue, green, purple, and violet, which make it a true tourist delight.