Once upon a time there was a magical lake on a hill so high, its water so blue and so pure, like a painting that could not be touched. The journey to this mystic lake was hard, but people believed that a single look, a slight glance would give them something to cherish forever….
Apologies for the dramatic prologue but The Pangong Lake had me mesmerized at the first glance and I couldn’t help but think that it is straight out of some mythical tale. I have never till date seen something that is more breathtaking and sublime.
Situated at a staggering height of 14,270 feet amongst the Himalayas, this is one of the world’s highest lakes, but that’s not where its greatness lies. Like a perfect picture postcard, Pangong Tso is spotless and beautiful to the point of actually looking unreal. The chilly breeze and the snow caped mountains, they all add an element of mysticism to the lake. One look at the lake and you see yourself taking in all of its delicious beauty, the slew of colors that seem to be changing in front of your eyes…from Turquoise to Indigo to Teal….the reflecting sunlight makes this a sight to be seen. You know you want to capture this somehow, but no matter how many pictures you take the real thing is hundred times better. No picture however well taken can ever do justice to the beauty of The Pangong Tso.
The winding roads from Leh and the long distance don’t matter once you reach this place. The roads too have many interesting sights to see, you will sight animals like Marmots, Wild Yaks and Kiangs that inhabit these areas. You will also cross the Chang la Pass, which boasts of being the third highest motorable road in the world.
The lake houses very little flora and fauna, Brahmini Ducks and the Bar headed goose are amongst the species of migratory birds found here. The locals report of no aquatic life in the lake. During winters the lake freezes completely despite being saline.
The best time to visit is between Mid April to Early October. June and July are the relatively warmer months. It’s a five hour drive from Leh, you can either visit the lake and come back the very same day or can camp out at The Martsemik camp at the lake. There are a few make shift restaurants by the lake where you can get basic vegetarian fare.
Easily one of the most awe-inspiring wonders of nature, one visit to Pangong Tso will leave you speechless. It has a certain poetic beauty about it and is very surreal.