If you wish to witness an interplay of nature entwined with human emotions, then this is the kind of destination which you really can’t miss visiting. Located in Changthang, somewhere east of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Pangong Lake is no less than a miracle. The sparkling blue waters of this lake, which stretches for about 12 kilometres from India to Tibet, attract a great number of tourists on an annual basis.
Now, what’s really intriguing about this lake is that it doesn’t remain blue throughout the year or even for a single day. It changes its colours from azure to light blue to green and grey too.
Set in the lap of giant Himalayas, Pangong Lake is all about experiencing the delightful nature. Here you get to find a great number of migratory birds and animals like seagulls, rodents, ducks, etc, which only add to the majestic aura of Pangong Lake. Apart from all this, it is a great place for hiking, camping, and lighting bonfire under the vast panorama of the night sky.
Owing to its scenic beauty, this lake has remained a tourist attraction for a long period of time; and not just that, for the same reason, this place has somewhat become a hotspot for Bollywood as well. Apparently, various movies have been shot around this region. Some popular examples would be Dil Se, 3 Idiots, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, etc. Now, knowing all this, how can you not visit Pangong Lake?
History of Pangong Lake
The much politically famous ‘Line of Control’ passes through Pangong Lake. The geographical dissections are such that the eastern part of the lake, spanning around 20 km, is under China’s control, however, the rest is with India.
There have been talks going on between India and China regarding the boundary control since forever now, but it seems to be a topic which simply doesn’t find its peaceful culmination.
Also, it is here that you will find the Khurnak Fort which is basically nothing but ruins now.
Major Attractions Around Pangong Lake
1. Chang La
Claimed as the second-highest motorable road, Chang La is all about adventure, fun, and loads of excitement. Did you know that Chang La road has been specifically named after Saint Changla Baba? He was a devout saint who lived a pious life, and thus, in his honour, a small temple has been constructed here.
2. Shanti Stupa
The Shanti Stupa is meant for the promotion of peace and togetherness. Located above Chong Spa in Leh, this structure comes across as an architectural wonder. The inexplicable beauty of Shanti Stupa is what majorly attracts people in search of divinity and something surreal, something blissful.
3. Thiksey Monastery
Undoubtedly, the charm of Leh comes across as a little less without the presence of monasteries. And one such amazing monastery here is known as the Thiksey Monastery situated amid the extremely beautiful terrains of Indus Valley. If you love to travel and spirituality is what you seek, then you cannot afford to miss this one.
4. Hemis Monastery
Belonging to the Drukpa lineage of Tibetian Buddhism, the Hemis Monastery is the main seat of the Kagyu School of Buddhism. However, keeping aside the religion part, one can always look forward to spending some real quality time here under the immense star-lit sky with the people you love.
How to Reach Pangong Lake
Located at an approximate altitude of 4350 meters, this lake doesn't fail in capturing the raw beauty of nature. It is located at an approximate distance of 1,166, 2,571, 2,682, 3,335 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Here is how you can reach here by the following means of public transportation.
For travelling to Pangong lake, you would first need to visit Leh and one of the best options to do so would be via air route. The nearest airport from Pangong Lake is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport that is well connected with many international airports on a pan-India basis. After getting off the airport, you still need to cover a distance of around 225 km to reach Pangong Lake and for this, you would need to hire a cab.
Jammu Tawi is the nearest railway station from Pangong Lake but it is still located quite far away at an approximate distance of 900 km. Thus, after deboarding your train, you are still left with a long journey to be done with. Thus, for covering this distance, you may have to either take a bus or hire a local taxi.
Leh, Ladakh has various destinations that are bikers' dream to more or less conquer. If you want to travel via road then you must also know that it comes along with its risks such as unpredictable weather conditions, landslides, and damaged roads. However, this doesn't stop the bikers to take this adventurous risk. From Leh, it is almost a five-hour drive to reach here. Apart from self-drive, you can consider taking buses or taxis from Leh.