Pangong Lake Ladakh – The Highest Saltwater Lake in the World
India is a land of wonders and interesting things. Such a place in Ladakh is the Pangong Lake and the other name Pangong Tso, it means “High grassland lake”. Pangong is one of the highest saltwater lakes in the world at an altitude of 14,270 feet above sea level. Apart from all this, many things about this lake are very interesting and peculiar. This lake never dries and flow to any other river or ocean. Simply, it is locked to that region only in between mountain ranges.
Actually, at first Pangong was also a freshwater lake but due to the vast mineral deposits, it became as a saltwater lake. Even, no one knows how deep the lake is but the estimated depth is 300 feet. During the winters this lake gets frozen we can walk on it also. The changing colors of the lake into blue, green, and red at various times is the special attraction of this lake.
After knowing all this, every one excites to visit this amazing place. Before visiting it some important things we have to know. Here it is noted clearly how to explore the beauty of Ladakh, Pangong Lake.
Things To Do At Pangong Lake
Pangong lake is an admiring place to experience the wonderful and lovely shades of the lake. After visiting the lake there is a lot to do to lock memories with the Pangong Tso. The best recommendable thing to do is camping at the lake. It’s a fantastic thing to do at Pangong Lake. Go with camp tents and place a bonfire and then start your night at the Pangong Lake.
Camping at the lake at night amid pleasant waters and glittering sky with a pleasing atmosphere is just awesome and awe-inspiring. Preparing food and having it under the moonlight make you mark an unforgettable day in your life. After that, take a snap and start your day with picturesque views of Sunrise at the lake. You will definitely get bowled to the charm of Pangong Lake in the early morning. The next and final thing to do at the lake is taking a dip in it. Really, it will be very interesting to take a dip in cold and salty waters.
Also Read : Top 10 Camping Places in India
Later, Migratory birds at the lake is another major attraction for tourists. Playing birds on the waters of the lake seem to be very beautiful and adorable. But never forget to capture all these naturalistic wonders in your cam. So carry your cam with you to seize all the splendid moments at the Pangong Lake.
At last, the final thing to do is seeing Marmots. Before 10km of Pangong Tso, a number of signing boards depict “Stop here to see rare endemic species Marmot”. Actually, Marmots means large squirrels which were habitats at the mountainous region. So if you stop at this point you can spot Marmots easily in a few minutes.
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Tips to Visit Pangong Lake
It is must and important to follow some tips to make your journey to Pangong smooth and comfortable. The Lake Pangong was located at the Line of Control between India and China. One-third of the lake lies in Indian territory and other lies in China. Due to this reason, some special permissions are required to visit Pangong Lake. So before you visit Pangong you must clear all the permission. For Indians, ILP (Inner Line Permit) is required and for foreigners, PAP (Protect Area Permit) is required. You must have this permits to enter Pangong.
When you planned to travel during winters means, you have to follow some points. During winters, the Indian Army keeps open Chang La road to reach Pangong but if the snowfall is heavy then that road will also be closed. So keep this point in view and visit during when snowfall is less. Except at this time, throughout the year Pangong Lake is open for tourists. And if you want to enjoy the attractions of Pangong lake without crowd means, visit from May to October. At this time, the crowd will be less compared to June and July because these two months are peak season.
To visit the lake and in order to save money means, contact travel agents. They will provide tours to Pangong Lake. So you can easily book with them and can go. But if you want to go in comfort means, hire a taxi directly to Pangong Lake. Better possible contact directly with the taxi driver rather travel agents to save money up to 10 to 15%. Approximately, 8,650 Rs/- charges for an up and down trip with a taxi. Even government buses also available between Pangong Lake and Leh. But the availability of buses is rare in time. Possible try to choose tour packages or taxi drives.
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Permit and Permissions at Pangong Lake
As said before Indians need ILP permit and foreigners need PAP permit. Indians can avail this ILP (Inner Line Permit) from Tourist Information Center (TIC) at Jammu Kashmir Bank, Leh’s Main Market. Then foreigners can avail PAP (Protect Area Permit) through a registered travel agent in Leh. But for PAP permit at least 2 foreigner travelers are the must. If you are solo you will attach to a group and you can get the permit. But the citizens of Burma, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, and Pakistan can avail PAP from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi only.
In recent times, obtaining permits became easy because of introducing the online system. Through the web portal of www.lahdclehpermit.in you can apply for the permit. Per head 400Rs plus 20 Rs for the environment fee should be paid. But for payment, no online payment gateway was established. So you have to get the stamp on the permit after paying the fee. After completing and acquiring all the documents you can visit Pangong lake.
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How To Stay Healthy And Safe
The main problem that affects you on the trip is altitude sickness. It is the major health issue, everyone, face during the journey. After crossing the sea level of 8,000 feet, this problem attacks everyone. What’s the cause for altitude sickness is, the oxygen levels in higher altitudes are very low. This makes oxygen levels in our blood falls down and we feel mild headache and fatigue. To overcome this problem we have to habitat ourselves to the surrounding environment. It is only called as acclimatization. For acclimatization, at least three to five days are required.
Whenever you reach Leh, you will feel start with altitude sickness. Because Leh is located at 11,500 feet above sea level. Diamox (acetazolamide) is the medication which recovers from altitude sickness. It makes us acclimate ourselves quickly. It will be better to stay in Leh for three days to get well. And CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says that after reaching 9,000 feet, travelers shouldn’t increase sleeping altitude 500 meters per day. Because it decreases the oxygen levels in the blood.
In between Leh and Pangong Lake, a village known as Tangtse village is there. It is the best place to take rest and for medical tests. If you feel hard to taker breathe get oxygen from medical centers. Possibly, keep avoiding smoking and alcohol because they will badly damage you with altitude sickness. To make your body active to fight up with surroundings always hydrate your body with ORS and drinking water. Having garlic soup is also a best remedy to overcome altitude sickness.
Finally, bring thick fur and woolen clothes. Try to cover your complete body because the climate will be so harsh. If your clothes are wet with sweat just remove them and wear a new one. Try to carry a medical kit with you for first aid. However, the journey to Pangong Lake is a little bit risky and also we must be cautious. If you follow the tips of acclimatization, suffer from altitude sickness will be less and you can easily get over it.
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Where to Stay at Pangong Lake
Near Pangong Lake, a number of options are there to stay. Camps are the best stay options with all luxury amenities and facilities. From May to October, camps will be arranged close to the Lake Pangong. A private bathroom with hot water will be equipped in the tent camps. So they are the best options to stay. Rather than camp stays, homestays are the best and comfortable one. At small villages close to Pangong Lake, this homestay option will available.
Based on the rooms you select you can enjoy the facilities at home stays. But a very comfortable time can spend if you choose homestay option. The villages that offer homestays are Lukung Village, Spangmik, and Maan Village. Mostly, at Spangmik more tourists will like to stay. Staying at home stays is the best choice to mingle with locals and have some fun with them.
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What To Eat at Pangong Lake
If you want to taste delicious and various types of specials means, you are expecting more. Because at high altitudes that type of food not available and also not good for health. The food you can have at Pangong Lake will be nutritious and healthy only. In villages, you can enjoy Maggi and different hot soups with nutritional values. Nothing more than this you shouldn’t expect at this place. If you can carry some dry fruits and snacks with you it will be better.
Also Read : What to Eat in Leh Ladakh
How To Reach Pangong Lake
Road conditions of Leh Ladakh are too bad and worse. They are uneven and distracted with potholes. The two ways to reach Pangong Lake are through Leh and Nubra valley.
1.From Leh, you have to pass through Manali-Leh Highway and you will reach Karu. Then from Karu take left towards Sakti and go on through Chang La road.
2. From Nubra Valley, you can reach Pangong Lake in two ways. One through the past Wari La route and the other route along the Shyok River. These are the roadways to reach Pangong Lake.
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Best Time To Visit Pangong Lake
The best time to visit Pangong Lake is during Summers. It means from May to September. At this time temperature will also be comfortable to tourists and snowfall also will be less. This is the right time to explore Pangong Lake.
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Nearby Attractions at Pangong Lake
- After completing your trip to Pangong Lake, try to visit other nearby attractions of the lake.
- Tangtse Gompa is a famous village with the fantastic views of landscapes and also capture the best moments with these backdrop views.
- Chang La pass is also an attraction because it is the world’s third highest pass.
- At last, some famous Buddhist monasteries are there and they are Stakna, Thiksey, Tangtse, and Hemis.
- Also, a wildlife sanctuary known as Changthang is also a must-see place. Here only you can see Himalayan Marmots.
Also Read : Top Monasteries in Ladakh
Here it is completely, from permits to how to reach and what to do everything has written. So this will be very helpful to all who are planning for Pangong Lake. Whatever it maybe but journey to Pangong Lake will remain as an adventurous and unforgettable journey experience for your life if you visit it.
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