One of the highest lakes in the world, Pangong Tso Lake is one of the most popular names in Leh Ladakh tourism. Sitting graciously on the upper reaches of the great Himalayas, this mesmerising lake is located around 140km from Leh and it spreads its alluring charm across the Indo-China Border; with majority of it being controlled by China.
For those, who are still unaware of Pangong Tso’s enchanting beauty, they can recall the Bollywood blockbuster ‘3 Idiots’, whose climax was shot around this lake. Situated at a towering height of 4,350m, Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh is also famed as one of the highest saline water lakes in the world.
Visiting this lake is truly an experience of its own kind! While a visit during the summer is greeted with the crystal-clear reflection of the nearby mountain ranges on the turquoise water of this lake, visitors can witness the entire lake freezing down during the winters. Be it an adventure freak, romantic couple, leisure seeker, backpacker, or a shutterbug, the lake entices all types of tourist enjoying the Leh Ladakh tour packages.
However, due to the strategic location of Pangong Tso Lake, foreign nationals need to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit this captivating lake in Ladakh. Also, visitors are allowed only till the limits of the Spangmil Village near the lake. Though boating or any other water activities are restricted, visitors can enjoy camping beside the Pangong Tso Lake and enjoy its magical beauty.
How to Get Inner Line Permit
This permit is required for all the nationals other than Indian, and can be collected from the District Tourist Office in Leh. To note here, foreign nationals planning to visit Pangong Tso during their Leh Ladakh tour, must be accompanied by a group in order to get the Inner Line Permit.
Ideal time to visit Pangong Tso Lake:
June to September is considered as the best time to visit Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh. During this time, the temperature starts getting milder and atmosphere becomes clear; visitors can enjoy astounding views of the lake and its vicinity.
Activities Near Pangong Tso Lake
The scenic locales of this prismatic lake offers amazing camping options to its admirers. Visitors can book overnight stay camps beside the lake and enjoy its enchanting beauty.
Pangong Tso Lake, with the sky as its roof, offers great stargazing opportunities to its visitors. Even though temperature falls during the nights, visitors enjoy stargazing from beside the lakeside with great passion and energy. It is in fact revered as one of the best places in India to enjoy stargazing in India.
This brackish water reservoir not only attracts visitors from across the globe, but also attracts a plenitude of migratory birds from all over the globe. While visiting this scenic lake, visitors can spend memorable moments while witnessing some of the rare and exotic avifauna around the vicinity.
Pangong Tso Lake is a true treasure trove for the photographers. Visitors do not have to be expert shutterbugs; the alluring beauty and irresistible charm of the lake will make them one for sure!
Stay Near Pangong Tso Lake:
While visiting Panging Tso Lake, visitors can enjoy lakeside camping in tented camps. For those, who are not comfortable with such stays, can seek for homestays within the Spangmil hamlet. The locals are way too friendly and do not hesitate to share their homes with the visitors; however, lack of amenities and facilities in the village might be a drawback for some of the tourists.
Other than these, visitors can make it to Lukung where they can avail camps and eco-huts. For those who seek the luxury and comfort of a hotel, can visit the only hotel in Spangmik for their overnight stay.
Food Joints or Places to Eat Near Pangong Tso Lake:
The vicinity lacks adequate number of eateries or food joints. It is advisable to carry own food while visiting this picturesque lake. If travelling with Leh Ladakh tour group, arrangements will be made by the group leaders. Visitors can also enjoy local delicacies with the locals near Pangong Tso Lake.
How to Reach Pangong Tso Lake:
- By Road:
Visitors can either take their personal vehicles; cars and motorcycles, to visit the Pangong Tso Lake. They can also hire vehicles from Leh in order to reach the lakeside.
- By Train:
Jammu Tawi is the nearest railway station to Pangong Tso Lake. However, after getting to the station, visitors should reach Leh first, and then continue their journey to Pangong Tso Lake.
- By Air:
Leh Airport of the KushokBakulaRimpochee Airport serves as the nearest airport to the scenic Pangong Tso Lake. Following arrival at the airport, visitors can opt for road journeys to reach the lake.