Pangong Lake, also known as Pangong Tso, is a mesmerizing high-altitude lake located in the Ladakh region of India. It’s renowned for its stunning blue waters, serene surroundings, and dramatic landscapes. This lake has gained international fame due to its appearance in the Bollywood movie “3 Idiots.” Pangong Lake stretches from India to Tibet, with a large part lying within Indian territory.
How to Reach Pangong Lake:
Pangong Lake is situated approximately 160 kilometers from Leh, the main town in Ladakh. To reach Pangong Lake:
- By Road: The most common way to reach Pangong Lake is by road from Leh. You’ll follow the Leh-Manali Highway (NH3) until a diversion at Karu, which takes you onto the Leh-Pangong Lake Road. The journey is scenic but can be challenging due to rough terrain and high altitudes. It takes around 4-5 hours by road from Leh to reach Pangong Lake.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit Pangong Lake is during the summer months, from May to September, when the weather is relatively mild, and the roads are open. During this time, you can witness the lake’s striking blue color. However, keep in mind that nights can be cold, even during summer.
Pangong Lake is in a remote area, and mobile network connectivity is limited. Only BSNL and Jio networks work here to some extent. Don’t rely on a strong network, and be prepared for intermittent connectivity.
Accommodation options near Pangong Lake include tented camps and guesthouses. These accommodations are often basic but provide an authentic experience of staying amidst the serene landscapes. You can find accommodation in areas like Spangmik and Tangste on the shores of the lake. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during the peak tourist season.
Nearby Places to Visit:
- Tso Moriri Lake: Another stunning high-altitude lake located in Ladakh, Tso Moriri Lake offers pristine beauty and is known for birdwatching.
- Hemis Monastery: Visit Hemis Monastery, one of the largest and most famous monasteries in Ladakh, known for its annual festival.
- Thiksey Monastery: Explore Thiksey Monastery, which resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
Popular Things to Do:
- Photography: Pangong Lake’s breathtaking scenery provides ample opportunities for photography, especially during sunrise and sunset.
- Camping: Experience the thrill of camping by the lakeside and enjoying the clear night skies.
- Stargazing: The remote location and clear skies make Pangong Lake an ideal place for stargazing.
- Is Pangong Lake accessible throughout the year? – No, the road to Pangong Lake is typically open from May to September due to heavy snowfall in the winter months.
- Is it safe to swim in Pangong Lake? – Swimming in Pangong Lake is not recommended due to extremely cold water temperatures and high altitudes.
- What is the currency used in Leh? – The currency used is the Indian Rupee (INR).
- Are there ATMs near Pangong Lake? – ATMs are limited in this remote area, so it’s advisable to carry sufficient cash from Leh.
- Do I need a permit to visit Pangong Lake? – Indian tourists do not require a permit to visit Pangong Lake. Foreign tourists may need to check permit requirements depending on their nationality and current regulations.
Pangong Lake is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, photographers, and those seeking tranquility amidst breathtaking landscapes. Its unique blue waters and remote location make it an unforgettable experience in Ladakh.