Pangong Tso , Tibetan for “high grassland lake”, also referred to as Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to China. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in China. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km2. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water. It is not a part of Indus river basin area and geographically a separate land locked river basin.
The lake is in the process of being identified under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance. This will be the first trans-boundary wetland in South Asia under the convention.
The famous and sparkling blue Pangong lake is situated near Leh-Ladakh in the Himalayas, approximately at the height of 4350 meters. This endorheic lake is 12 kilometres long and extends from India to Tibet, with two-thirds of it lying in the latter. Owing to its altitude, the temperature here ranges from -5°C to 10°C as a result of which the lake freezes completely during winters in spite of its salinity. A unique feature of the lake is that it does not remain blue throughout the year or even the day, rather it changes colours from azure to light blue to green and grey too! It has been a tourist attraction for a very long time and has gained further popularity after being a ‘hot-spot’ for many film shoots, apart from being an essential for anyone travelling to Leh – Ladakh. The sublime beauty, crystal waters and gentle hills of Pangong Lake are an exceptional example of the beautiful landscape of the region.
Due to the briny water, the lake does not support aquatic life other than some ocean bugs called crustaceans by oceanographers. Pangong lake is home to many migrating birds in summer, and one can witness numerous ducks and gulls “surfing”. Other than being a haven for these birds, it is also an important breeding ground for birds like Brahmani ducks and seagulls. Some are lucky to spot a Kiang which is a wild ass or a Marmot, which is a brownish rodent native to Ladakh that can grow upto the size of a small dog. There are two streams from the Indian side that form the wetlands and marshes at the edges. It is the beauty of the impeccable blue waters that embezzle the tourist’s attention the most. The serenity and tranquillity of this place are the tourist’s paradise.
|Visa requirements||All travelers to Ladakh must posses a valid passport. Foreigners visiting Ladakhcan obtain visa from Indian Embassies / Consulates in their countries. However travelling to certain areas of Ladakh requires special Permissions even if visitors have valid Indian visa.|
|Languages spoken||Ladakhi language (Bhoti) , Tibetan language & english|