As amazing a sight as anybody will ever like to see, this beautiful lake with hues varying from turquoise to emerald (depending on the angle of sun rays), is indeed a sight a to behold. I rode from Leh to Pangong on my bike and after crossing breathtaking Chang La and barren Tangtse, the first sight of the lake surrounded by stark landscape left me awestruck.
The moment of wow is when the stark landscapes and barren terrain opens up to the spectacular Pangong Lake Surrounded by naked mountains on all side, this wide lake is open to tourists from May to September. The lake offers spectacular views and one could see it change the color from turquoise to emerald as the sun rays projects different angles on the water surface.
First we (my friend and I) just sat by the Pangong Lake soaking in the sight and trying to find the word to describe how we felt. For a long time no one spoke or talked and we just let the emotion sink in. Later came photo frenzy. At the 3 idiots point (where the climax scene of superhit movie featuring Aamir and Kareena was shot) our Royal Enfields became the cynosure of all eyes and everyone wanted to take their picture sitting on one of them It was an exciting feeling and fun experience
Pangong Tso is a Tibetan name which means “long, narrow, enchanted lake”. It’s not difficult to know why it was named so by the locals when you visit this high altitude lake in Ladakh and literally get enchanted by its stunning beauty. Located at an altitude of 14,270 feet (4,350 meters), Pangong Lake is 134 kilometers long and extends all the way to China (More than 60% of the lake is located within Chinese territory).
To really savor the lake I’d recommend that you should spend at least a night at Pangong. Accommodation is easily available near the lake in camps and homestays. I stook the homestay which was available at Spangmik (where most of the camps and homestays are located). It cost us as low as INR 500 for the night. But homestays don’t have attached toilet and hot water facilities. Camps which cost INR 3000 and more do have running hot water and attached toilet facility.
After dumping our bag in the homestay, we again headed for the lake. Sunset by the lake was amazing as interplay of light and clods painted a spellbinding canvas on the sky. Night was cold but our Homestay was surprisingly warm. We had no trouble during night and no acute mountain sickness (AMS) to any 3 of us. To avoid AMS, it is always advisable to spend first 2 days in Leh before heading out to Pangong Tso.
We woke up to a mesmerizing sunrise as the morning sunlight cast a golden hue on the barren mountain top. The view was amazing. After breakfast and another stroll by the Lake we once again took the bike to drive back to Leh. The experience was one of the best and unforgettable.