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Frozen Delights at Pangong

by Madhav Srinivasan 1927 days ago

The Tsang Po Lake has brackish water and very low micro vegetation. Reports suggest that there are no aquatic life and fishes present in the lake, barring a few small crustaceans. Tourists can see many gulls and ducks swimming over the lake’s surface.

The route along Pangong Lake takes the visitor through the picturesque villages of Thikse and Chemry and end at the Indus valley near Sakti and Chemry. Ladakh range can be crossed by the Chang La, which lies at a height of 18000 ft and is one of the easiest passes to cross despite its elevation. It remains open for most of the year, even during winters, apart from the periods of intense snowfall. But the major attraction point in this whole circuit is the Pangong Tso lake, which is a narrow basin having an inland drainage, and is a popular place to visit among  those planning a holiday in Leh Ladakh.

Why Visit Pangong Tso?

Pangong Tso is a captivating lake lying in the Himalayas and is located at a height of nearly 4350 m. The Lake stretches up to a distance of 134 km from India to Tibet. Nearly 60% of Pangong Tso lies in China. The lake freezes during the winters despite having saline water and is about five km wide at its broadest point. The lake is to be listed under the Ramsar Convention as an internationally popular wetland. It is the first trans-boundary wetland present in the convention. Some species of perennial herbs and shrubs also grow in the marshes near the lake. Tourists are advised to include a vacation in Srinagar, which serves as a base for those planning a visit to Pangong lake. 

What to Expect There?

The lake is home to a vast number of migratory birds and an important breeding ground for them. The Brahmini ducks and bar-headed goose can be easily found here. Other exotic wildlife species present at this lake are Marmot and Kiang. Pangong Tso had an outlet to the Shyok River earlier; Shyok River is a tributary of the Indus River. Due to natural damming the outlet was closed off. There are two streams from the Indian side that feed the lake and form wetlands and marshes at the edges. Tourists can find strand lines above the current level of water in the lake with a thick layer of laminated sand and mud of 5 m that suggests that the lake has shrunk in the recent geological scale reports. Pangong is included in most of North India tours

Getting There

Pangong Tso is a five-hour drive from Leh and most of it is a dramatic and rough mountain road. The Changla Pass crosses the Pagla Naala, which literally means ‘The Crazy Stream’. This lakeside is open during the tourist season in between May and September. Tourists need to obtain an inner line permit in order to visit the Sino Indian border.

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