Pangong Tso is also referred to as Pangong Lake which means ‘long, narrow, enchanted lake’ in Tibetan. It is a closed drainage basin that doesn’t allow water to outflow into external water bodies. The lake is at a height of 4,350 meters or 14,270 feet and extends from India to Tibet and is 134 kms long. More than 50% of the lake lies in the Tibet. The lake has a maximum width of 5 kms and covers an area of 604 kmsq. The lake has saline water and in winter it freezes completely.
The lake water is low in vegetation and is reported to have no aquatic life in the lake except for some small crustaceans. Numerous ducks can be seen in the lake. Also some species of scrub and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes are seen around the lake.
The Pangong Lake serves as an important breeding place for a large number of birds including a good
amount of migratory birds. During summer, the Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks are commonly spotted around this region. A number of species of wildlife including the kiang and the Marmot can also be seen here.
On October 20, 1962, Pangong Tso saw military action during the Sino-Indian border conflict. Pangong Tso is still a delicate border point along the Line of Actual Control and for security reasons, boating is prohibited on the Indian side.
Pangong Tso lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control. So to visit the place an Inner Line Permit is required. Most of the lake is in Chinese-controlled territory. For some security reasons tourists are only allowed to visit the lake upto the Spangmik village. For the hardcore adventure lovers, there is a camping site on the shore of Pangong. But do remember that the weather tends to get harsh after evening.
By Road : 201 kms from Leh [see map]
: 1162 kms from Delhi
By Air : 204 kms from leh airport [see map]
: 1166 kms from Delhi airport
When To Visit Here
From January to March the lake remains mostly frozen. In the month April and May ice starts to melt and starts moulding into the beautiful shades of blue colors in the lake. Then the months from May to August is the peak of tourist season. The summer season, witnesses a large amount of birds. September and early October shows the start of cold and winter season. And the lake and its surroundings go back to sleep. The place starts to cover in snow and the people start to leave the area.
There are tents available for rent near the Pangong Lake. Or tenting grounds are available near the
lake. Either you can take a tent for rent or you can build your own tent with the tenting stuff you have bought along with you. The tenting grounds are not much costly they can be availed for not more than rs.500 or so.
The tents that can be taken for rent can of different in rates. There are luxury tents available. They might cost you a little bit. But budget tents are also available. There are a lot of areas where you can take a tent for rent.