The famous Pangong Lake is among the best places to visit in Ladakh. This enchaning salty body of water has been mesmerising visitors for decades.
Distance from Leh – 224
Distance from Srinagar -640
Distance from Manali -630
Travel time from Leh – 5 to 6 Hrs. drive
Pangong Tso which is among the most favorite tourist attractions in Ladakh has got its name from the Tibetan. The Tibetan call it Bangong-Co.which means an enchanted and narrow lake.
Pangong Tso keeps changing colors from green to light-blue to azure and sometimes grey too. The enchanting lake and its changing color is not only the reason that makes it a favorite among the tourist. There are other things that add beauty to this place: a narrow stretch of land along the lakeside (in the pic above) that makes the area look wonderful. The wetlands and the marshes formed by the two streams. The beautiful hills and mountains etc.
Pangong Tso is 134 kilometers long and extends from India to China. 1/3rd of the lake lies in India and the remaining 2/3rd lies in China.
Travel to Pangong Tso from Leh:
The best time to visit Pangong Tso is from May to September. Don’t forget to take warm clothes with you while traveling to Pangong Tso. Also, carry an oxygen cylinder with you to Pangong lake. If you are driving your own car, fill the petrol tank at Leh.
It’s a five to six-hour drive to Pangong Tso from the main Leh area. And during this five-hour journey, you would witness the beauty of nature. The beautiful view of the landscape surrounded by the mountains makes the journey memorable. The Chang-la mountain pass is also on the way to Pangong Tso. Changla is the 3rd highest motor-able mountain pass.
Inner line permit for Pangong Tso
It is required to make the permit in order to visit Pangong Lake.
Local tourists from India can get individual permits easily. For foreign tourists, a group permit is required, also a guide needs to be accompanied. The driver can be the guide.
Obtaining a permit yourself through tourist office Leh is hectic and tiresome. The easiest way to get a permit is by your local tour operator or by the hotel manager of your accommodation.
Accommodation at Pangong lake:
1. Hotels around Pangong Tso
2. Camping near Pangong Tso
1. Hotels around Pangong Tso:
The closest hotel is around 3km far from Pangong lake. Tourists usually prefer camps to hotels. But, sometimes camps are not allowed around Pangong lake, so, tourists prefer hotels to stay closer to Pangong Lake. You can also opt for a Guesthouse or Homestays around Pangong Lake.
2. Camps near Pangong Tso:
Camping at Pangong would be the best camping experience of your life.
You don’t need to carry tents with you. There are a lot of luxury camps based around Pangong which you can book online. But, if you want to carry small tents; they are available in Leh for rent.
You can also book a hotel at Leh and travel to Pangong early in the morning and return in the evening.
Click here for hotels and camps at Pangong Lake.
Food around Pangong Tso Lake:
It would be better if you carry your own food before traveling to Pangong Tso from Leh. However, there are few places near Pangong Lake where food and snacks are available near. But the options are limited to Momos (stuffed with meat or vegetable), Thukpa (soup noodle), Maggi, tea-biscuits, etc.
Pangong Tso’s temperature varies from -5 to 10 degrees celsius. The lake freezes in winter and you can walk on the lake. Tourists usually start visiting Pangong Tso in April. But it’s a little colder in April. So, the best time to visit Pangong tso starts from May until September.