The beauty of Pangong Lake is in itself a reason enough to plan a trip there. However, there are other things to do at Pangong Tso that will keep you excited during the duration of your stay here. One of them is camping. Camping at the Pangong Lake can be an enthralling experience. Place a bonfire, get a barbecue going and enjoy the beauty surrounding you – it can’t get better than this!
Although leaving the warmth of your camp is extremely difficult, go ahead and step out. During the night, the stars of the sky shine in all their glory. The feeling you get is that of oneness, of the skies and the universe immersing themselves in you. At dawn, get out of your camp and watch the sunrise. Watch, as the rising sun gradually disperses the darkness and ushers in the light. Carry a camera with you, and capture these splendid moments while you spend a wonderful time at one of the best lakes in India.
A few of the migratory birds also flock here. This makes the site heaven for the bird watching enthusiasts. You can further extend your trip to Tso Kar.
The route to Pangong Lake is as beautiful as the lake itself. To get a glimpse of this beauty, stop about 10 km from before Pangong Tso, if you are coming from Leh. You will be greeted by a few signboards saying, “Stop here to see rare endemic species Marmot”. Marmots are large squirrels which are found in mountainous areas and reside in burrows. Despite being quite dodgy, they do come out from their potholes during the day. Thus, there is a good chance of spotting them.
An adventure is all about taking on challenges and being brave enough to try anything unusual. One of the unusual things to do in Pangong Lake is to take a dip in its cold and brackish waters. Usually, tourists leave Pangong Tso after sunrise as they have to reach Leh before sunset. Before doing so, take a dip in the lake. Yes, it sounds crazy, and you would be crazy enough to try it. But craziness is what makes an adventure thrilling and memorable.
There is no airport around the Pangong Lake. The closest airport is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh at a distance of 142 km. The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport has flights to and from New Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar, and Mumbai.
There aren’t too many buses to Pangong. However, this is a good way to get to the Pangong Lake. The best way to get to Pangong Tso by bus is to catch one in Leh. The buses to Pangong Tso leave Leh at 6:30 AM every Saturday and Sunday. The buses from Pangong return the next day. Bus tickets cost around Rs 256. Leh is connected to Srinagar via bus. The Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation has deluxe as well as ordinary buses that ply the route connecting Srinagar to Leh on a regular basis.
The closest railway station to Pangong Tso is the Srinagar Railway Station, at a distance of 385 km. There are several trains passing through this railway station plying the route between Banihal and Bagdam. Upon reaching the Srinagar Railway Station, one can hire a taxi to Pangong Tso or catch a bus to Leh to take another bus from Leh to Pangong Tso.
Pangong Lake Permit
Since the enthralling Pangong Lake falls on the Sino-Indian Actual Line of Control, an inner line permit is required to visit it. The Indian Nationals can easily obtain individual permits while other foreign nationals need to obtain a group permit, with at least 3 persons in the group, accompanied by an accredited guide. The permit can be obtained at the tourist office in Leh, for a small fee.
Tips For Visiting Pangong Lake
1. It is advised to carry more and sufficient warm clothes to withstand the cold weather.
2. It is an ecologically fragile place where littering is a serious offence. Kindly dispose your waste wisely.
3. For security reasons, boating at the lake is not permitted.
4. An inner line permit is required to visit Pangong lake. The permit will be easily available at the Dc’s office in Leh by submitting an application. It is preferred to carry 5-6 copies of the permit as it has to be submitted at various check points