Pangong lake in Ladakh is one of the highest endothermic brackish lakes and is also the most sought after attractions in the Trans-Himalayan region. Such is its allure that Pangong commands a dedicated itinerary from travel enthusiasts.
Experts recommend June – September as the best time to visit Pangong lake. This is when the roads leading to Leh are clear; the sun shines brightly in the sky and weather is as favorable as it gets. But…
Who cares! If you are looking at something more daunting and extreme, try visiting Leh Ladakh in winter i.e. December – February, when the lake is entirely frozen. The beauty of the lake is still unmatched and you can actually feel the bite as you walk across it.
Things to do at Pangong Tso lake
Apart from soaking in the awesomeness of this secluded haven, there isn’t much you need to do. As you head to Pangong Tso, you leave the material world 100 km behind. No mobile signal, no internet, and no ATM around as well, you see Pangong is the perfect place to admire nature at its best.But there are places and experiences that refine your trip to Pangong Tso. Here are a few:
1. Spot the rare marmots: A friend waiting for company
About 25 km before you reach Pangong Tso, you will come across a sign board that reads, ‘Stop here to see rare endemic species marmot’. These endemic rare marmots stay hidden in the potholes and come out often. All you need to do is patiently wait for them to come out.
Out of the 14 remaining species of marmots, only two – long-tailed marmot and the Himalayan marmot- are found in India.
2. Enjoy the sight of migratory birds: The flying bliss
Pangong lake is a birder’s paradise too. Bird species like Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks stroll in the lake when the weather conditions are favorable. It’s a treat to watch them flock around the lake with raw mountains making the perfect frame. That’s picture perfect, right?
3. Ideal for candid photography: Because it’s breathtakingly beautiful
Given the perfect assimilation of different elements of nature, Pangong Tso lake area makes for a photographer’s perfect muse. Leave the DSLRs alone – even if you take a selfie from an ordinary phone, the beauty of this place makes it look photo shopped. So, go on a photography spree and don’t let your finger rest on the snap button.
4. Army cafeteria at Chang La Pass: Quick bite at the top of the world
One must traverse the Chang La Pass before getting down in the valley and heading towards Pangong Tso. You will find army post at Chang La at an altitude of 5300 meters. Stop by to grab some quick bite at the army canteen there. Aloo parantha, toast, sandwich, tea, and Maggi are some of the easily available fast foods options.
5. Ice-hockey & skating: Slide across the lake
December to February is the ideal time to try some daring activities on the frozen Pangong Tso lake. This is when the extreme cold conditions turn the lake into a sheet of ice and allow you can trek, walk, play ice-hockey, and skate.