In 2017, I took a 12-day trip from Manali to Leh-Ladakh. It led me through beautiful snowcapped mountains and changing terrains. Although the roads were rough, however every moment of that trip was worth it. One such moment was to witness one of the most pristine lakes, Pangong Tso. It was the cherry on top of my amazing Leh-Ladakh trip.
“I woke up that morning to the most beautiful sight I had ever laid my eyes on. In front of me was a bright blue wonder – the Pangong lake”.Clear skies, cold weather, and the most brilliant blue I’ve ever laid my eyes on. These are some of the highlights of my visit to Pangong Lake in Ladakh.
The roads to Pangong Lake were smooth and well maintained, however, they’re really challenging. It required a lot of strength to tackle multiple hairpin curves and riding at such high altitudes. These beautiful winding roads amid mighty, brown mountains gives you a sense of solitude as well. It feels like you’re somewhere safe, in the wide arms of giant mountains, far away from this world.
I kept contemplating the beauty of Ladakh, throughout my journey. I reached Pangong late in the evening, quite tired from sleepless nights. However, this didn’t stop me from stargazing that night. Far away from the bright lights of cities that don’t sleep, here, thousand stars lit up the night sky. Its beauty was incomparable.
I slept that night thinking that the sight of the calm lake at night with the stars above wouldn’t match anything in the world. But boy was I wrong. I woke up that morning to the most beautiful sight I had ever laid my eyes on. In front of me was a bright blue wonder – the Pangong lake. Rocky, brown mountains in the background, a clear blue sky with a few puffy white clouds swaying in the air, but the lake’s blue stood out against everything. Located at 14,000 ft above sea level, the Pangong Tso is a saltwater lake. The collision of tectonic plates resulted in the formation of this lake from the ancient Tethys sea.
In front of this ancient, bright blue pool of water, none of us mattered. Neither the giant mountains nor the tiny white tents we slept in. The lake was older and majestic than everything around. After all, Pangong lake’s waters have existed in these lands long before the Himalayas. These waters have watched millennia pass, and I was but a blip in time. Looking at such great natural wonder aroused a lot of acute existential questions. Still, it was the perfect morning, one I’d remember for years to come.
A bright, shimmering Pangong Lake, good friends, and quality conversations, Ladakh was full of gifts!
I’d never seen such a brilliant blue. Such beauty impresses upon memory. On certain days, I find myself looking at clear skies in Bangalore, remembering Pangong with a deep longing to return.
Pangong Lake is accessible only through roads. Firstly, if you’re planning to do a road trip, you can take Manali to Leh route. One can travel till Manali by air (Bhuntar airport) or by road from Delhi or Chandigarh.
Secondly, you could also fly till Leh and start your journey from here.
The best time to visit Pangong lake is from March to June. Although Ladakh looks isolated and is sparsely populated, however, there’s no need to worry about accommodation. There are many campsites near Pangong lake. If you wish to cover more areas and stay afar – you can find accommodation near Nubra Valley as well.