The word Pangong is derived from the Tibetan word Banggong Co which means “long, narrow, enchanted lake”. Pangong Lake is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft).
Pangong Tso is geographically situated in a disputed territory, claimed both by India and China. The eastern end of the lake is in Tibet and is not claimed by India. The western end of the lake is not in dispute. This beautiful multi-shaded ocean-like lake is about 5 KM wide at its broadest point and about 134 KM long with about 60% of the length extending into Tibet.
But if you remember the scene from the Bollywood movie “3 Idiots” when Kareena Kapoor comes riding on a scooter to meet Aamir Khan, then you have already seen the scenic beauty of the picturesque Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake. Pangong Tso-lake in Changthang region of Ladakh has emerged as one of the most wanted places to visit among domestic tourists in recent times especially after the Bollywood blockbusters “3 idiots” and “Jab Tak Hai Jaan”.
The beauty of Pangong Tso cannot be described but can only be experienced. The lake mesmerizes one and all with its shimmering beauty. In simple words, we can say Pangong Lake is “Turquoise Blue Paradise” that you would not like to miss at any cost while traveling to Ladakh.
Here are the 3 Best Places to visit in Pangong Lake:
1. Sakti Village
A beautiful village located 70 km towards North from District Head Quarters Leh, Sakti Village is in the Leh tehsil where the Takthok Monastery is located.
If you visit this stunning village then The Shakti Village Experience avoids the over now-crowded hub of Leh and takes you off the beaten track to unspoiled, traditional villages in the Indus valley. T
he perfect antidote to the frenetic world that most of us live in, the village experience can include visits to local schools, monasteries, craft workshops, and markets to give you a full understanding of the culture, people, religion, and customs of the region.
The best way to experience Sakti village is a combination of walking, rafting, and driving between them while overnighting in some of the beautifully quaint homestays along the way. So, don’t miss it at any cost to get this lifetime experience.
2. Chemrey Monastery
Located approximately 40 km east of Leh, Chemrey Monastery or Chemrey Gompa is a 1664 Buddhist monastery that belongs to the Drugpa monastic order which was founded in 1664 by the Lama Tagsang Raschen and dedicated to King Sengge Namgyal. The monastery has a notable high Padmasambhava statue. The grand edifice houses shrines, two prayer halls, and a Lama temple.
The transfixing Chemrey Monastery is also popular for the Chemrey Angchok, which is a sacred dance festival, held on the 28th and 29th day of the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar. During this time, the monastery decorated with colorful flags attracts tourists from all over.
So, don’t miss visiting this charming monastery that attracts a large number of tourists because of its picturesque location.
3. Chang La Top
The Chang La Top is a high mountain pass in Ladakh at an elevation of 5,360 m or 17,590 ft. which is claimed to be the 3rd highest motorable mountain pass in the world. It serves as a gateway to the famous Pangong Tso Lake.
Its arid landscape, snow-capped peaks, and panoramic views of rolling valleys are the scenic attractions of this place. Chang La Top is one of the hot spots of travel among all the adventure enthusiasts and bike riders.
It is also home to the highest research station in the world that is run by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India.
Boasting incredible scenic beauty, Chang La Top is guarded and protected by the Indian Army for safety purposes. Reverberating with serenity and tranquility, the place receives heavy snowfall all throughout the year. However, it only remains open only between the months of April and October. So, plan your visit to Chang La Top accordingly.