Pangong Lake: A Travel Diary
The cool piercing rush of air hitting your face.
The stark, barren picturesque landscape extending for miles.
A shade of blue you have never seen before.
Welcome to Pangong.
The River also called “The River of Death” in Yarkandi Ughyur is a tributary of the Indus River spanning 550 kms.
Stop and admire the towering majestic mountains and the animated sky overlooking the beautiful valley.
This furry creature that resembles a cute miniature bear is actually a ground squirrel. They are one of the highest dwelling mammals in the world. They are friendly and quite happy to get clicked.
Herds of Pashmina Sheep
A common sighting on the road
This beautiful colour changing endorheic lake situated at a height of approximately 14,270 ft in Ladakh is a mesmerising hypnotising marvel of nature. Approximately one third of the lake lies in India whereas the remaining two third is controlled by China thus giving the lake a strategic importance. Known to change colours as the day progresses you can spend hours just looking at this Himalayan beauty and getting lost in its serenity. Post the exposure the Pangong Lake has got in movies you will see a lot of Bollywood inspired eating joints and movie set props thronged by tourists. If however you are a recluse like I am you will want to skip this and take the road ahead. Keep going till you actually reach the side of the lake. Find a spot free from tourists and sit down.
You might think I am being poetic here but when you are here, do yourself a favour and just sit alone by the lake and get yourself overwhelmed by the peace that this place holds. Let the cool wind rustle you up. Take a deep breath. Take it all in. Look for the Bar Headed Goose in the middle of the lake. Watch the clouds changing shape. Watch the sunlight change the colour of the water. Be one with nature. Pangong Lake will be an experience you will never forget.
The Definition of Blue
The Road to Changla
Though dwarfed in popularity by its bigger brother Khardungla, do not make the mistake of underestimating Changla. It is claimed to be the 3rd highest motor-able road in the world at a height of 17,585 ft.
The Big Himalayan Yak on the way to Changla Pass
The steep climb and the slippery roads make it tougher than Khardungla and require a good set of hands and vigilant eyes behind the steering wheel. Do not stay at the top for more than 15 mins. Altitude sickness is a thing here. And when you do finally cross and conquer it, raise your hands in exhilaration. You have deserved it.
You are back on the Road to your cozy room in Leh again.