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The Beauty of Pangong Lake is Spell-binding

Photo-journey to Pangong Lake

Let me take you to one of the most gorgeous lake in India – Pangong Lake! Do you recall the last scene of the movie “Three idiots”, which made this very popular?

Two weeks ago, I was in Ladakh to witness one of the biggest festival of the decade, Naropa festival.  No doubt, the festival gave  me an overwhelming experience around Drukpa Buddhist lineage, local culture, traditions and  initiatives like ‘Live to Love’, the landscape of Ladakh surprised me in many ways. Trust me, I came back with mixed feelings. There were some aspects of Ladakh that disappointed me (pollution and traffic jam of the city) but some of its remote locations  left me charmed and delighted.

Honestly, I was not impressed with Leh city but one place in Ladakh really left me speechless has to be Pangong. I would gladly call it the most picturesque lake in India that I have seen with my naked eyes. In my view, it is one place on Earth that needs no photo-edits and at the same time no photographer can do justice to it.  It is beyond picture perfect. The beauty of the lake cannot be described in words and therefore I will not even attempt doing it. The clicks below will take you through my photo journey and talk about the milestones of this simple and arduous journey.

First, I call it  simple because it does not need much planning and can be completed within a day. (We started from Ladakh early morning and returned back by late evening on the same day.) Second, you really don’t need to do much except hiring a convenient vehicle and paying for it.  The real hero is your local driver who steers you through the thrilling roads. The roads are simply fantastic but they are quite challenging. The landscape and the changing colors of the hills will leave you mesmerized at every few steps.  As one goes higher and higher, the terrain becomes trickier at every curve and bend. Changthang, the far-eastern region of Ladakh is full of rare treasures. The two most popular attractions of Changthang are the two spellbinding lakes, Pangong and Tsomoriri. 

In fact, my husband loves driving and he wants to do a Leh Ladakh Bike Trip. Now, that I have seen these amazing twisting curves of Ladakh, I want to come back with him soon. What an exhilarating trip it would be to maneuver the picturesque locations at our own wish. In the rush to do the touristy stuff, we often miss the real and offbeat fun. Motorbiking or self-driving has a winning hand in that respect. One can literally stop or start anywhere and soak in the ambiance at own will. I really loved the freedom and the passion with which some of the bike-riders were riding.  I met them on the way to Pangong and Khar dungla.  

Leh, Pangong Lake, Changthang region
1 day trip from Leh to Pangong Tso lake in Changthang region is made possible through these amazing roads. 


Ladakh, forever ladakh, Beautiful India
The magic of discovery lingers all around the eastern side of Ladakh. 


Cafeteria at the top
Changla cafeteria- One place at the top where you can grab some coffee, tea and soup.


Roads in Ladakh
These amazing roads are built and maintained by the Indian Army. They play an important role in the movement and accessibility.


Midway Cafeteria and Boating on the way to Pangong Lake
After crossing Changla at 17,500 feet, we reached this lake where there was option for midway cafeteria and boating.


Pangong Lake, Leh, Ladakh
You must stop here at this lovely lake on the way to Pangong Lake in Ladakh


Changthang, the rugged, far eastern region of Ladakh is full of rare treasures.


Marmot, Leh, Ladakh
Before reaching Pangong lake,  I met this cute Marmot on the way.


Changthang, Ladakh, Leh, Jammu
Magical Landscape of Changthang is born from eons of extreme weather.


Mesmerizing Pangong Lake
The first glimpse of Pangong Lake was absolutely mesmerizing!


Intriguing beauty of Pangong Lake
Pangong lake sits like a mirror on the earth’s surface. As its pristine beauty closer to my senses, I was left awestruck every minute.


Ladakh, Leh, Changthang
The changing colors of the Pangong Lake make it one spellbinding attraction in Ladakh. It looks like a painting in real. 


Pangong Lake in Changthang region
At 154 km away from Leh city, at an altitude of 14,270 feet, this beautiful duck was paddling in Pangong Lake.  I must also mention that this lake is famous with migratory birds too. Brahmini ducks and bar headed goose can be easily spotted. 


Pangong Lake and its enigma in Leh, Ladakh
Pangong Lake and its enigma can not be described in words. It is much more beautiful and bountiful than its pictures. 

Changla Pass is the highest point at 17,000 feet that you will love to pass through and will remember it for many more reasons too. Till here, the ride is thrilling, fun and adventurous.  In fact, I was surprised to find a loo and a cafeteria here. We took a short loo break here and rested for around twenty minutes before huddling in the bus once again. The final destination was still far away and we were not even half-done. After Changla, the altitude began to fall and the ride became smooth. Furthermore, the beauty of Changthang region began to take over our senses. The cold desert began to show its true colors. Now, I knew why people went ga-ga over Ladakh and its beauty. However, everything that had looked beautiful or amazing lost its essence the moment we reached Pangong.  

The landscape here was simply out-of-the world. As a traveler, I can only say that every minute of this strenuous journey felt worth it. The first glimpse of this huge water body made me jump with joy. I have no words to describe the moment. The picture-perfect lake transported us to almost another planet. We sat there was for two hours but it was not enough. However, every moment spent there was absolutely price-less. If time would have allowed, I would have loved to stay there for more than a day but we had to return in time. For now, I can only say that I will definitely go back to see it in the winters.

P.S. One must remember to rest and acclimatize for one complete day before starting to explore in and around Leh.

Happy Travelling!

Also Read – Naropa Festival 2016: The Millennial Birth Anniversary of Naropa

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