Pangong Lake, is situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft) in the Himalayas. It is 134 km long and extends from India to Tibet. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet and 40% part of the lake is in India. The lake is 5 km wide at its broadest point.
The name Pangong is a derivative of the Tibetan word Banggong Co meaning ? Long, narrow, enchanted lake?. It is around 5-6 hrs drive from Leh to Pangong Lake.The route passes through Ladakh countryside, over Chang La ( the third highest motor-able mountain pass in the world. Pangong lake has bright blue sparkling water with rocky lake shore which makes extra ordinary view and cherish travelers forever. There is a narrow ramp-like formation of land running into the lake which is also a favorite with tourists.
This salt water lake freezes completely during winter. The salt water lake does not support vegetation or aquatic life except for some small crustaceans. However, there are lots of water birds. The lake acts as an important breeding ground for a large variety of migratory birds like Brahmani Ducks, Rare black necked cranes and Seagulls. One can also spot Ladakhi Marmots, the rodent-like creatures which can grow up to the size of a small dog. Pangong Tso lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control and hence requires an Inner Line Permit. Most of the lake is in Chinese-controlled territory.
Owing to Pangong is proximity to the border, tourists are only allowed to visit the lake up to the Spanking village. For the hardcore adventure lovers, there is a camping site on the shore of Pangong. But do remember that the weather tends to get harsh after dusk. The place is a photographers? delight and camping is the only option if you wish to see the sunset and the sunrise. Pangong Tso is still a delicate border point along the Line of Actual Control and for security reasons, boating is prohibited on the Indian side.