Paradise Pangong-lake

I had the opportunity to visit Ladakh with the Nomadic Monk team in September of 2018. Hands down, one of my favorite places in Ladakh was Pangong Lake (no surprise there)! In this blog, I’ll try to do justice to beautiful lake (empathizes on ‘try’ – nothing can really do justice to the lake – you have experience it to believe it).

I’m sure, by now, you’ve heard about the famous Pangong Tso (Lake) or you have that one friend who just won’t stop talking about their trip to Ladakh. Nevertheless, I’ll fill you on some details about the gorgeous lake.

The most common (and direct) route to Pangong is from Leh. A little over 6 hours, the journey itself is quite charming. The road takes you through Chang La, Ladakh’s third highest mountain pass at 5,360 meters. From Chang La, the road to Pangong continues to Durbuk, Tangste and Spangmik. From Spangmik, it’s straight to Pangong.

Now, trust me when I say this – nothing will prepare you for that first glimpse of Pangong Lake.  You may have read all there is to about the lake and seen countless pictures and videos. But, that’s nothing compared to when you catch the first glimpse of Pangong. It will leave you speechless. Our group reached Pangong late in the evening – just in time to catch the sunset, and what a sight it was! The sky was filled with hues of amber as the sun dipped behind the mountains and the lake shimmered in the dwindling twilight. It was quite a scene to behold – peaceful and humbling.

We made our way to the campsite and spent some time unwinding from the trip. The day was not over yet…the night was still young and held some surprises. The stars shone so brightly, I couldn’t (didn’t) want to take my eyes off them! As the night went on, you could clearly make out the mesmerizing Milky Way. A bunch of us gathered under the night sky to see the Milky Way. We were astonished when we saw not one, not two, not three – but TEN shooting stars! Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘thank my lucky stars’! It’s a night that’s clearly etched in my memory, I mean, would you be able to forget a night like this?

Nobody wasted time in the morning dilly dallying as they were all restless to walk down to the shores of Pangong. As I made my way down to Pangong with the others, I couldn’t help but feel lucky. It’s not everyday that you get witness magical sites such as Pangong. Pangong Lake looked even more beautiful in the day! The lake stretched for miles and you could make out the different colours of the lake – shades of blue, green and turquoise.

Surrounded by snow capped mountains, the lake proudly glistened under the morning Sun. Some areas of the lake were more crowded than the others. There are a few spots at the lake which offer you photo opportunities where you can re-enact famous scenes from ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’. I suggest that you spend more time taking in the view of the lake. I walked down as far as I could, away from the crowd to really enjoy the sight that Pangong lake had to offer. Standing in front of this vast gorgeous lake got me thinking how some things in life are just trivial – cliché I know, but what’s life without a few clichés? It really does put a few things in perspective. Pangong Lake is nothing short of an exceptional sight and to witness it in person is a different high altogether.

Pangong Lake is one of those sights you need to put on your bucket list, if you haven’t already (you can thank me later). I’ve heard stories from people who’ve visited Ladakh multiple times and one thing they can all agree on is that they never get tired of seeing the lake. The beauty never fails to surprise them. One of India’s spectacular attractions, you need to visit it at least once. A phenomenon in its own way, Pangong Lake is not only a treat to the eyes – but the soul as well.

What are some of your favorite places in Ladakh? Let us know in the comments below!

To see our trips to Ladakh, click here

To see our fixed departures to Ladakh, click here.

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