(Last Updated On: February 7, 2020)

Just about 160 km from Leh is a beautiful lake named the Pangong Lake in Ladakh City. A drive to this lake will result in one of the most wonderful experiences. The journey begins at Thiksey village, which is famous for its huge monasteries covering an entire mountain range. And beyond this remote village, there is nothing but the vast expanse of extreme mountain ranges for the company. An interesting observation of the topography throughout this journey is that they throw off all calculations of distance somewhat like a mirage-effect, what looked to be a ten-minute crossing easily requires an hour or more!

Formerly, Pangong Tso had an outlet to the Shyok River, a tributary of Indus River, but it was closed off for the natural damming purpose. Two streams feed the lake from the Indian side, forming marshes and wetlands at the edges. Lines above the current lake level reveal a 16 ft thick layer of mud and laminated sand, suggesting the theory that the lake has shrunken recently in geological scale.

At Darbuk village near Tangste Valley stands a chain of war memorials in commemoration of the soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-Chinese war of 1962. Some of the historic army bunkers and trenches present here are still in use. Villagers along with their large herds of Pashima sheep and long tails yaks can be seen in these villages.

Suggested Read:
1. Leh Ladakh Road Trip
2. Places to Visit in Leh
3. Trekking in Ladakh


A tourist spot and more:


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Leh Ladakh is one of the most beautiful places in India but the serene tranquil Pangong Lake is not just a tourist’s paradise. It is also a geologist’s domain. And also, from the political perspective, this place is a melting pot of confusion and for sure it is no fun for the army in the biting cold to take care of the strategic landscape. Explore Ladakh packages on our platform for an incredible experience.

Camping at Nubra & Pangong

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Vegetation and wildlife near the lake:


Due to the saltiness in the water of the lake, there is very less micro-vegetation. There are no fish or other aquatic life in the lake, except for some small crustaceans. However, numerous ducks and gulls over and on the lake surface can be spotted in plenty. There are some species of scrub and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes around the lake.

The lake serves as an important breeding ground for a variety of birds including a number of migratory birds. During summer, the Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks are commonly spotted around this region. A number of species of wildlife including the king and the Marmot can also be seen here.

Popular Read: 
1. Places To Visit in Ladakh
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3. Leh Ladakh Tour Packages

How to get here:

Source: http://www.filmapia.com

Pangong Tso can be reached in a five-hour drive from Leh. Most of the journey is through a rough and dramatically scenic mountain road. The road crosses the villages of Shey and Gya and traverses the Changla pass. Road down from Changla Pass leads through Tangste and other smaller villages, crossing river called Pagal Naala also known as “The Crazy Stream”. Another lake to visit in Ladakh is the beautiful Tsomoriri Lake.

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When to visit:

This spectacular lakeside is open during the tourist season, which lasts from May to September.


The beautiful Pangong Tso Lake was featured in the last scene of the blockbuster movie ‘3 Idiots’ in the year 2010. After the success of the movie, this beautiful natural location has been a major attraction for tourists from all over the globe.

Don’t miss out the amazing landscape view on your way from Manali to Ladakh highway.

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