A lake is a landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.
If you remember the scene from the movie 3 Idiots when Kareena Kapoor comes riding on a scooter to meet Aamir Khan, then you have already seen the scenic beauty of the picturesque Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake. Pangong Tso-lake in Changthang region of Ladakh has emerged as one of the most wanted places to visit among domestic tourists in recent times especially after the Bollywood blockbusters "3 idiots" and "Jab Tak Hai Jaan". The Word Pangong is derived from a Tibetan word Banggong Co which means "long, narrow, enchanted lake". Pangong Lake is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). Pangong Tso is geographically situated in a disputed territory, claimed both by India and China. The eastern end of the lake is in Tibet and is not claimed by India. The western end of the lake is not in dispute. This beautiful multi-shaded ocean like lake is about 5 KM wide at its broadest point and about 134 KM long with about 60% of the length extending into Tibet.
Pangong Tso is about five hours drive from Leh in Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir. The route passes through beautiful Ladakh countryside, over Chang La, the third highest Motorable mountain pass (5289 m) in the world. 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”. The color of water is always changing with the weather condition. The water sparkles in distinct shades of blue, green, purple, and violet, being transparent to a good depth.
Pangong Lake in Kashmir is the world's highest brackish lake at 14,256 feet above sea level. In winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water. The Briny or Brackish water lake does not support vegetation or aquatic life except for some small crustaceans. However, there are many 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 is a remote area. The only way to communicate with the outside world is through a satellite phone at the army camp nearby. Beauty of Pangong Tso cannot be described but can only be experienced. The lake mesmerizes one and all with its shimmering beauty. In simple words, we can say Pangong Lake is "Turquoise Blue Paradise".
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