On the way, about 25 km from the lake, visitors will find stop signs to observe the Marmot species, a rare endemic animal. They often lurk in the rocks, so be patient to wait for them to appear.
The name Pangong is taken from Banggong Co in Tibetan, meaning tall prairie lake. The area west of the reservoir is saltwater and the area to the east is fresh water. It is one of the few saltwater lakes in the world to freeze completely in winter.
Contrary to the arid brown surrounding mountains, the lake water is always blue. Pangong is one of the most popular destinations in India and Tibet. It also appeared in a scene of the blockbuster Bollywood “Three Idiots”. In 2009, after the success of the film, the number of tourists coming here for camping and picnics is increasing.
Camping overnight is one of the best experiences to try in Pangong Lake. When night falls, the space around the Himalaya becomes quiet. Out of the tent, visitors can easily observe the galaxy in the clear sky, because there is no light pollution.
Located at a great height, this place has a change and a clear heat difference between day and night. Campers need to bring walking shoes; windproof and waterproof pants and outerwear. Also included are sweaters, hats, gloves, warm socks, a backpack, first aid kit and flashlight.
Pangong Tso Lake is located in the disputed area between China and India. Therefore, visitors here need an inline permit (ILP) at the TIC office, located at the main Leh market. Each visitor will be charged INR 400 environmental fee. From Indian cities, guests can reach Leh via Reach Leh airport or the Jammu Tawi railway. The lake is about 150 km from Leh, equivalent to 4 hours by car.