Pangong Tso, a lake stretching across the border of the two countries, is famous for its ability to change color according to the sun, in different times.
Pangong is an endorheic lake (the lake does not flow to the sea), located at an altitude of 4,350 m in the Himalayas. The lake is about 135 km long and is divided by the Actual Control Line (LAC) of China – India. Of which about 1/3 of the lake is in the Ladakh region and the other 2/3 is in Tibet. This is also the site of the clash on the two countries’ border in mid-June, arguably the bloodiest in 45 years.
The most popular route to Lake Pongang is from Leh, the capital of Ladakh located east of Jammu and Kashmir. On a distance of about 150 km, visitors will pass through Changla Pass, the third highest motorcycle road in the world (more than 5,300 meters above sea level). So there is usually snow all year round. In the summer, the snow from the rocky ravines can flow into small streams, making it difficult for roads to slip. Visitors should only stop sightseeing for about 10-20 minutes, to avoid symptoms of altitude shock.
The surface of the lake changes color according to the weather, seasons and different times of the day with green, blue or red orange. Sunrise and sunset are the best time to admire the beauty of Pangong, when the sun reflects colorful rays on the lake surface.
Pangong with its swampy areas, numerous shrubs and perennial herbs is a paradise for migratory birds. Throughout the year, many birds come here to breed. In the summer, visitors can catch brown-headed gulls, rare black-necked cranes and about 20 other native birds flying and catching fish on the lake surface.
Usually, visitors here will camp overnight. The option is the Wonderland camp, located in the Nubra valley, for INR 3,900 per night. Redstart camps with lake views, convenient for bird watching, cost INR 4,200 per night.