Water bodies are always lucrative for the tourists all over the globe, water sports also attract very many visitors who intend to distress from the high tension in urban life. The lakes all over the globe are the hot-spot attractions. Pangong Tso lake is no exception. This lake is in Himalayas at a higher altitude and spread across two nations. The actual line of control between India and China goes across the lake.
Pangong Tso also known as Pangong lake, as Tso is a Ladakhi word for lake. The literal meaning in Tibetan is ‘long, narrow, enchanted lake. The lake is in serene picturesque area and a treat to watch. Situated at a higher level the lake is around 14270 feet above in the Himalaya range. Almost 60 percent of the length of the lake is in Tibet. The lake is 134 kilometer long and covers almost 699 square kilometers. The lake is 5 Km wide at its broadest point. The lake has saline water; even then the lake freezes in winter completely. Under the Ramsar convention the lake will be declared as the first trans-border wetland in the South Asia.
Pangong Tso Lake is in the disputed territory, as the actual line of control pass through this lake. Almost 20 Km. of the area in the east of the Line of Control is claimed by India, which is presently under Chinese control. The eastern part which is in Tibet is not disputed. While the western end of the lake is again disputed between India and Pakistan as part of the Kashmir dispute. In an early attempt of demarcation between India and China in the Aksai Chin region was the Johnson line which was at the southern edge of the lake.
The lake is having saline water, and in this brackish water, no aquatic life can survive. There are no fishes or any aquatic vegetation in the lake only the small crustaceans can thrive in this salinity. However, the visitors are enthralled to see ducks and gulls over the surface of the lake. There are also some herbs around the lake, that grow in the marshy land. The lake is of vital importance as a breeding ground for variety of birds, particularly large number of the migratory birds. During summer the Brahmini ducks and the Bar headed goose are very common sight. The region around the lake also supports the survival of a number of species of wildlife such as Marmot and Kiang.
The visitors need to have an Inner Line permit to visit the lake, as the lake lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual control . The Pangong lake can be reached from Leh by road in five hours, and most of the route is rough and dramatic mountainous road. The road passes through Changla Pass where there are army posts . The road further passes through the “Crazy Stream” or also known as Pagal Naala. The most opportune time for the tourism in this lake is from May to September. This area is an attractive location as a number of films or the songs are shot in this area.