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Stok Kangri The expedition — Day 4: Pangong-Tso

Pangong lake is one of the largest lakes in ladakh. Covering a distance of over 300 kms the major portion of the lake lies in china. However there’s a vast amount of water present on the indian side as well.  The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 sq. km. During winter the lake freezes completely,

The lake is one of the popular destinations in ladakh and is a must do for any tourist in ladakh. The lake lies in a protected area and requires permit to visit it. Getting the permit is easy. One needs to submit their ID proof and Rs 220 at the office along with a form, wait for a while and the permit is granted.

As we had got the permit the day before itself, we started our journey to pangong. The lake is 130 kms from leh and takes about 5 hrs to reach. We had to reach the guest house as we had a briefing session and had to complete the formalities before starting the trek. An early morning start is essential if we need to return back the same day. One can also stay back for the night as pangong has few accomodations and return back the next day.

We passed through some amazing scenary and the roads took us to changla pass which is the second highest pass at 17586 feet.

Spectacular scenary and Changla Pass

Ice covered mountains greeted us as we neared changla pass. At such a high altitude breathing is difficult as air is thin and oxygen is not enough. With wind blowing it was difficult to stay out in the open for too long. A couple of snaps of changla and we headed off towards pangong

Ice clad mountains

There was more amazing scenery in store as we moved towards pangong. Cameras kept rolling as did the vehicle. The drive continued for few more hours and we saw a very small lake which we mistook to be pangong

Mountains and lakes

We reached the lake soon and were amazed by the size of the lake. It stretches as far as the eye can see. There are plenty of hotels at the bank for the hungry.

First look at pangong

Me and anshul went for a walk along the bank which stretches for quite a long way. There’s also a road which leads to the far end where a scene in the movie 3 idiots was shot. The lake has become famous once the movie came out and we even found a hotel named after movie.  Experimenting with light and shadows we tried various compositions while trying to cover the vast landscape.

Few shots of the lake

An hour of walking we reached the far side of the lake, the road also ends here and we could see the lake at its widest. More photos were clicked and when we were about to leave we found suhas, pradeep and bharani also coming the same way. Spending some time lazing the shore and few group shots we headed back to the car

Wide angle view

A short shower caught us unawares when coming back. Luckily we were close to the place where the car was parked, we rushed to the resturant and ordered our lunch. Due to the high crowd there, there was a delay in serving. Finally we bid adeiu to pangong at 1.30 and headed back to leh.

There was a briefing scheduled at 6 by bramha, me and anshul decided to go to the market to do some last min purchases, however that had to be postponed as we were asked to assemble in the courtyard for the breifing. After completing the formalities, we were given a short briefing about the trek and the main men who would be heading the trek, Tsering and Rajmohan Rawat were introduced to us.

After a Q&A round we headed to our rooms all excited to start the trek the next day.

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About Subbu
Name: Subbu Interests : Trekking,travelling Hobbies: Photography

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