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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

You are a Bad Tourist if not Visited 5 Ladakh's Godly Lakes

 Pangong Lake, Ladakh
 Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh

Ladakh known of high mountain passes is an extreme cold desert. In spite of this it is home to many beautiful lakes called Tso where you will love to dive, nowhere you will find in the world.

1. Pangong Tso Lake

The amazing facts about the lake

A. The high salt water lake in the world

The most famous lake in Ladakh is about 160 kms from Leh. Pangong in Tibetan stand for “long, narrow, enchanted lake”. The lake is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft), the highest salt water lake in the world. It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet.
The Pangong lake is one of the beautiful places visit in India. Spread over an area of about 600 sq. Km, the lake is shared by India and China and 60% of it lies in the neighboring country. The alluring beauty of the lake and its natural scenic views make it seem like a landscape painted. Wow! It's much beautiful than any pic you have seen on the lake. Truly beautiful and the best part of the lake can be viewed in morning (3 am - 4am). A must visit place to feel the peace with the best eye candy on the earth.

B. The lake is in disputed territory

The line of actual control passes through the lake, 20 km of the east section of the lake is controlled by China, but claimed by India and the  eastern part is in Tibet. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. After shooting of 3 Idiots (a hit Bollywood film), Pangong Lake came in picture of tourist. But it's really worth to visit here.

C. Migratory birds

The blue brackish water of the lake has very low vegetation. There are no fish or any other aquatic life, but the lake sees a high concentration of ducks and gulls. The bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks are a common sight here.  Pangong Lake looks different in different seasons. In winters it is frozen from November end to April. The colors vary from season to season. It runs through 7km before it joins the border between India and China. All along the lake there are places to stay, both affordable and expensive. In April, one can see the black necked crane, which is a rarity otherwise.

D. No INP required to visit Pangong Lake

Before 2014, an Inner Line Permit was a necessity to visit the lake, but the law has been abolished for Indian nationals. So there is nothing stopping you from experiencing true peace and solitude at Pangong!  To observe purity and divinity of the nature you must wake up very early and observe the sky changes with the changing colors of the lake.

2. Tso Moriri Lake

Tso Moriri Lake
Heavenly Tso Moriri Lake

Another jewel in the crown of Ladakh is the Tsomoriri Lake. [Did you know that it is also known as the 'Mountain Lake'?] The lake is situated in Changthang Plateau, one of the highest and widest plateaus in the world is a among the must visit places in India . The lake gets its name from the saltiness of it, and the fact that salt was extracted from it till 1959. You can spot some really rare species of birds here during the migratory season such as Black Necked Crane, Brown Headed Gull and Great Crested Grebe. The calmness of the lake has just perfect for meditation. Extremely beautiful. Middle of nowhere. Has basic facilities, but then you don't go to see a lake at 16500 feet for luxury. The sunrise is divine. One of the most beautiful places I've EVER seen. This is around 6 to 7 hour drive from Leh town. The color combination of Tso Moriri lake is dark & light crystal blue. This is hands down one of the most beautiful places I have been to. Don't miss this even if it means adding a few days to your trip (you will probably have to add a day or two ) . The uniqueness about this lake is its extra clear mirror-like water where you can see minute to minute reflections.

Some points on this trip: 

  • Make sure you stay for one night in Tso Moriri, but prepare yourself for the low temperature.
  • The nomadic camp hotel gives a wonderful vegetarian dinner, don't miss it. 
  • Do not leave late from Leh, because you should not miss sunset here, the color of water changes here. 
  • Wake up at 5 am at Tso Moriri as the sun comes up very early and you can take nice pics at this time a well. 
  • Ask your driver to take to another part of the hill next to the camp, there is a road on the mountain, and it takes you to another corner, you can see a very beautiful scene from there. 
  • Make sure you have an identity proof also in case required by the Army when you reach this place.

3. Kiagar Tso

Kiagar Tso lake in Ladakh
Kiagar Tso lake in Ladakh

Enroute to Tso Moriri, Kiagar Tso is another beauty, one of the smaller high-altitude lakes and is located in Changthang plateau and is home to Changpas, nomadic Ladakhis

4. Stat So – Lang So Twin Lakes, Zanskar Valley

 Twin lakes of Stat Tso and Lang Tso

Located just next to Penzi La pass at (The highest Peak) an altitude of 14000 feet, the highest point on the Kargil – Zanskar road, the reflection in these twin lakes Stat Tso and Lang Tso will surely blow you off your feet. The vistas surrounded by snow clad mountains, just a touch away from you, make you go crazy and what you do to get off that craziness – jump into the lakes to get the real feel of it.

5. Tso Kar

Amazing Tso Kar Lake
Amazing Tso Kar Lake

Tso Kar is kind of twin lake where the eastern part of the lake is a fresh water lake whereas the western park is salt water. The two parts are connected by a small stream

Map of Lakes in Ladakh

Map of Lakes in Ladakh

Map of Lakes in Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir

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