Pangong Tso Lake
Pangong Tso is
a lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4250 m (13,900 ft). It
is 134 km (83.3 mi) long and extends from India
to Tibet. Two thirds of the
length of this lake falls in the People's Republic of China. It is 5 km (3
mi) wide at its broadest point. In winter, the lake surface freezes
completely despite being salt water.
Pangong Tso can be reached in a five-hour drive from Leh, most of it on a
rough and dramatic mountain road. The road traverses the third-highest pass
in the world, the Changla pass, where army sentries and a small teahouse
greet visitors. The spectacular lakeside is open during the tourist season,
from May to September. A special permit is required to visit the lake. While
an Indian can get his individual permit at Leh, non-Indian nationals need to
be in a group of at least four. For security reasons, no boating is allowed.
There is a small hostel as well as campsites and houses with primitive
guestrooms in the village a few miles towards Tibet.
The lake is in the process of being identified under the Ramsar Convention
as a wetland of international importance. This will be the first
trans-boundary wetland in South Asia under the convention.
Flora and fauna
The brackish water of the lake is devoid of any micro-vegetation. There are
some species of scrub and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes around
the lake. The lake acts as an important breeding ground for a variety of
birds including a number of migratory birds. The region around the lake
supports a number of species of wildlife including the kiang.
Places of Interest (Visit
Leh is nested in a side valley just to the north of the Indus Valley.
Until 1947 it had close trading relations with Central Asia yak trains would
set off from the Leh Bazaar to complete the stages over the Kaakoam Pass to
Yarkand and Kashgar.
Administering the Valleys of Suru , Drass, Wakha and Bodkarbu, Kargil
lies midway between the alpine valleys of Kashmir and the fertile reaches of
the Indus Valley and ladakh
Thak Thok gompa
shelters a cave in which the apostle Padmasambhava is said to have meditated
during his epic eight-century journey to Tibet.
Dhahanu is situated to the south west of Leh,
around 163 Kms. passing through the beautiful villages of Kaltsey, Domkhar,
Padum is 240 km to the south of Kargil, comes as a bit of an anticlimax
Rangdum is an elliptical expanded plateau surrounded by colourful hills on
the one side and glacier encrusted rocky mountains on the other.
Walled in by the Great Himalayan Divide, Zanskar, literally " Land of
White Copper" has for decades exrted the allure of Shangri La on visitours
Zangla is the nodal point on the popular Padum Strongdey Zangla Karsha
Padum round trip, which covers most of the cultural sites of Zanskar.
The Suru Valley
Diving two of the world's most formidable mountain ranges, the Suru
Valley winds south from Kargil to the desolate Pensi La the main entry point
the Nubra valley - nubra means green used to be on the trading route
connection Tibet with Turkistan, Also Now as the Valley of Flowers
Drass (3230 m), 60 km west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar, is a small township lying in the centre of the valley of the same name
The Shyok River receives the waters of the Nubra and Changchenmo rivers. It rises from the Khumdang glacier, which can be approached from
Pangong Tso, 15km to the southeast of Leh, is one of the largest
saltwater lakes in Asia, a long narrow strip of water stretching from Ladakh
east into Tibet.
Tso Moriri or "Mountain Lake" is Famous for the large herds of
king, or wild ass, which graze on its shores, the lake of Tso Moriri.