One Day 3, we started from Leh to Pangong Lake (where popular flicks such as 3 Idiots and Jab Tak Hai Jaan have been shot, hence got extra popular since then). It was about 6 hrs distance away from Leh and is at 14,270 feet. Journey took us via Chang La Pass which is at 17500 feet before settling down down around 14270 ft. Yes, we did stop at Chang La Pass for mandatory Maggi and Masala Chai
Pangong is a salt water lake, and appeared absolutely pure and serene and amidst breathtaking scenery. It is much larger than what I had imagined. Getting there isn’t very easy easy. Road to Pangong took through winding hills, and 30% of the road is unpaved / destroyed (due to extreme weather conditions) and is mostly a single lane road. One would experience lots of rugged scenery which reminds of scenes for Clint Eastwood movies.
We spent over night at camp made out of tents, where were pretty decent to luxurious with most amenities. We hoped to do some star trails photography, but couldn’t due to cloudy skies. We explored good amount of photography and building time lapse videos around the lake.
Unlike most tourist who spent their time around ‘3 Idiots’ shooting point, we spent time in the secluded portion of the lake. It was extremely serene and peaceful to be there. Team enjoyed doing extensive photography. I spent some time on the photography, and rest just walking around soaking in the beauty
Some info from Wiki: Pangong Tso (Tibetan for “high grassland lake”), also referred to as Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to China. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in China. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km2. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline 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 crosses the villages of Shey and Gya and traverses the Chang La, where army sentries and a small teahouse greet visitors. The road down from Chang La leads through Tangste and other smaller villages, crossing river called Pagal Naala or “The Crazy Stream”. The spectacular lakeside is open during the tourist season, from May to September.
An Inner Line Permit is required to visit the lake as it lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control. While Indian nationals can obtain individual permits, others must have group permits (with a minimum of three persons) accompanied by an accredited guide; the tourist office in Leh issues the permits for a small fee. For security reasons, India does not permit boating.
Part 1 of the series @ https://saichintala.com/2016/07/17/pangong-lake-extreme-serenity/
I have captured some interesting footage via GoPro, 6D and S7, which can be viewed from below links