Pangong Lake (also called Pangong Tso) is a land-locked basin situated at an elevation of 4,225 m (13,862 ft), which is shared by both China and India. It is separated from the Indus River basin by a small elevated ridge.
Pangong Lake was formed during the last ice age when the Himalayan glaciers melted and left behind a large body of water. This natural wonder is also known as the ‘Roof of the World’ because of its unique shape.
Pangong Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Its beauty and serenity make it a perfect place to relax and unwind.
Pangong Lake Facts for Kids
- During winter, Pangong Lake is completely frozen.
- The lake is among the highest brackish water lakes in the world
- The saline water results in low micro-vegetation.
- Visitors to the lake needed an Inner Line Permit
- The lake is now a favorite spot for birdwatchers.
- It is in the process of being declared an international wetland.
What’s in a Name
Pangong Tso is made up of 5 sub lakes, of which the middle lake is called Tso Nyak and is mostly in Ladakh.
There are several different interpretations for Pangong Tso, which means “high grassland lake,” and Tsomo Nganglha Ringpo, which means “long, narrow, enchanted lake.”
Flora and Fauna
The eastern part of the Lake is fresh and saline and has very little micro-vegetation; however, there are some species of scrub and perennial herbs growing in the marshes around the lake.
A variety of birds breed at the lake, including the Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks, and the region hosts wildlife, including the kiang and the marmot.
There is no aquatic life in Pangong Tso, but some perennial herbs and shrubs do grow around the lake.
The lake had an outlet to Shyok River, but it was dammed and had a 5 m thick layer of mud and laminated sand and is now a popular bird-watching location for tourists.
Can you Visit Pangong Lake
An Inner Line Permit is required to visit the lake for security reasons.
Pangong Tso is a popular pit stop in Ladakh and is a popular tourist attraction in India.
When you are on a trip to Ladakh, make sure you visit Pangong Tso, a lake where you can see towering reflections of the Himalayan peaks in the water.
The territory of Pangong Tso lake is disputed between China and India
In October 1962, during the Sino-Indian war, military action occurred in this area of the lake. This area has been contested between India and China since then.
Animal Life around the lake
The lake is a breeding ground for a variety of birds, primarily migratory birds, including seagulls, black-necked cranes, Brahmani ducks, and bar-headed geese.
This lake gets filled by various streams from Tibet and India, which form wetlands and marshes at its edges. It is also the first transboundary wetland under the Ramsar Convention in South Asia.