The journey to Pangong Tso starts from Nubra Valley. We had a lovely day among the sand dunes of Nubra.
Drive from Nubra to Pangong Lake
The drive from Nubra to Pangong takes you through a wide varied landscape. The Shyok river stays with us for most part of the ride.
Once the river leaves us and goes on its own way near Durbuk, the road too becomes quite bad. In fact, at certain points, it was almost impossible to make out where the road was.
After a few hours we reached the Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary. This is the only place where you can see some vegetation. I caought some Pashmina goats grazing happily in the meadows
This little guy almost head butted me… he was probably taking care of the herd.
You can also find some horses lazying around in the cool breeze.
The roads near the santuary are well maintaned. The landscape also changes to a more pleasant view.
And then we see the first views of the Pangong Lake.
We were staying in Spangmik village, but we first hit the popular viewing point, so we stopped there for a few minutes. It was around 2 pm and it was perfect to capture the beautiful lake in the brilliant light.
We moved around the edge of the huge lake taking shots of the crystal clear waters of the lake.
You can find Yaks available for rides if you want one.
You can see the changing colors of the water in the lake. It is greening towards the edges and more blue as you move your eyes towards the center.
After capturing some really amazing photos of the lake we moved on towards Spangmik village.
On the way we took more pictures of the mesmerizing lake.
Just before reaching the village, we passed an area with wide open space in front of the lake. Tsering, our chauffeur informed us that he will be taking us there in the evening, which is another wonderful place to enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
By 3 pm we had reached our lodgings at Spangmik.
It was May and still the mountains tops were covered in Snow.
After refreshing ourselves, we were ready for the second round. As promised Tsering took us to this lovely viewpoint from where you could capture the lake in its full beauty.
Ranita modeled for me as I captured some amazing potraits. It was only 4 pm but the breeze had picked up and it was lethally cold. I was somewhat safe in my blazer, but Ranita was having a tough time in the cold.
I quickly captured a shot of us before the cold really started to hurt.
With the Sun behind the mountains, the lake had turned into a deep blue color.
Shivering from cold, we hurried back to our tents. The tents lie at the edge of the banks. After a warm tea, we walked around in the evening.
The strong chilly breeze drove us inside the comfort of the tent. The night was extremely cold and even though I want to capture the stars over Pangong Tso, my body was too cold to come out.
In hind-sight, I should have stayed back for a day, but with a tight schedule, we had to move back to Leh the next day.
The light is extremely bright in the mornings, so carry your eye shades.
We passed the lovey viewpoint we stopped at the day before for a few minute, but the light was too strong to capture good photos.
By 10 pm we are back on the road to Leh.
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Credits: The historical information presented herein is gathered mostly from Wikipedia and local guides. Although Wikipedia has been known to be factually correct, the narrative their editors set is open to debate.