Pangong Tso in Ladakh shot to fame back in 2008 with the release of the film, 3 idiots. And since then, the lake has become a sought after destination for nearly everyone who considers themselves a traveller or a tourist. Hence, Pangong Tso lake is a default on everyone’s list.
Now that depends entirely on your purpose of travel and the time of the year you decide to travel in. Choosing the correct time to travel is vital, since this lake is flooded with tourists during summers. So if you are planning on getting some peace, then skip the months of June, July and August.
The lake is huge and regardless of the number of tourist by the lake, there will always be a place you and your group can make your chill spot. But that’s provided you have the time to chill and are ready to walk a bit away from the crowd.
Pangong Tso has had the same hype for all these years, nearly 15 years on because no matter when you go or regardless of the camera you carry along, you will end up getting one of the best nature pictures of your entire life. This is purely because the lake looks different in each image you will take, depending on the lighting of the sun.
If you are planning a rush trip to Leh-Ladakh then the journey to Pangong will kill you. Expect to drive a minimum for five to seven hours one way to reach the lake. Then another couple of hours to chill by the lake and then you have to do the very same journey back to Leh, the same evening.
Over the years even though, Pangong Tso has been a thriving hot spot for tourists. The place has become a commercial hub with various food stalls and photo boots from the movie, 3 idiots which have been installed out there to help boost the income via the tourist. So make sure you don’t fall into a tourist trap unless you are really interested in getting in.
So is Pangong Tso still worth the hype???
If Pangong Tso is or will be the first Himalayan high altitude lake that you will be visiting in your life then, yes, the lake will blow your mind and is worth every bit of the hype that comes with it. But if you have been to any other high altitude lake then Pangong Tso might be a bit of a disappointment. Since it’s just way too commercial and you’ll always see cars and people all around the lake.
If you are expecting the place to be empty then Pangong isn’t that lake. Regardless of the time of the year, the lake will always have some tourist during the summer.