No more staying near Pangong Lake without prior booking, says Ladakh Tourism

The tourism department has directed tourists to make bookings for accommodations near Pangong Lake prior their trip to Ladakh to help avoid chaos and overcrowding.
Pangong lake
The serene Pangong Lake in Ladakh. Image: Shutterstock/chris piason.

Spectacularly mammoth mountains, white-washed gompas, rocky outcrops, fluttering prayer flags, and a sense of calm running through the dramatic moonscape — no wonder Ladakh is always brimming with crowds from around the world! Keeping in mind the growing number of tourists and their difficulties in finding accommodations, Ladakh Tourism has directed all travellers to come to Ladakh only after making a proper booking of stay, especially while visiting the Pangong Lake area.

A popular pick among tourists visiting Ladakh, Pangong Lake is surrounded by a notified wildlife sanctuary with limited accommodation options, making it even harder to find a place to spend a night. The authorities have also advised interested tourists to restrict their travel to some of the most popular higher altitude areas, including Pangong Lake, Khardung La, Chang La, Tso Moriri, and Pensi La before completing 48 hours of acclimitisation. This mandatory move came after a majority of tourists started experiencing acute mountain sickness. Reports also suggest that tourists’ death due to altitude-related complications were higher as compared to other years!

Pangong lake
The lake has become a popular site, ever since it was featured in Bollywood blockbuster, The 3 Idiots. Image: Shutterstock/Farris Noorzali.

The department has advised the visitors to make all necessary arrangements prior to their coming to Ladakh, to avoid any chaos and problems related to unavailability of accommodations after reaching the destination. The best suggested ways to get around in the arid high-altitude region, is by renting a local taxi, saving you a lot of hassle regarding local rules and regulations, and difficulties in driving in new and unfamiliar places. These travel advisories are introduced keeping in mind the safety of the tourists as well as the peace of the locals and surroundings.

As per the travel advisory statement, “Tourists or visitors are advised to contribute in maintenance of cleanliness at all tourist spots and along all routes. They are advised to respect nature, environment, local traditions and culture and follow all rules, regulations and (official) advisories.”

Sitting at an altitude of 4,350 metres, Pangong Tso is the world’s highest saltwater lake, shared by India and China.  The ever-changing, brackish lake has crystal-clear, turquoise waters encircling a mini-lagoon running along a long sand spit.

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