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Pangong Lake

Situated at an altitude of 4,250 meters, far away in barren land of Ladakh, Pangong Tso is one of the largest brackish lakes in Asia. In Tibetan language Pangong Tso means long, narrow, enchanted lake. It is 134 km long and extends from India to Tibet, but approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point.

The lake acts as an important breeding ground for a variety of birds including a number of migratory birds. During summer, the Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks are commonly seen here. The region around the lake supports a number of species of wildlife including the kiang and the Marmot. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water body. The lake is in the process of being identified under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance. This will be the first trans-boundary wetland in South Asia under the convention.

Pangong Tso can be reached in a five-hour drive from Leh, most of it on a rough and dramatic mountain road. 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.

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