Each year, over 5 million visitors come to Ladakh, of which about 4 million are domestic travellers. While this seems like a lot – and the number is ever-increasing – it is one of the most sparsely populated regions in India. With the Great Himalayas to the south and the Kunlun mountain range to the north, there are few places on Earth with such spectacular natural beauty. Pangong Lake is perhaps the most beautiful place you will find. Camping there can really connect you with nature, providing a spiritual atmosphere like no other.
Why Pangong Lake?
At 150km in length (of which two-thirds are in China), Pangong Lake is situated in a vast and mesmerizing desert. Its shores are completely uninhabited and the only humans you will see are travellers and campers who can’t help but stop here to take in its beauty. The tranquil turquoise waters are reminiscent of a tropical island paradise, but the surrounding mountains remind you that this is India: the birthplace of some of the world’s most spiritual religions. Camping will allow you to connect this ancient spirituality and give you a break from modern stresses.
Be Prepared if Going Solo
When travelling alone, you need to take extra safety precautions to ensure you have everything you need. Due to an altitude of 4328 metres, the weather by Pangong Lake can become extremely cold, especially at night. Stay safe and warm throughout the night with the right kit, covers and insulated bedding.
You should bring more than enough food and water by sacrificing other items in your backpack. Clothes can be worn repeatedly (even if they start to stink a little), but the food is gone once it’s been eaten. You’re staying in a remote, rocky and potentially area, so always bring a well-stocked medical kit.
Professional Campsite Options
If you don’t feel like roughing it completely on your own, there are plenty of campsites around the lake. These will offer and safe and comfortable camping experience, but with all the same magical views you came for. You will be able to meet fellow travellers and swap stories for a more communal, yet still spiritual experience. Camping there can be an awe-inspiring, perhaps transcendental, experience. Make sure you are prepared for the cold and consider visiting a campsite to ensure your safety and make new friends when in the area.