The Epic Road trip from Leh to Pangong Lake is straight out of a fairy tale</strong>. A place of purple mountains where there’s something new to view with every turn the road takes. It is truly the stuff of dreams. Ladakh’s soundlessness, its cobalt blue skies, bright rainbows, and glistening lakes are pure magic.
A road trip to Ladakh is no small feat though. This road trip boasts of iconic landmarks such as the highest motorable road in the world, some of the highest mountain passes in the world, splendid scenic drives in the remote regions. It is a truly a road trip like no other.
The Epic journey from Leh to Pangong Tso or Lake by Road trip is about 217 Kms. I was here nearly the end of winter time when the incidence of melting snow along the road and higher incidence of avalances. One way, it took us about 5-6 hours to get to the Pangong lake and another 5-6 hours drive on the way back to Leh. Because of the time constraint, we only stayed for about 1 hour in the lake.
This road trip is like an adrenaline type of adventure. There are dubious roads, bumpy stretches, and unpaved mountain passes by the dozen. Expect to encounter slippery roads, potholes, unpaved roads, and stretches of rubble and grit. It was a scary steep climb as the road is narrow, steep and most are not paved. Thus the car seems like crawling but steady while driving in some road. Having said that, if you enjoy driving and are fond of adventurous road trips, it truly doesn’t get better than this.
From Leh to Pangong Lake, we had to pass through this mountain pass which is 3rd highest in the word. The temperature was -6 C even during June and Oxygen level was really low. I was physically sick from altitude sickness and previous gastro upset the previous day, that I didn’t eat breakfast nor drink water nearly the whole day, which makes me more sick going to this place. It was tough for me but I don’t have any choice as this was the last day of my stay in Ladakh or go back to visit this beautiful place at unknown times in the future. And I can’t alter my fixed travel itinerary. So regardless I was sick, I decided to go ahead and took this road trip.
But it’s all worth it. It’s an ultra-scenic drive I have ever been to – one of the prettiest I’ve been on anywhere in the world. Next time that I am coming back in this place, I have to plan a much longer stay and different itinerary than what I have this last time. It would have been ideal, it I didn’t crammed my trip and stayed longer in Leh to acclimatise to high altitude gradually. Next time, I am going to stay for few nights near the pangong lake to really soak with the beauty of this place, rather than going back to Leh on the same day.
This road trip is one of the most scenic in the world – there are incredible panoramas at every corner. Have a look to get an overview of this place taken from my mobile snapsnots while I’m on the car.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
– Hunter S. Thompson