WATER BODIES IN LADAKH
The state of Jammu Kashmir abounds in water bodies. The beautiful land is situated in the lap of the mighty Himalayan range. The Himalayan range of mountains remains snow clad throughout the year. An enormous area of the mountains is covered with glaciers which cater to the need of water to a large chunk of population of the Asian continent. The water originating from these glaciers gives rise to a number of lakes and rivers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Like any other Himalayan region, Ladakh too has got its fair share of lakes and rivers. In fact, has got the most number of water bodies among the three divisions of Jammu Kashmir. It has a total of 665 small and large water bodies out of a total of 1230 water bodies in the state.
The water bodies in Ladakh region are a source of water to the otherwise deserted land. Most of the population lives in the river valleys. The water bodies are absolutely stunning and are spread over a large area. Some of the most beautiful lakes and most fierce rivers are in the region. The most famous lake is the Pangong Lake. It is a very beautiful lake with crystal blue water and is situated at a high altitude.
The major lakes in Ladakh are:
Pangong Lake / tso is located in the upper reaches of the Himalayan range of mountains. The lake lies at an altitude of 13,900 ft. The lake is 140 km long and 5-6 km at its widest. It is the largest brackish water lake of Asia. Only one third of the Lake lies in Indian Ladakh, while the rest of it lies in Tibet on the other side of the border. The lake is really beautiful. Set with the backdrop of the Chang-Chenmo range of sandy hills, the placid water of the lake looks mesmerizing. The colour of the lake depends on the condition of the sky. The colour keeps on changing from turquoise blue to deep blue throughout the day. The Chang-Chenmo, a range of ochre sandy hills encircling it from the north, provides a spectacular backdrop to the lake's placid water which changes colour from turquoise blue to deep blue, depending upon the condition of the sky.
Pangonglake is located at five hours drive from Leh. The way to Pangonglake is also beautiful and the drive passes through the third highest motor-able pass in the world, Changla. The drive is pleasant and is dominated by a magnificent panoramic of picturesque lehLadakh landscape. The pictures of the lake remain embedded in one’s mind for a long time. Sunrise and sunset here are out of the world and to capture that magical beauty, an overnight stay is a must.
Tsomoriri Lake is another beautiful lake of the region. The lake is located in the Changthang region of Ladakh at a distance of about 250 km from Leh. This is largest of the high altitude lakes in India and is completely in India territory, unlike Pangong Lake. This is one of the most beautiful Lakes in India with calm, serene, pristine and scintillating waters. The Lake is sacred to Ladakhis. Tsomoriri is a part of the wetland reserve under Ramsar site and is better known as Tsomorir Wetland Conservation Reserve. So pitching of camps or tents is not possible. The land finds inhabits a large number of birds and small plants. The lake is located close to the Line of Control and hence a permit is needed to access the lake.