Nature and Travel - Pradeep Sanyal

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Pangong Lake (Tso).

Pangong Tso (or Pangong Lake; Tso: Ladakhi for lake) is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). Pangong Lake lies in the northeast of Leh. This famous blue blackish lake of Pangong is 5-6 km wide and over 144 km long with half of it running to the other side of the Indo-China border. The long and narrow lake lies in the neighborhood of the famous Chushul Mountains. The size of the lake is best inferred from the probable etymology of its name, Pangong, which means extensive concavity. The mirror-calm water is cold, clear, and extremely salty, holding sufficient quantity of lime to form a calcareous deposit, which cements the pebbles together in patches of concrete on its bank. It is believed that there is a large amount of minerals in the basin of the lake, which result from the melting of the snow. The water sparkles in distinct shades of blue, green, purple, and violet, being transparent to a good depth. With ease, one can pick pebbles from under the water, and if one is lucky enough, a fossil shell in the clay deposits may be a rewarding find.

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