Pangong Lake is a famous border lake. It lies to the north of the Rutog County (not far from Rutog Rock Paintings) and extends westward across the border. “Pangong” comes from the Indian language, meaning “a patch of meadow”. In the Tibetan language, this lake is called “Cuomu Angla Renbo Tso”, which means “Long-Necked Crane Lake”.
Most part of the Pangong Lake lies in China, with only a small part in Kashmir. From east to west, the lake is 155 km long, with an average breadth of 2-5 km. The broadest place from north to south is only 15 km. It is formed with 3 narrow lakes linked together. The 593-square-kilometer lake is 4,242 meters above sea level, with the deepest point reaching 57 meters.
The highlight about this lake is that its eastern part inside China is fresh water, while the western part in Kashmir is salt water. Although the fresh water part is crystal clear and the water tastes sweet, there is only sparse vegetation on the bank. On the contrary, the salt water part has reared lush meadows on the bank.
The lake is famous for the schizothoracin, a kind of carp unique in Tibet. The fish is known as “Crack-Bellied Fish” because at its anus and anal fins large scales that appear like a long crack long the belly. This fish has evolved to meet the harsh conditions of the Tibetan Plateau.
At the lake center is a small island at 300 meters long and 200 meters broad. Bar-headed goose, brown-headed gull, black-necked crane and nearly 20 other species of birds dwell on this ideal resort. When they all gather, the sky is throbbing with wings and ringing with songs. Nearby the lake’s banks are sites of some prehistoric tribes.
The first glimpse of the tranquil, azure blue water and shaky lakeshore remains deeply in the memory of tourists. You will realize that the undisturbed animals and the undeveloped landscape are the most precious pictures.