Ladakh: A Confluence of Rivers and Lakes

We visited Pangong Tso/Lake in Ladakh in 2017, exactly three years ago. Today it has become a site of conflict. Remembering the beautiful serene view and time spent at the Pangong Lake https://jeemolunni.com/2017/06/02/ladakh-a-confluence-of-rivers-and-lakes/

We reached the spot and it was incredibly beautiful. It was also freezing in May, as a cold wind was blowing from the West. We ran back to the car to get our winter gear, sweater, jacket, muffler, gloves!! 

It was only 4.00 p.m. and the wind had dropped. We were very close to the lake near the village and decided to walk down to it. The scenery with the lake, mountains, waves, rocks on the shore was magnificent. The view was panoramic. We found a comfortable rock and sat down on it to enjoy the calm, serene, atmosphere of the Pangong Lake!

The water was clear and you could see the large rocks and pebbles at the bottom. The waves lapped against the shore. The water was deep blue at the extreme end near the mountains, lighter shades of blue in the middle and nearly sea-green close to the shore. I was mesmerized as usual by the expanse of water and lulled by the sound of the little waves breaking on the shore. I needed to capture it for posterity and so here is a short video. I was adventurous enough to touch the cold water and run when the waves touched my toe. A little, probably Scandinavian, kid was wading in the water in shorts with his mother encouraging him to do so! My partner tried his favourite trick. He picked up some flat stones and tried to throw it flat across the lake. First attempt one bounce, second attempt two bounces, and third attempt two bounces again. Not Bad! Bravo! 

The changing colour of the Lake and of the Changchenmo Range of mountains to the North as the sun fell on different parts was equally mesmerizing! I remembered our Scientist friend who urged that children should be taken to the ocean and mountains to get the ‘sense of infinity’. The snow covered mountains on the Eastern side of the Lake are in China, the larger part of the Lake being with them. This apparently is the reason why no boating or any sports activity is allowed on the Lake.

Unni-Verse

Ladakh is a ‘Cold Desert’, but the snow-capped high mountains ensure that there is a stream of water trickling down during part of the year. These form little rivulets, streams, rivers and lakes. We witnessed a confluence of streams, rivers and lakes in our week in Ladakh. As expressed in my blog post on “Soothing water front experience”, I love large bodies of water and ‘blue space’, water or sky! Not all water bodies in Ladakh were blue due to the continuous erosion of the soil and rock from the surrounding mountains. But still their effect was captivating.

Our first view of the meandering River Indus was from the top of the Spituk Gompa, a Ge-lug-pa Monastry built by King Gras-Pa-Bumlde in the 14th Century. On one side of the hill was the view of the Leh airport and on the other was the meandering River Indus with a…

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