The famous Pangong lake in Ladakh has been reopened for tourists amid ongoing border tension between India and China along the Line of Actual Control.

Those planning to visit Pangong Lake have to apply for Inner Line Permit (ILP) at DC office Leh near polo-ground, according to an official press release. The tourists can also apply for the ILP online. Pangong Lake, situated at an altitude of 13,862 ft, is one of the highest altitude lakes in the world that is filled with saline water. The saline water lake freezes completely during winters and also known to change colours at different times.

Located in a disputed territory, one-third area of the Pangong Lake lies within India and the two-third portion lies with Tibet and is controlled by China.

The movement of people was restricted in the region last year after the violent face-off between the Indian Army and the PLA along the Line of Actual Control.

As per a TOI report, China has continued to allow visitors to its side of Pangong and the India’s decision to reopen the lake is being seen as a tourism offensive against it.

India-China border row

India and China have been locked in a high-altitude standoff in eastern Ladakh since May last year. The simmering border tension between the two flared up manifold in June when troops of both countries engaged in a violent face-off in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, in which 20 Indian soldiers were martyred and several others injured.  

Since then, the two countries have held several rounds of military and diplomatic level talks in the past six months to end the stalemate but failed to achieve any major breakthrough.  

The Ministry of External Affairs announced on Friday that both countries have maintained communication to avoid any “misunderstandings and misjudgments” and achieve complete disengagement at all friction areas along the LAC.

Replying to a query on the status of talks with the Chinese side over the border row, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “Both sides have maintained communication at the ground level to avoid any misunderstandings and misjudgments even as discussions continue for achieving complete disengagement in all friction areas in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements to restore peace and tranquility.”