Why in news?
- The Indian and Chinese armies had clashed recently along the Pangong lake in Ladakh when the People’s Liberation Army of China tried to penetrate into the Indian side.
About the lake
- In the Ladakhi language, Pangong means extensive concavity and Tso is a lake in Tibetan.
- Pangong Tso is a long narrow, deep, endorheic (landlocked) lake situated at a height of more than 14,000 ft in the Ladakh Himalayas.
- During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
- It is not a part of the Indus river basin area.
- One-third of the water body, its 45 km stretch is in Indian control while the rest of the 90 km is under Chinese control.
- In the 1990s, when the Indian side laid claims over the area, the Chinese army built a metal-top road contending that it was part of the Aksai Chin.
- The brackish water lake freezes over in winter and becomes ideal for ice skating and polo.
- The legendary 19th century Dogra general Zorawar Singh is said to have trained his soldiers and horses on the frozen Pangong lake before invading Tibet.
- An Inner Line Permit is required to visit the lake as it lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control.