Located at an elevation of 5360 meters or 7 590 feet above the sea level, Chang La Pass is a mountain pass in Ladakh. Often claims are made that it is the second largest motorable road in the world.
Changala Baba is associated with this pass. There is a temple on top of the pass that worships Changala baba. The pass is also part of silk route that had more significant trade implications in the ancient history. Jurassic ammonoids have been found from this place making it ecologically and historically relevant.
LOCATION AND CLIMATE
Kharu and Sekti are the nearby villages. The entire pass is 15km long, and the roads are steep. It is on the way that connects Leh to Pangong Lake. The climate can go down up to -20 degree Celsius. Unlike the other passes, due to border disputes with China, this pass is maintained by the Indian Army. Altitude sickness is widespread. Hence one can stay for a maximum of 15-20 minutes on the pass, after which issues of breathlessness may start.
HOW TO REACH
One can reach Chang la through an Asphalt door that is Via Khari and Sekti. The roads are very challenging as it is edgy. There could be small streams that are forming in the pass during summer, making it a bit difficult for bike expeditions.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Summer is the best time to visit. The pass would be opened for visiting from Mid-May in October. However, May and June are the ideal months to be at this pass. Unlike the other passes, a road is opened all times of the year.
Pangong Lake is a closed lake in the Himalayas. The lake area is jointly shared by India and China. It is a landlocked lake, and the saline water entirely freezes during the time of winter. The wetlands of this lake are of tourist attraction. Numerous ducks and gulls could be observed on the lake. Kiang and Himalayan marmots also could be explored making it a favorite destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Tso Moriri Lake is also called as the mountain lake. The place is a wetland and home to many kinds of exotic plant and animal species. Tso Moriri is the largest of high altitude lakes. The water is alkaline. 14 species of endangered birds are found to have their habitat at Tso Moriri, making its conservation extremely relevant. Some of the bird species that could be found at Tso Morir are a Black-headed crane; bar-headed geese, Brown-headed gulls, black-necked grebe, etc. Other than this, Snow Leopard and Tibetan wolf are also found in this region. The reckless use of the lake and rush of travelers and ecological damage caused by them are the primary threats faced by the lake. WWF has taken many initiatives towards the protection of this beautiful lake.
Hemis Gompa is one of the most famous monasteries of Ladakh. The festival that happens annually at this monastery invited million of tourists to the place. The place was built much before the 11th century. The mystic mask dancers are the peculiarity of this festival.It is beautiful and mysterious, all at the same time. This is also part of a Tantric tradition that exists in many monasteries of India.
Yak ride is another major attraction for tourists at Namika La
There is a war memorial near Tangtse town near the Pangong Lake. Photographs of Martyrs who were killed during a war is kept for display.
WHERE TO STAY
Tangtse is the nearest town wherein homestays and hotels are available.
Other than this the major passes in the area are Khardung La that has Siachen glacier along its road.it is also the gateway to Nubra valley. It is known as the pass of Lower valley and is a bikers paradise. Other passes are Rohtang pass, Wari La, Namshang la, Polakang la, Kanglajal la, Naki la, etc.
A little bit of background research is always helpful when you visit these passes.