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Good news for tourists: Pangong Lake opens after a year in Ladakh
1/13/2021 10:52:11 PM
Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Jan 13: The Pangong Lakh, which is world's highest salt lake, was shut for tourists last year because of the COVID-19 and border tensions between India and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, has been thrown open around after a year.
The incursions began in May last year in Galwan valley and Pangong Lake along the LAC in Ladakh. On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley, which led both the nuclear countries on the brink of war.
"The majestic Pangong Lake has been reopened for tourists starting January 10. So, get inner line permit (ILP) and visit this spellbinding lake," tweeted Ladakh Tourism, the official Twitter handle of the tourism department of Ladakh Union Territory.
Tourism is considered the backbone of Ladakh economy on which 70 percent people are directly or indirectly dependent.
For months, last year the area in and around the lake saw India and China engaging in some of the worst confrontations.
The face-off was giving sleepless nights to people of Ladakh, who are most dependent on tourism for their bread and butter.
Konchok Stanzin, the elected councilor of Chushul Constituency, which is also home to Pangong lake, said the lake was opened for tourists.
"It is open now. We expect good tourism ahead as tourists mostly visit Ladakh because of Pangong," Stanzin said.
Mohammad Ali, who is a tour operator, said the Pangong Lake is the most sought destination and majority of people visit Ladakh because of this famed lake. "Opening of Pangong will attract tourists in the coming season. We have good expectations as the COVID cases are also going down," he said.
Churchu, a resident of Ladakh the tourism in Ladakh was affected due to skirmishes along the LAC especially in Pangong.
"Pangong Lake is the prime tourist destination in Ladakh. Tourists visit Ladakh mostly to see this lake. As the lake has been thrown open, it will boost tourism in Ladakh," he said.
Pangong Tso (Tso in Tibetan language means lake) is a long narrow, deep, situated at a height of more than 14,000 ft in the Ladakh Himalayas. The 135 km-long lake sprawls over 604 sq km and is six km wide at its broadest point.
As things stand, 45 km-long western portion of the lake is under Indian control, while the rest is under China's control.
The Pangong Lake has become famous since Bollywood film 3 Idiots was shot there in 2009.
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