Pangong Tso

  • IASbaba
  • May 23, 2022
  • 0
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In News: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that two bridges built by China in Pangong area, have continued to be under the illegal occupation of China since the 1960s

  • The bridge being referred to is a second structure that China is building, right next to the bridge it constructed earlier this year, in an area that lies along India’s claim line.
  • It is more than 20 km east of the point which India says marks the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  • The bridge is located around 20 km east of Finger 8 on the north bank of the lake, where India says is the point that marks the LAC.
  • The area has been under Chinese control since 1958, although it is just west of India’s claim line, which, according to India, is its international boundary.

It is just east of a ruin named Khurnak Fort, where China has major frontier defence bases. The region is called Rutong County by China.


  • Since the military standoff began in May 2020, India and China have not only worked to improve existing infrastructure, but have also built several new roads, bridges, landing strips along the entire frontier.
  • Towards the end of August 2020, India out manoeuvred China to capture the previously unoccupied heights of the Kailash Range on the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake.
  • Indian troops positioned themselves on the peaks there, including Magar Hill, Gurung Hill, Rezang La, Rechin La, and this allowed them to dominate the strategic Spanggur Gap — it can be used for launching an offensive
  • Indian troops had also positioned themselves above the Chinese troops in the Fingers area on the north bank.
  • The significance of these positions was one of the main factors that compelled China to negotiate a pullback.
  • Both countries agreed to a pullback from the north bank of the lake, and positions on the Kailash Range in the Chushul sub-sector south of Pangong Tso.
  • The first bridge was constructed more than 20 km east of Finger 8 on the lake’s north bank – India says Finger 8 denotes the LAC.
  • The Lake is overlooked by the Finger Area – a set of eight cliffs extending out of the Sirijap range (on the northern bank of Lake).

Pangong Tso

  • Pangong Lake is a long boomerang-shaped endorheic water body.
  • It is located at an elevation of roughly more than 4,200 meters (13,800 ft) above sea level.
  • It is a transborder lake spanning across eastern Ladakh and western Tibet, with a length of more than 135 km.
  • It is around 5 km wide at its broadest point.
  • Around 40% of the lake lies within the Indian territory, 50% in Tibet (China), and the rest 10% is reportedly disputed between the two and is a de facto buffer zone.
  • Practically China controls 2/3rd of the total length while the rest is controlled by India.

Eastern Part:

  • The easternmost part of the lake is freshwater in character.
  • Fishes, crustaceans, ducks, moss, and other aquatic flora & fauna too, inhabit this region.
  • It is an important breeding region for a number of migratory birds during summers.
  • Birds such as Bar Headed Goose and Brahmini Ducks are commonly found here during the warm weather season.

Western Part:

  • The westernmost part of the lake is extremely saline in character.
  • No fishes or flora are observed in or near the lake, however, a few crustaceans can be seen in the water.
  • The lake has over the past shrunken in size due to geological factors.
  • The lake has many islands within it.
  • One of the most famous islands of Pangong Tso Lake is the Bird Isle

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) Siachen Glacier is situated to the (2020)

  1. East of Aksai Chin
  2. East of Leh
  3. North of Gilgit
  4. North of Nubra Valley

Source: Indian Express


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