Vintage pictures of the Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso

Following up on the post ‘Vintage photos of Ladakh‘, here is another one, this time, the vintage pictures of the Pangong Tso lake,  in the Changtang region, from southeastern Ladakh in Kashmir, India, extending into Tibet. Situated at a height of about 14,270ft (4,350m), the Pangong-Tso “long, narrow, enchanted lake” in Tibetan, is one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world, extending from India to Tibet. (Tibet has a major part of the lake, now in China Occupied Kashmir, and China occupied Tibet) The Line of Control passes through the lake. These pictures were taken by Satya Rao Komanna on multiple rides to the Ladakh region between the years 1997 and 2009. In 1997, at a time when access to Pangong – Tso had just opened and the road across the Chang-La was still a nightmare, Satya takes his legendary RD350, and in later trips, a Honda XR600 out on an adventure. Take a look at the pictures below!

All the pictures were shot on a film reel camera, and scanned for uploading. All credits go to Satya for the pictures.

Chang-La on RD350
Atop ‘Changla Pass’ en-route to Pangong-Tso!
Pangong Tso Ladakh India Yamaha
The then serene, absolutely un-populated Pangong-Tso!
Pangong Tso ladakh Yamaha India
The mighty expanse of Pangong Tso disappearing into Tibet/COK (Chinese Occupied Kashmir)!
Yamaha at Pangang Tso
My Yamaha poses against Pangong Tso!
RD350 Pangong Tso Ladkah, India
Through thick and thin with my ‘faithful’ RD350!
Pangong Tso Yamaha RD 350 Border with China Ladakh, India
The then ‘deserted’ Pangong-Tso periphery!
pangong Tso, mountains, Ladakh, India, Changtang
The blue and mighty and “immensely beautiful” Pangong Tso!
RD 350 Pangong Tso
The road (so called!) to Pangong Tso; circa 1997! The ol’ RD’s never ever were meant for such sections but, but, but?! 😉

And here are some images from 2009. Satya still continues shooting pictures with a film camera!

Honda XR600R Pangong Tso, India
My Honda XR600R on the shores of Lake Pangong Tso @ 14, 500 feet!
Pangong Tso India
Bore-well & hand-pump at Pangong Tso!
Pangong Tso Army base camp India
The mighty mountains around the Pangong Tso with the Army base camp as also the campsite for tourists!
Honda XR600R at Pangong Tso, Spangmik
XR meets the mighty Pangong Tso @ Spangmik!
Pangong-Tso Honda XR600R India
Exploring the shores along the Pangong-Tso @ 14,500 feet!
Pangong Tso Offroading near Spangmik
Off roading to reach the shores of the mighty Pangong Tso near Spangmik!

In a time where beautifully captured and post processed pictures from DSLRs rule the roost, old pictures like these are a refreshing change.

Take a look at some vintage pictures of Ladakh from 1994, when Satya took his RD into places not meant for the bike to go to. From the past to the present: Read about an amazing Pan-India motorcycle trip by yours truly! Ever wondered how Ladakh was in the years of the 1930s and the 1940s? Read this to find out! Witness the beauty of Ladakh in this timelapse video

Disclaimer: Cover image source. All other images and captions belong to Satya Rao Kommana and are reproduced with permission. Please contact Satya directly for more information, or to share the pictures.


4 thoughts on “Vintage pictures of the Pangong Tso

  1. I have always craved to travel like Mr. Satya Rao. He is a lucky man who followed his dream. Nothing is better than travelling and exploring and travelling in the motorbike is the best. You get to learn so much. Thank you for such breath taking pictures.
    Priya Bhawana

    Liked by 1 person

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