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Spangmik Village: Visit the Region in Both Summers and Winters

Spangmik Village is a remote village situated 156 km east of Leh, on the banks of famous Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh region. The village is located on a narrow stretch of land between the Chang Chenmo mountains and the Pangong lake. The Spangmik village is very close to the Tibetan border and an army check post prevents any civilians from going any further towards the border.

Unlike some other regions in Ladakh that get cut off during winters, Spangmik Village remains accessible throughout the year. It remains connected with Leh through the Chang La pass throughout the year. Since the Spangmik village is very close to the border and the Indian Army makes sure that this place is always accessible despite the difficult winter conditions. Visitors can, therefore, visit the Spangmik village both in summers and as well as in winters.

SPANGMIK VILLAGE: AN OVERVIEW

Location Around 7 km from the Pangong Lake
Accessibility Throughout the year
Best Time to Visit Summers

Winters

Accommodation Options Hotels, Camps and Homestays
Temperature Summers: -5 degrees C to 30 degrees C

Winters: -20 degrees C to 10 degrees C

Mobile Connectivity BSNL
Things to Carry Summers- Woolens

Winters- Heavy Woolens and Jackets

Ideal stay time 2-3 days

How to reach Spangmik Village?

Spangmik Village is situated at a distance of about 154 km from Leh. It takes 4 to 5 hours to reach the village and the Pangong Lake from Leh. The entire journey from Leh to Pangong Tso is splendid. It will be a good option to stay overnight at Spangmik Village and witness the beauty of Pangong Lake.

There are 2 routes to reach the Spangmik Village. It needs to be mentioned here that each year both route 1 & 2 are constructed all over again for safe travel by the Border Road Organization. This is because, once the snow starts to melt and Shyok River is in its full strength, this road can’t be accessed.

Route One Leh via Chang La or from Nubra Valley via Shyok Villages and Tangste.
Route Two Leh – Khardungla – Nubra Valley – Agham – Shyok Village – Durbuk – Tangtse- Pangong Tso – Chang La

Note: Route no. 2 can be accessed only in the early season when snow from mountains haven’t started to melt and Shyok River is not in its best appearances. This whole stretch has various water crossing (some nasty ones), loose rocks, sharp stones, big rocks underwater crossings or standing water or sometimes even Shyok river itself on the road. However its worth your time and has some of the best landscape sitings in the complete Leh journey. Previously, this route uses to be challenging due to sharp stones and big boulders. This, however, is a thing of the past. It is now 85% road and 15% uneven terrain. Make sure your driver is familiar with this route.

spangmik village

The route leading to Spangmik village is breathtaking. Photography by Thiy

Inner Line Permit for Visiting Spangmik Village and Pangong Lake 

An Inner Line Permit (ILP)  is a travel document issued by the Government of India. It allows visitors to travel to a protected area for a limited period of time. Obtaining the ILP is essential for all the citizens who do not belong to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Foreigners travelling to Ladakh are required to obtain the Ladakh Protected Area Permit (PAP).

The PAP is required for visiting areas like Nubra Valley, Khardung La, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Dah, Hanu Villages, Man, Merak, Nyoma, Loma Bend, Turtuk, Tyakshi, Chusul, Hanle, Digger La etc.

Spangmik Village: Know your hosts- The ‘Changpas’

Spangmik Village is home to a community people called ‘Changpas’. They are native to the Changthang valley of the Ladakh region. Only a handful of families reside in the village. This sparse population of the Spangmik village mainly depends on agriculture and goat rearing for income. Much of the work happens during the short summer season when they cultivate crops like Barley and peas, take their pashmina goats out for grazing and make preparations and collect necessities for the long winter ahead.
The pashmina goats are an important source of income for the people of Spangmik village. The wool from these are goats are bought by traders mostly from North India and is sent to Kashmir and Himachal where it is woven into fine cashmere shawls. These shawls are then sold all over the world.
Summers is also the time when tourist season is at its peak. The residents are also busy looking after guests staying in Spangmik homestays and those visiting the Pangong Lake.
During winters, some of these people in Spangmik village move to warmer places. For others who stay, there is not much to do and people mostly stay indoors, attend to their guests and also take care of their goats.

spangmik village

Only a handful of families reside in Spangmik village. Photography by Nihongo

Spangmik Village: What to expect during Winters?

Winters like in other parts of Ladakh are harsh in Spangmik Village. The temperatures can go down below minus 25 degree Celsius during that time. Off late, more and more adventurous travellers have started to visit the Spangmik village and Pangong Tso during winters. Some families have turned their homes into ‘homestays’ for travellers.

Things to Do in Spangmik Village

Pangong Tso: The main Attraction of Spangmik Village

No trip to Leh-Ladakh is complete without visiting the Pangong Lake. “Pangong Tso” literally translates to is “high grassland lake” and is situated at a height of about 14,270 ft. It is  134 km long and extends from India to China. This saline water lake is 5 km wide at its broadest point.

#Tip: An important thing to remember here is that the lake changes colours and therefore you must plan at least one night stay here at Spangmik village to witness the changing colours.

spangmik village

Pangong Tso is the main attraction of Spangmik Village. Photography by Gautham Navada

Summers: May-September

Summers is considered the best time to visit Leh-Ladakh and Pangong Lake. The skies are clear and it is during this time that you can see the lake change turn from one shade to another.

Enjoy the cold breeze as you stroll around the lake. At night if the skies are clear you’ll get to witness the infinite spread of stars.

#Tip: Although it is officially summer time do carry warm clothes as it will get chilly in the evenings and at night

Winters: October-March

The Pangong lake freezes completely or partially (depending on which nth you are visiting) during the winters. The temperature can get even below -25 degree C. This is the best time to visit for the brave hearted who are ready to battle the extreme harsh temperature of Ladakh.

Take a Walk on the frozen lake, and it is a different feeling altogether. Sometimes visitors can also can be seen driving a car on the lake!

#Tip: Since the temperature is extremely low, wear layers of protective clothing. Also, carry some snacks as the food outlets near the lake are closed during winters.

Other things to do in and near Spangmik Village

Since the population is too small, the Spangmik Village does not have a Monastery of its own unlike other places in Ladakh.

If you choose to stay here for more than a day you can just wander around the place, chat with the locals and understand their way of life. The simple lifestyle of this remote village will leave you in awe of the seemingly unreal world. Spending some time in Spangmik village will make you forget all about the hustle bustle of city life.

Enjoy the beautiful views of the Chang-Chenmo mountains Range and snow-capped peaks of the Pangong Range from the Spangmik village. Several glaciers located on the northwest side of the Pangong Lake are also visible from the village.

spangmik village

Gaze at the sky full of stars at night. Photography by Suket Dedhia

Accommodation Options in Spangmik Village

Homestays in Spangmik village

Many families in the Spangmik village have turned their homes into homestays.  These cosy homes are the best when it comes to choosing the best accommodation options at Spangmik village. The kitchen is generally also the living room where you can sip tea and catch up with fellow travellers and your hosts. This area is kept cozy  with a fireplace cum cooking system that also works like a centralised heating system for the room.

#Tip: If you have a choice, choose to stay in one of the Spangmik homestays. Although they lacks any kind of luxury, they will give you a taste of local culture. By choosing to stay here you will also contribute to the local economy.

#Tip: If you are visiting during winters, these are the only places that will remain open.

Samosa and Dolkar

Spangmik Hotels

There are a few budget hotels near the Pangong Lake in Spangmik Village

Spangmik Tents

In Spangmik village,  one can also like in the tents on the banks of the lake Pangong. Most of the tents are clean, comfortable and warm. They also provide a spectacular view- the lake with the barren mountain backdrop.

However,  the tariff is much higher than all other accommodation available in the area.

spangmik village

Many families have turned their homes into homestays.  They are wonderful hosts. Photography by Nihongo

Food at Spangmik Village

There are a lot of food options available to travellers in Spangmik Village during the summer time. These are mostly concentrated near Pangong lake. You can enjoy Tibetan food including  Momos and Thupka. Other than this, Aloo Paratha, Dal Chawal, Bread omelette, Maggi noodles and soups are easily available.

However, during the winter most of these eating joints remain closed. But you can savour the simple home cooked Ladakhi food served at your homestays.

Spangmik Village is a must visit place on your Leh-Ladakh Trip. Whether it is summers or winters this place offers you a welcomes splendid landscape. Spend some time here and appreciate the beauty and simple living. 


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