Winter on the high-altitude Changthang plateau of eastern Ladakh is undeniably harsh. Local Changpa nomads say that it can get so bitterly cold that if you spit, your saliva will freeze before it hits the ground. The transformation of the icy landscape and its great lakes, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, and Tso Kar is fascinating. Unlike the mountains or valleys, the lakes change on a daily basis as different patterns, shapes, and colours play on their surface. It is a mystical world that is worth braving temperatures as low as -48°C and freezing winds of 90 kph.
Appeared in the December 2013 issue as “Changthang’s Ice Age”.
is a photojournalist who has spent the better part of the past 17 years documenting the lives of the nomadic communities in India. He is the author of "Ladakh Trance Himalaya" (2009). His commendations include the Humanity Photo Awards.
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