- by Caroline
- Last Updated: 2019-12-28
As a wonderland, Tibet has attracted thousands of travelers by its stunning landscape and unique mysterious culture. Besides the highest mountain in the world – Mt. Everest, the lakes are also highlights of Tibet tours. The lakes in Tibet have a distinct charm that is different from other lakes on the planet, not only because of the high altitude, but also the religious overtones. Waters are the origin of life, especially when facing the extremely bad natural conditions, the lakes mean a lot for the Tibetan people. All the lakes on the plateau are considered sacred places. So, let’s talk about the top three holy lakes in Tibet.
In the Tibetan language, “Namtso” means “the lake from Heaven”, it’s located 240 kilometers away from Lhasa. The surface of the lake is 70km from east to west, 30km from south to north. Covers around 1940 square kilometers, Namtso is the largest saltwater lake in Tibet and the second largest in China. With an altitude of 4718 meters, it’s also the highest lake in the world. According to the record of historical documents, Namtso looks like the blue sky falls down to the ground, that’s why it was called “Heavenly Lake”. But the Tibetan nomads believed the name was given for the position of the lake, it appears located in the sky as the high altitude. In the south of Namtso, there is perennially snow-topped Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain, which is the eternal company of Namtso; while in the north and west, there is endless grassland where you can see yaks and goats herding by the Tibetan nomads. In legends, Namtso is the daughter of Magmatron and married Nyenchen Tanglha. She has three eyes and her body is cyan. She was riding a blue dragon, with an Aquarius in her right hand and a mirror in the left hand when the day she came from the sky. The laypeople were all shocked by her beauty. She transformed into a large lake to protect the Tibetan people while her husband turned into the mountain protecting her.
Tibet is considered as the roof of the world; Ngari is the roof of Tibet. 2000km away from Lhasa, Ngari is also the holiest place for the Tibetans, where there are the holy Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. It’s the holy place for Buddhism, Hinduism and Bon Religion. Millions of devotees come here doing kora every year. The complete religious circle around the lake is about 90 kilometers, at an altitude of 4500 meters. In the Tibetan language, “Manasarovar” means “the invincible green lake”. The Buddhists claim that Manasarovar is the holiest lake, all troubles and sins can be washed away if you take a bath in it.
If you can view Yamdroktso from the sky, you can see it just like a turquoise earring. “Yamdroktso” means “the turquoise on the meadow” in the Tibetan language. Due to its amazing scenery, it’s known as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. According to the Tibetan myths, a long time ago, a beautiful fairy lost her earring by accident when she was visiting Tibet. Then the earring turned into a turquoise lake and that is Yamdroktso. When the sunshine jumps on the surface of the lake, the color keeps changing, you will be intoxicated on this fantastic scene.
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