Yamdrok Yumtso, Tibet

Holy Yamdrok Yumtso is the largest freshwater lake at the south foot of the Himalayas with an area of about 638 square kilometers, it has a length of 130 kilometers and a width of 70 kilometers. Its surface is about 4,441 meters above sea level. It is quite deep as the average depth is about 20-40 meters with the deepest point almost 60 meters below the surface. Yamdork-tso is shaped like a coiling scorpion. It doubles back on itself on the western side, effectively creating a large island within its reaches. For Tibetans, it is one of the three holy lakes (the others are Namtso and Manasarovar) and home to wrathful deities. Devout Tibetan pilgrims circumambulate the lake in around seven days.

15yamdrok01Yamdrok Yumtso views from Kamba-la Pass (4700m)

The Yamdrok Yumtso Lake has some beautiful and vivid names like Coral Lake or Green Jade Lake. The name Coral Lake is derived from its irregular shape.  This lake has many short streams winding into the nearby mountains and it appears much like the coral. The name Green Jade Lake implies its beautiful appearance for the pure clean water of the lake is as smooth as the surface of fine jade. Lying under the sunshine, the peaceful water seems like a bright mirror. The reflection of sunshine in different depths lends the lake gorgeous and mysterious colors. Overlooked from the nearby high mountain, one could see the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, like a holy sapphire, set in the group of mountains. In the lake, are dotted several small islands. On the islands, fertile grasses and groups of wild birds betray peaceful but vigorous natural scenery. Embraced by the uninterrupted snow-capped mountains and lying under the clear blue sky, the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake appears very holy and evokes solemnity.


As one of the three holy lakes, the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is said to be the female Guardian of Buddhism in Tibet. People here believe that it will bless and protect them. Every year, many devotional followers in Tibet or from other places would come here for pilgrimage. Some of them start on foot and give one prostration every three steps even from hundreds of kilometers away.



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