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The Namtso Lake

 

Namtso, another holy lake in Tibet, is located near Damxung. 4718 meters (15475 feet) above sea level and covering 1900 square kilometers (735 square miles), the lake is the highest saltwater lake in the world and the second largest saltwater lake in China. The snow capped Mt. Nyainqentanglha, considered as the son of Namtso and leader of sacred mountains, soars up to sky beside her. Singing streams converge into the clean sapphire blue lake, which looks like a huge mirror framed and dotted with flowers.

Meaning Heavenly Lake in Tibetan, Namtso is respected as one of the four holiest lakes and the seat of Paramasukha Chakrasamvara by Buddhist pilgrims. Buddhists believe Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Vajras will assemble to hold religious meeting at Namtso in the year of sheep on Tibetan calendar. Circumambulation around the lake at the right moment equals 100 thousand times of that in normal years. Hence thousands of pilgrims from every corner of Tibet and others places such as Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan, cluster to Namtso after long and hard treks. On the four sides of the lake stand four monasteries, which have Buddhist meanings.

Five islets, planting themselves in the vast sapphire blue lake, is said to be the incarnation of the Buddha of Five Directions. Every pilgrims circumambulating the lake will piously worship them. Those islets are famous for their topography, covered by weird but vivid stones. Producing abundant fish and lodging many birds and beasts, the lake is also a heaven for animals and plants.

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