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Yamdrok Yumtso Lake

 

Yamdrok Yumtso (or Yamdrok-tso), one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, lies at Nhagartse, located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the southwest of Lhasa. According to legend, it was a fairy that descended to earth. Her husband followed suit and transformed into Mt. Kampala. Besides Mt. Kampala, Yamdrok Yumtso is also surrounded by Mt. Nyinchenkhasa, Mt. Chetungsu and Mt. Changsamlhamo. Befitting its mythical feminine origins, the turquoise blue lake has indescribable scenic beauty, prompting the Tibetans to compare it with the fairyland in heaven. The lake is also called Coral Lake of the Highlands due to its shape. The charming lake produces abundant aquatic life. On the surrounding expansive pasture, animals and birds flourish in huge numbers. There are dozens of islets in the lake, on which flocks of birds roost. During the herding season, the local herdsmen will ferry their herds of sheep across to these islets since there aren't any predators on these islets, and leave them there until the onset of winter.
The holy lake is also a pilgrimage site for Tibetans. Every summer, gangs of pilgrims trek there to pray and receive blessings. Pilgrims believe that its water can make the old young again, grant the middle-aged a longer life and make the children smarter. Being a sacred lake, the color of its water may be taken by the devout as having spiritual meaning. Tibetans will usually visit the lake before making important decisions. On one of the islets, stands a Nyinmapa monastery.

South of the lake, one finds the Sangding Monastery, which is famous as the residence of the only female high lama in Tibet.

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