The Manasarova Lake(玛旁雍错湖 ) is one of the holy lake and the hightest fresh-water lake in the world!
As one of the Three Holy Lakes (the other two are Nam-tso Lake and Yamdrok Lake) in Tibet and seated at 4588 m above mean sea level, Lake Manasarova is one of the highest fresh-water lake in the world, as well as the largest freshwater lake with greatest water transparency in China. Pear-shaped, the lake of Manasarova is wide in the north and narrow in the south; its longest length is 26 km, the shortest length is 21 km, the mean depth is 46 m, the maximum depth is 81.8 m and the surface area is 412 square km; its water is quite clear and the transparency degree reaches 14. With a straight lake shoreline, its circumference is 83 km. Mainly derived from melt water and rainwater, some of the water in the lake also comes from springs.
Around the lake are distributed Natural hot springs, desert steppe of the diluvial plain and piedmont with Stipa glareosa, Stipa purpurea, and swampiness meadow. As the source of some longest Asia Rivers (Indus River, Ganges River, Brahmaputra River), the lake is the hydrographic nexus of the Himalaya that considered as the "holy lake" with special natural beauties. In the west, next to the lake is the Lake Rakshas Tal (known as ghost lake); interesting is that a freshwater lake of Manasarova and a salt water lake of Rakshas are just separated by a channel.
Religious significant- a holy lake to wash away all sins and evils
The lake was named as Manasarova after a Religious War in 11th century with the meaning of victory and undefeated in Tibetan language. The same as Mount Kailash, the lake is a place of pilgrimage, popular with religious people from India, Nepal and its vicinity. It is believed that bathing in Manasarova and drinking its water can cleansing one‘s all sins for even a hundred of lifetimes. A number of monasteries were built around the lake, though only 8 of them remains to this day which are just located in all directions; among them, the most notable one is the ancient Chiu Gompa Monatery, which has been built right onto a steep hill and looks as if it has been carved right out of the rock. Lake Manasarova was described in many religious works as its water is just like pearls and sweet in flavor, it is a perfect lake, the authentic paradise, the Shangri-la of immortals and the nirvana of all creatures.
Hailed as the mother of world's rivers, Manasarova is the "abode of immortals in the west" (西天瑶池) portrayed by the eminent Buddhist monk of Tang Dynasty (618-907) Xuanzang (602-664) in his famous Western Regions Records (大唐西域记). In Buddhism, the lake is also associated to Anavatapta in Sanskrit and Anotatta in Pali, the place that Queen Maya has conceived Buddha. For Buddhists, it is the purest one, the sweet dew granted by Gods that can drive away vexations and evils in one's soul.
In Indian myth, the lake was created firstly in the God Brahma's mind, as he needs a bath place for his son, the lake then manifested on the earth. For this reason, in Hindu theology, the lake is a personification of purity that one who drinks water from it will go to the Abode of Lord Shiva after death. Most Hindus bath in the lake during their lake circumambulating.
Tibetans and Bon disciples are just trekking or kowtowing with their pilgrimage way instead of entering the water; as for ordinary travelers, it is unwise to enter the water too, as the water is quite cold even during the warmest days, although some would do so to "cleansing hardships and their inner uneasy". It is said that the lake is full of treasures; a gain of a fish, a stone, or even a feather of a hagdon from the lake is a good omen for a permanent happy life; people also take off their jewels sometimes and throw into the lake to show their devout.
Well, that certainly is a different view from China than the ones I have seen so far (on t.v. and internet and photos, unfortunately never been there IRL)
Wow. What a great experience! Photos really say that the place are good camp at.
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