Holy Lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co) and Ghost Lake Rakshas-Tal in Tibet

Holy Lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co) and Ghost Lake Rakshas-Tal in West Tibet

Storing 20 billion cubic meters of fresh water, Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co) is among the world’s highest fresh-water lakes and one of the three “holy lakes” of Tibet. At an elevation of 4583 meters, the lake covers 412 square kilometers. With the northern part broader than the southern end, the deepest point of the lake is over 70 meters. The lake is purer than a sapphire and one can see through dozens of meters into the lake. The lake is located in the Burang (Purang) Country, at 20 kilometers southeast of the Kangrinboqe Peak and about 200 kilometers away from the Shiquanhe Town.

Holy Lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co) and Ghost Lake Rakshas-Tal in West Tibet

In the Tibetan language, “Mapam” means “invincible,” while “Yum-co” refers to “jade lake”. In his work “Records of Western Regions in Great Tang,” monk Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) referred to Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co) as the sacred Yaochi Lake of Nirvana. In the 11th century AD, Buddhism won in the competition against the local Bon Religion and changed the lake’s name from “Manchui Co” into “Mapam Yumco,” which means the “Invincible Lake,” in the hope of winning over more believers in Tibet. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is believed that bathing with the water of Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co) will drive off avaricious desires, troubled thoughts and past sins; drinking the lake’s water will keep one healthy and away from disease; while circling the lake will bring boundless beneficence to the pilgrims. Thus all the pilgrims to Tibet will come to Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co) and regard circling and drinking from the lake as their greatest fortune. Throughout the year, numerous pilgrims and visitors are attracted to the holy Kangrinboqe Peak and the Mapam Yumco Lake.

Holy Lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co) and Ghost Lake Rakshas-Tal in West Tibet

Every summer, flocks of swans will gather on the lake, bring grace and life to the area. Legend says that the fish in the lake can cure sterility, dystocia, dropsy and other illnesses. Chemical analyses show that the lake water indeed contains various types of minerals.

Holy Lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co) and Ghost Lake Rakshas-Tal in West Tibet, travel Tibet

At just 3 kilometers away from Manasarovar (Mapam Yum-co), the “Ghost Lake” La’ang - Rakshas-Tal is a salt water lake. With high winds and rapid currents, it’s difficult for fish or weeds to grow.



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