Holy Lake Nam-co in North Tibet

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Nam Co - Giant jadeite inlaid in northern Tibet

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Nam Co is the largest lake in Tibet, the second largest salt water in China, and the world’s highest lake. It is located between the Damxung Country of Lhasa and the Bango Country of Nagqu region.

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In the Tibetan language, “Nam Co” means “Heavenly Lake.” In the Mongolian and Manchurian languages, the lake is called “Tenggeli Hai,” or “Heavenly Sea.” The lake surface is at 4740 meters above sea level, measuring about 70 kilometers long and 30 kilometers broad, with a surface area of 1920 square kilometers. The melted snow and ice of the Nyainqentanglha Mountains form the main water supply of Nam Co.

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With lush grass growing on the vast land near the lake, the place is the best pasture land of northern Tibet. Wildlife, especially precious birds, find the place to be an ideal habitat. Besides the five islands in the lake, there are five peninsulas reaching into the lake. The Zhaxi peninsula is the largest among the five. On the peninsula of 10 square kilometers are the Zhaxi monastery, karst caves, stone forest, naturally formed bridges and other special scenery. Every year, many pilgrims from Tibet and nearby regions will come here.

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The pilgrimage, which takes about 20 to 30 days to circle the whole lake, peaks in the Year of Goat on the Tibetan calendar.

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