Yamdrok Yumtso Lake
The holy Yamdrok Yumtso Lake lies to the south of Yarlong Tsangpo River in the Shannan Region of Tibet. It is one of three holy lakes in Tibet. As the largest freshwater lake at the south foot of the Himalayas with an area of about 638 square kilometers (about 246 square miles), it is in a length of 130 kilometers (about 81 miles) and a width of 70 kilometers (about 43 miles). Its surface is about 4,441 meters (about 14,570 feet) above the sea level. It is quite deep as the average depth is about 20-40 meters (about 11-22 fathoms) and the deepest point is almost 60 meters (about 33 fathoms) below the surface.
The Yamdrok Yumtso Lake has some beautiful and vivid names like Coral Lake or Green Jade Lake. The former name is derived from its irregular shape, as the lake has many short streams winding into the nearby mountains and it appears much like the coral. The latter name implies its beautiful appearance for pure clean water there is as smooth as the surface of fine jade. Lying under the sunshine, the peaceful water seems like a bright mirror. The reflection of sunshine in different depths lends the lake gorgeous and mysterious colors. Overlooked from the nearby high mountain, one could see the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, like a holy sapphire, set in the group of mountains. In the lake, are dotted several small islands. On the islands, fertile grasses and groups of wild birds betray peaceful but vigorous natural scenery. Embraced by the uninterrupted snow-capped mountains and lying under the clear blue sky, the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake appears very holy and evokes solemnity.
Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is also said to be the female Guardian of Buddhism in Tibet. People here believe that it will bless and protect them. Every year, many devotional followers in Tibet or from other places would come here for pilgrimage. Some of them start on foot and give one prostration every three steps even from hundreds of kilometers away. All of these visitors bring much mystery and dignity to the charming holy Yamdrok Yumtso Lake.