- Location: Langkazi County, Shannan Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
- Recommended reason: One of the three sacred lakes in Tibet
- Opening hours: All day
Yamdrok Lake mainly belongs to Langkazi County, about 70 kilometers away from Lhasa city, and the middle part is located between Langkazi County and Gongga County. Yamdrok Lake refers to Jade Lake in Tibetan. Yamdrok Lake has many mouths of tributaries that look like extended coral branches, so it also called "the coral lake above". No matter how four seasons alternate, the Yamdrok Lake always looks like a sapphire mirror, so that people can see the good and the evil in the world.
The Facts of Yamdrok Lake
With an area of 638 square kilometers, 130 kilometers long from east to west and 70 kilometers long from north to south, Yamdrok Lake is about 70 times that of West Lake in Hangzhou. The lake-surface elevation is 4441 meters. Yamdrok Lake is 20-40 meters in depth with a capacity of 14.6 billion cubic meters. Yamdrok Lake is not only a freshwater lake, but also the biggest inland lake in the northern foothills of the Himalayas. The shape of the Yamdrok Lake is irregular because it belongs to a barrier lake. There are 21 small islands independently distributing in the Yamdrok Lake. The island is filled with fresh grasses and you can see many flocks of birds on the island. Yamdrok Lake is not only a natural highland pasture, but also the largest habitat of water birds in Tibet and the paradise of wild birds. Thousands of white birds fly on the lake, which looks very spectacular. There are even a few residents living on the island.
The Story of Yamdrok Lake
The reason why the Yamdrok Lake is called "Holy Lake" is that it can help people find the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. After the death of the Dalai Lama, the upper class of Tibetan monks is responsible for looking for the reincarnation boy. Firstly, the living Buddha needs to do some religious events to get the direction of the reincarnation boy. Secondly, the monks come to the Yamdrok Lake to chant scriptures and pray. They cast hadas, treasure vases and medicines to the Yamdrok Lake. Lastly, the host will see the shadow of the reincarnation boy in the lake and he will point to the specific direction. If the direction is the same in these three steps, they will find out the reincarnation boy.
Yamdrok Lake is regarded as the incarnation of the Dragon Lady. It is also the residence of the female guardian deity with many divine powers. It is said that devout Buddhists would go around the Yamdrok lake every year. It takes almost one month and equals to a pilgrimage to Lhasa. In this case, the Buddha will bless them with an auspicious year.
The Legend of Yamdrok Lake
According to a popular legend, the Yamdrok Lake was transformed from a fairy in heaven. Yamdrok Lake looked like a scorpion in the past. The Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal worried that many living creatures would die of thirst, so she threw a few golds to the air with chanting scriptures and praying. And then nine separated lakes were connected again. That's why many places are named after the scorpion.
Highlights of Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok Lake is hailed as the most beautiful water in the world. In the eyes of Tibetans, it is regarded as "the falling turquoise earrings of goddesses". You are not able to see the panoramic view of the Yamdrok Lake from any angle. This is the magic of the Yamdrok Lake. There are three sister lakes, including Kongmucuo Lake, Chencuo Lake and Bajiucuo Lake. They are connected with each other, forming a boundless holy lake.
The water of the Yamdrok Lake is from the snow water around the Nyainqentanglha Mountains. There is no water outlet. The inflow and the evaporation of snow water reach an amazing dynamic balance. The lake water presents an ever-changing blue with the light changes. At different moments of sunshine, Yanghu Lake will show extremely vivid blue with different levels. The whole Yamdrok Lake looks like a dreamy fairyland.
Best time to visit Yamdrok Lake
1. The best time to visit Yamdrok Lake is from April to October, especially in the autumn.
2. There is a great number of birds in April and May. The grassland is lush in June and July. You will have a chance to enjoy the charming autumn scenery. Yamdrok Lake presents a look of great serenity and solemnity in September and October.
How to Get to Yamdrok Lake
It is about 100 kilometers away from Lhasa. You can charter a jeep car or take a bus to get there. It takes about 2 hours.
Tips for visiting Yamdrok Lake
♦ The Yamdrok Lake is located in a high elevation. You need to prepare some medicines and enough oxygen tanks.
♦ The climate is very dry and the ultraviolet radiation in Tibet is very strong. You can take a hat, sunglasses, moisturizer and sunscreen, etc.
♦ The temperature difference varies greatly between day and night in Tibet, so please pay attention to the climate changes.
♦ To avoid the high altitude sickness, do not take a shower and wash your hair on the first day when you enter Tibet.
♦ The security inspection in Tibet is very strict, so please remember to take your passport and other identity documents all the way.
♦ Recommended Tibet tour for you: 13 Days China Tibet Tour