Yamdrok Tso Lake- Yamdrok Tso or Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is a holy lake located about 100 km to the south-west of the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa. In Tibetan language the word Yamdrok means upper pasture and Tso refers to lake, thus literally Yamdrok Tso means Upper Pasture Lake. This beautiful turquoise blue lake is situated at an altitude of 4,441 meters above sea level. It is the largest freshwater lake at the south foot of the Himalayas with an area of about 678 square kilometers. The lake has a length of 130 kilometers and a width of 70 kilometers. It is quite a deep lake with the average depth of about 20-40 meters and the deepest point is almost 60 meters below the surface. It is the third largest lake on the Tibetan Plateau and one of the most holy lakes in Tibet. It has no outlet and no permanent source of incoming water, however the snow melted from the surrounding mountains occasionally feed the lake.
This lake has some interesting names that have been coined from its unique features. For example, the name Coral Lake is derived from its irregular shape. It has many short streams snaking into the nearby mountains and provides it a coral like appearance. It is also called Green Jade Lake because the pure clean water of the lake looks as smooth as the surface of fine jade. When overlooked from the nearby high mountain, the Lake appears like a holy sapphire, set in the group of mountains. The reflection of sunshine in different depths of lake gives it attractive and mysterious colors.
Situated amidst snow-capped mountains and dotted with several small islands with their fertile grasses and groups of wild birds, Yamdrok Tso Lake offers a heavenly magnificence and tranquility. According to the Tibetan believes, Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is the female Guardian of Buddhism in Tibet. Tibetan people believe that it will bless and protect them. It is one of the popular pilgrimages in Tibet and every year, large number of devotional followers in Tibet or from other places would come here for pilgrimage. Some devotees start on foot and give one prostration every three steps even from hundreds of kilometers away. It shows their respect and devotion for this charming holy lake.