Nestled among the flanks of the dull gray and green mountains, sacred Lake Yamdrok glows with various colors, like turquoise, when the sun is shining. You'll see it if you take the S307 from Lhasa to Gyantse.
A Sacred LakeLake Yamdrok, Lake Nam, and Lake Manasorova are the three sacred lakes of Tibet. Lake Yamdrok is said to be able to help Tibetans find the reincarnated soul of the Dalai Lama.After a Dalai Lama passes away, the senior monks are responsible to find the boy in whom the reincarnated soul of the Dalai Lama has gone to abide. They come to Lake Yamdrok to chant and pray, and throw hada (a piece of silk used as a blessing object) and other holy articles into the lake to get the reflection of the specific location of the Dalai Lama's soul.
Some people say that if you have been to Lake Namtso,you don't need to visit Lake Yamdrok. That's not true. The two lakes are different.Lake Yamdrok is smaller and quieter than Lake Nam, with fresh water instead of salt water. Like Namtso it has attractive turquoise blue water. And during winter, migratory birds come back and make a beautiful natural picture.Lake Yamdrok's elevation is lower than Lake Nam and the transportation is more convenient.Lake Nam is vast and boundless which gives people a majestic view. By contrast, Lake Yamdrok seems prettier like a girl, its slender body bounded by mountain slopes.
Stunning Scenery of the LakeThe lake has beautiful blue water and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains.The scenery is best seen from a distance, up on a mountain. You can have a panoramic view of the lake from the S307 pass. Yamdrok is turquoise when the sun shines on it. With the changes in the angle of the sun's rays, the lake reflects different degrees of blue, light blue, and sapphire. Close to the lake shore it reflects different colors to those at a distance and higher up.
The local Tibetans have Tibetan Mastiffs (an ancient domestic breed of dog), goats, and yaks.There are many small islands in the lake, which support many migratory birds. Lake Yamdrok is the largest habitat for migratory birds in southern Tibet. During autumn and winter, the lake bank and the islands are a spectacular view of thousands of white birds flying above the lake and taking care of their offspring.
The lake is also famous for its freshwater fish. The large fish stock makes the lake a "fish treasure of Tibet". Most Tibetans never eat the fish, because they think they are the embodiment of their ancestors' souls. However, there are some fish farms selling fish to restaurants in Tibet.Samding MonasterySamding Monastery, on the south shore of Lake Kongmu, a lake linked to the west end of Lake Yamdrok, is where the third highest lama in Tibetan Buddhism is said to have been reincarnated for hundreds of years. The current lama isn't accepted as such by many Tibetans. She is a woman, and monks live in residence there.