* The holy sky lake in Tibet
Covering an area of 1,920 square kilometers, Namtso Lake is the highest lake in the world sitting at 4,718 meters (almost 3 miles) above sea level. It is as crystal-clear blue as the sky and thus it is called Namtso Lake (In Tibetan, Namtso means the "Heavenly Lake"). It is considered to be one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. Namtso Lake is the second largest saltwater lake (after Qinghai Lake) of China. On November 14th 2005, it was awarded as one of the five most beautiful lakes in China by Chinese National Geography Magazine.
Legend has it that Namtso Lake is the beautiful daughter of nearby Bam Lake. She was married to the Nyainqentanglha Mountains. As time went by, she could not stand the frigid weather and loneliness any longer and so, with a sad heart, threw all her jewels, ornaments, and necklaces into the lake. Thus, it is said that there are boundless treasures at the bottom of Namtso Lake.
Namtso Lake is also a famous sacred Buddhist spot. There is a Dzashi Monastery on Dzashi Peninsula. In every Tibetan year of sheep, thousands of Buddhism adherents flock here to worship. As a rule, they walk clockwise along the lake in order to receive the blessing of the gods. The islands have been used for spiritual retreat by pilgrims who walk over the lake's frozen surface at the end of winter, carrying their food with them. They spend the summer there, unable to return to shore again until the water freezes the following winter. This practice is no longer advocated now in Tibet.