* The holy sky lake in Tibet
Namtso Lake is a mountain lake at the border between Damxung County of Lhasa Prefecture and Baingoin County of Nagqu Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, approximately about 250 kilometers from Lhasa and 80 kilometers from Damxung County.
The touching beauty of Lake Namtso should not be missed by any traveler who visits Tibet. Its purity and solemnness are symbols of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In Tibetan, Namtso means "Heavenly Lake." It is considered one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. The water here is a storybook crystal-clear blue. Clear skies join the surface of the lake in the distance, creating an integrated, scenic vista. Soul of every visitor who has ever been here seems to be cleansed by the pure lake water.
With over 30 kilometers from north to south and over 70 kilometers from east to west, Lake Namtso covers a total area of more than 1,900 square kilometers, being the second largest salt lake in China. At an elevation of 4,718 meters, it is also the highest altitude salt lake in the world, the furthest depth being more than 33 meters. Namtso has five uninhabited islands of reasonable size, in addition to one or two rocky outcrops. The largest of the islands is in the north-west corner of the lake, and is about 2,100 meters long and 800 meters wide, rising to just over 100 meters in the middle. At its closest point it is about 3.1 kilometers from the shore.
By the lake there are also two standing stone pillars, each rising 30 meters and eight meters apart. One has a crack large enough to hold a single person inside. Some Tibetans believe it is the Gate God of the Lake Namtso.
The water in the lake for the most part arises from rains, melted ice and snow of Mt. Nyenchen Tonglha and the inflow of crooks and streams; hence the lake is very clear and limpid. With the lake surface assuming sky blue, the lake and the sky seem to be one and undivided, which may make visitors feel themselves in a fairy land if they have a stroll by the lake.
Lake Namtso means “the holy lake” in the Tibetan language. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful places in the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain range. Its cave hermitages have for centuries been the destination of Tibetan pilgrims. In every Tibetan year of sheep, thousands of Buddhism adherents will come here to worship. In every Tibetan year of sheep, thousands of Buddhism adherents will come here to worship.