* One of the four holy lakes in Tibet.
The holy Yamdrok Lake in Tibet lies to the south of Yarlong Tsangpo River in the Shannan Prefecture of Tibet. Around 90 kilometers to the west of the lake lies the Tibetan town of Gyantse and Lhasa is a hundred kilometers to the northeast. Yamdrok Lake meaning dark blue lake looks like jasper, located in Nhagartse County a rout to Gyantse.
Yamdrok Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is the largest freshwater lake at the south foot of the Himalayas with an area of about 638 square kilometers.
The Yamdrok Lake measures in at a length of 130 kilometers and a width of 70 kilometers. The surface of the lake is about 4,441 meters above the sea level. It is quite a deep lake as the average depth is about 20-40 meters and the deepest point is almost 60 meters below the surface. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams. The lake does have an outlet stream at its far western end.
There are many kinds of fish, so it enjoys the famous Tibetan fish store house. In addition, there are great quantity of birds such as wild duck, goose etc. Covering an area of about 10 million square kilometers, it is one of famous grassland in Tibet. The dry meat along the lake area is known widely for its taste. The mushroom here is also very delicious. It is worth tasting. Viewing from the Gampala Pass with an altitude of 4794 meters, the lake seems to be scorpion shaped. You will enjoy the best view of Plateau Lake.
The lake is fan-shaped, spreading to the south but narrowing up to the north. The mountainous lakeshore is highly crenellated, with numerous bays and inlets. The lake has dozens of islands. Lake Yamdrok freezes in winter. Like mountains, lakes are considered sacred by Tibetan people, the principle being that they are the dwelling places of protective deities and therefore invested with special spiritual powers. Yamdrok Lake is one of four particularly holy lakes, thought to be divinatory; everyone from the Dalai Lama to local villagers makes pilgrimages there. The others such lakes are Lhamo La-tso, Namtso and Manasarovar. The lake is revered as a talisman and is said to be part of the life-spirit of the Tibetan nation. The largest lake in southern Tibet, it is said that if its waters dry, Tibet will no longer be habitable. The lake has nine islands, of which one houses the famous Samding Monastery. This monastery is the only Tibetan monastery to be headed by a female re-incarnation. Since it is not a nunnery, its female abbot heads a community of about thirty monks and nuns. Samding Monastery is where Dorje Pakmo, the only female Lama in Tibet, stayed and presided, and stands to the south of Lake Yamdrok.
According to local mythology, Yamdok Lake is the transformation of a goddess and is said to be the female Guardian of Buddhism in Tibet. Today, both pilgrims and tourists can be seen walking along the lake's perimeter. One of the lake's islands contains an old fort or castle called Pede Dzong.