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Yamdrok Lake

Yamzho Yumco; Chinese: 羊卓雍措) is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is over 72 km (45 miles) long. 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.

Around 90 km to the west of the lake lies the Tibetan town of Gyantse and Lhasa is a hundred km to the northeast. According to local mythology, Yamdok Yumtso lake is the transformation of a goddess.

Yamdrok Lake, also known as Yamḍok Yumtso, has a power station that was completed and dedicated in 1996 near the small village of Pai-Ti at the lake’s western end. This power station is the largest in Tibet.

With in the boundary of Nankartse, the Yamdrok Lake covers an area of 800 sq. km. with 4400 m above sea level. Yamdrok means the upper pastureland and "Tso" means sea in Tibetan. When overlooking the Yamdrok Tso Lake, it may be thought as if a gigantic sapphire inland in a surrounding of mountains, which look extremely beautiful.

The Yamdrok Yumtso is rich in hydroelectric power. The drop between the surface of the lake to the Yarlung Tsangpo River at the foot of the mountain falls over 800 m. Yamdrok Yumtso Power Station at such a high altitude is well known in the world. To the south of the lake, is the Samding Monastery with a history of over 300 years, which is about 30 km. away from Nankartse, standing grand and magnificent as the seat of Dorje Phakmo, the woman Living Buddha.

Lying under the sunshine, the peaceful water seems like a bright mirror. The reflection of sunshine in different depths lends the lake gorgeous and mysterious colors. Overlooked from the nearby high mountain, one could see the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, like a holy sapphire, set in the group of mountains. In the lake, are dotted several small islands. On the islands, fertile grasses and groups of wild birds betray peaceful but vigorous natural scenery. Embraced by the uninterrupted snow-capped mountains and lying under the clear blue sky, the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake appears very holy and evokes solemnity.

As one of the three holy lakes, the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is said to be the female Guardian of Buddhism in Tibet. People here believe that it will bless and protect them. Every year, many devotional followers in Tibet or from other places would come here for pilgrimage. Some of them start on foot and give one prostration every three steps even from hundreds of kilometers away. All of these visitors bring much mystery and dignity to the charming holy Yamdrok Yumtso Lake.