Holy Lake and Ghost Lake in Tibet

There are many beautiful and sacred lakes in Tibet, and every lake has its story and wants to tell the world. Meanwhile, a great number of pilgrims travel to Tibet to kora around these sacred lakes every year. Among these lakes, the legends of the holy lake and ghost lake attract plenty of tourists to have a sightseeing in Tibet.

The story of “The Double Life of Veronique” is full of sorrow and mystery, just like the fate of Lake Raksas-Tal and Lake Manasarovar with same origin but opposite fate. It is said that these two lakes were one lake and separated by a long and narrow hill due to the climate change, the shrink of lakes and the falling of water levels. Now, they are not far from each other, interlinked by a waterway. The Lake Manasarovar is located at the foot of Mount Kailash and called as the “holy lake” in the legends. While, Lake Raksas-Tal is known as “ghost lake” and is a cursed lake. The shape of them is different since Lake Manasarovar is like the sun and Lake Raksas-Tal is like the crescent moon. Moreover, the water quality of them is also contrary as Lake Manasarovar is clear and sweet, while Lake Raksas-Tal is black and bitter. They are like “Yin and Yang”(the two opposing principles in nature) in Chinese philosophy.  Lake Manasarovar is masculine and positive, while Lake Raksas-Tal is feminine and negative.

Since its birth, Lake Manasarovar represents the compassion and magnanimity. In the legend, Lake Manasarovar was gathered by the water washed rice which is used to saving those poor believers of Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore, the lake became a Buddhist shrine with the pilgrims. What’s more, the water of this lake can wash away the sins on people by drink or taking shower, and can feed the yaks and sheep on the surrounding grasslands.

At the mention of Lake Manasarovar, Indians’ hearts are full of admiration and respect for the ashes of the famous Indian leader — Mahatma Gandh are scattered into the lake. Then, pilgrims of India and Nepal come here every summer to bathe in the lake, and take the water of this holy lake as a precious gift.

However, the Lake Raksas-Tal is totally different with salty and bitter water. There are no lives existing around this ghost lake with no plants, no yaks and no sheep. So Manasarovar means “invincible jasper” in Tibetan, while Raksas-Tal is called as the “poisonous black lake”. But, the Lake Raksas-Tal is not as black as its name, and it is dark blue for the salinity of water. The breathtaking color and the desolate view of the lake make people far away from here. In fact, Lake Raksas-Tal is a great attraction for your Tibet tour with dark red hill and silvery ribbon of gravels. When travelers stand by the lake alone without a person or animal, you will feel like standing on the edge of the universe. Although Lake Raksas-Tal is a barren land without plants and animals, there are a great deal of rare fishes in the lake. The multiple layers on the shore of the lake formed by the decline of water level shows the climate dynamic change of plateau in modern times.

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