September 1, 2009

 

Yamdrok Lake 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 90km to the west of the lake lies the Tibetan town of Gyantse and Lhasa is a hundred km to the northwest. According to local mythology, Yamdrok Lake is the transformation of a goddess.
Yamdrok Lake, 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.
The lake with an area of 621 square kilometers and the unknown depth is fan-shaped, spreading to the South but narrowing up to the North. The mountainous lake has a dozen of islands, the largest of which is about 3,000 square kilometer. The lake freezes up in winter. Like mountains, lakes are considered sacrosanct by the Tibetan people, the principle being that they are the dwelling places of protective deities and therefore invested with special spiritual powers.
There are shoals of fish living in Yamdrok Yumtso lake. From April to October, fish caught from this lake are sold at markets in Lhasa. Besides, the lake’s islands serve as rich pasture land to local herdmen.

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