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Yamdrok Yumtso Lake

Brief / profile

With an area of about 638 square kilometers, the Yamdrok Yumsto Lake is one of 3 largest holy lakes as well as the largest freshwater lake in Tibet. Surrounded by many snow-covered mountains and small streams, the lake with the length of 130 kilometers is not only a scenic spot but also a pilgrimage destination, attracting numerous devout worshippers every year.


It’s located in Nankartse County on the southern bank of the Yarlong Tsangpo River in the Shannan Region of Tibet.

Why got its this name

This lake is also named Coral Lake due to its irregular shape. Besides, the lake boasts smooth clear water just like the surface of jade. Under the sunshine, the water is really like a mirror, hence it also another name: the Green Jade Lake.
Architecture / Structure / Each scenery
With a length of 130 kilometers and width of 70 kilometers, the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is fan-shaped, extending from northwest to southeast. This salt lake of low consistency usually freezes every mid-November.
Moreover, there’re many isles providing ideal living environment for the abundant fishes in the lake. Here is also the largest habitat for water birds in the north of Tibet. Every year, numerous birds such as swans, pigeons and so on will fly here from south to spend the winter. If looking from the nearby mountain, you will see the holy sapphire-like Yamdrok Yumtso Lake with small islands.
Besides, the lake is also rich in hydroelectric power and there’s a power station completed in 1996. Furthermore, it’s the largest one in Tibet.
Nowadays, a large number of tourists and pilgrims come here to enjoy the tranquil scenery along the lake, the snow-covered mountains as well as the sporadic villages nearby.

Legend and Story

It’s said that a female Guardian of Buddhism in Tibet turned into Yamdrok Yumtso Lake after her departure of the Heaven, adding mystery and holiness to the lake.
Therefore, the locals believe it will bring happiness and protect them.

Tourists can take a bus in Lhasa and get off at the Great Bridge of the Yarlung Tsangpo River and then take a taxi to the lake. Besides, renting a car is also good choice to have a tour and may cost you RMB 1,500 to 2,000 a day.