Travel Guide

Namtso Lake

namtso lake, holy lakes, nagqu, lhasa sightseeing, potala palace

Lake Namsto, one of the three renowned holy lakes in Tibet, has bid farewell to its annual frozen period since May as ice begins to melt on the lake surface. Being the highest salt lake on earth, the Namsto Lake is located at an elevation of 4,722 meters above sea level. Located in the Damxiong County of Lhasa, it is also known as "heavenly lake". The Namsto National Park launched in Oct. 2013 has included the main peak of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains, bird islands, cliff paintings, stone carvings, and Yangpachen, taking about one mln hectares.  

With purity and serenity, its breath catching beauty is the ultimate pursuit of travelers. In Tibetan, Namtso means “the heavenly lake”. It is one of the three saint lakes of Tibet, covered with a veiling of mystery and sanctity. Vast grassland spreads around the lake and make the Namtso Lake looks more charming together with the blue sky and white clouds. The lake is located in a county of Lhasa. It is the biggest salty lake of Tibet and the second biggest of China.

The formation of the lake owes to the activities of Himalaya Mountain and the glaciers. Nowadays, the surface of the lake is sinking and there are several ancient lines of the lake surface in the past, with the highest one about 80 meters off the present lake surface. In the north, there are continuous hills and in the south situated the major peak of Tanggula Mountains, which has an altitude of 7111 meters. The lake occupies a vast territory about 1900 square kilometers, with the deepest point about 33 meters. The water of Namtso Lake comes from the melted ice of the Tanggula Mountains and numerous streams around the lake. In the middle of the lake, there are 5 islets, among which the biggest one is about 1.2 square kilometers. Moreover, the lake has abundant kinds of creatures.

Beside the lake, there are many stone piles, which are officially called “Mani Mound”. Local people carved many scripture and conjurations on the stone to pray for peace and happiness. There is six-syllable mantra prayer, eyes of wisdom, figures of Gods and other kinds of lucky designs. The Mani Mound carries the beautiful wish of people and decorates the lake with mysterious atmosphere.