Basum Tso Lake, The Holy Lake of Tibetan Buddhism Nyingmapa
Tibetan lake Basum Tso

Introduction of Basum Tso Lake

Basum Tso Lake is a holy lake of Nyingmapa located in Nyingchi. Also, it has the name of Tsogao Lake, which means green water in Tibetan. The lake area is more than 6 thousand acres. And the surface altitude is 3,538 meters. The scenic spot includes snow mountains, lakes, forest and temples. And the landscape is very beautiful all the year round. So it has the reputation of “Little Switzerland”. In 1994, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) listed it as a World Tourist Attraction. Also, in 2000 it got the AAAA National Tourist Attraction. And in 2001 it was evalutaed as National Forest Park.

Basum Tso Lake in Tibet
Basum Tso Lake


Tashi Island and Tso Dzong monastery

Tashi Island lies about 100 meters from the shore. And some people say it is a hollow island floating on the lake. In addition, there is a famous Nyingmapa monastery called Tso Dzong monastery on the island. The monastery has a long history from Tang Dynasty. Enshrining Guru Rinpoche and other Buddhas inside, it attracts many adherents to visit. Besides, on the south shore, there is a Qiuzi hole. Many women come to the hole to ask for babies. And there is a cave where Guru Rinpoche once meditated from the legend. Moreover, on the west shore, there is a spot where Gesar tested his arrows. Additionally, local people say that there will appear a long white band at the bottom of the lake on the 15th day of April in Tibetan calendar. Believe it or not, It is a hada gift for King Gesar.

Basum Tso Lake and Tashi Island
Basum Tso Lake and Tashi Island


Tso Dzong monastery on Tashi Island
Tso Dzong monastery on Tashi Island


Tips for Basum Tso Lake

1.The best season to visit is autumn because the leaves have various colors and the temperature is moderate.

2.It is 400 km from Lhasa to Basum Tso Lake. You can drive along G318 National Highway and pass through Mira Pass. Or you can take the shuttle bus to Bahe River and rent a car to the lake.

3.Every 15th of April in Tibetan calendar, pilgrims circulate the lake. If you choose that time to come, you can view the religious scene.


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Helen Jiao