High & Holy

Some of the high­est holy lakes in Asia

Asian Geographic - - SOUTH ASIA - Sources: China High­lights, Lake­pe­dia, Ra­dioFreeEur­ope Ra­dio Li­brary, UN­ESCO, China Dis­cov­ery, Ti­bet Vista, WestChi­naGo, Pulitzer Cen­ter, Yatra, Sa­cred Des­ti­na­tions

Ti­bet Lake Manasarova­r

Both Bud­dhists and Hin­dus be­lieve that bathing in or drink­ing from the lake — also called Jewel of Ti­bet be­cause of its sap­phire waters — cleanses one of sins and brings good for­tune. Some pil­grims cir­cum­am­bu­late the equally revered Mount Kailash that flanks the lake for sim­i­lar rea­sons.

Ti­bet Lake Namtso

Pil­grims walk around the lake, which is sig­nif­i­cant in Bon and Ti­betan Bud­dhism, to cleanse them­selves of sins and ac­crue bless­ings. It is be­lieved that the year of the goat is the best time to do this. In Ti­betan, Lake Namtso means ‘heaven lake’. One of the three holi­est lakes in Ti­bet, it is also the high­est salt­wa­ter lake in the world.

Kyr­gyzs­tan Lake Issyk-Kul

Ar­chae­ol­o­gists dis­cov­ered the re­mains of a 14th­cen­tury Chris­tian monastery on its north­ern bank. His­tor­i­cal car­to­graphic records sug­gest that this could be the burial site of Apos­tle Matthew, one of the 12 well-known dis­ci­ples of Je­sus Christ.

China Qing­hai Lake

Be­sides be­ing the largest lake in China, it is also sit­u­ated in one of the most im­por­tant pil­grim­age sites of Ti­betan Bud­dhism. Devo­tees be­lieve that they can be cleared of their sins by cir­cum­am­bu­lat­ing it seven times.

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