Yamdrok Lake in Tibet
Yamdrok Lake is one of Tibet's three sacred lakes and the largest lake in southern Tibet. The lake is fan-shaped and features numerous bays and inlets and nine islands. The lake has a number of different names. It is called Coral Lake, or Green Jade Lake. The lake received the name Coral Lake, because it is shaped like a piece of coral, and the name Green Jade Lake comes from its calm surface and beautiful green color.
In Tibet, mountains and lakes are considered sacred because they are home to protective deities. It is said that if Yamdrok Lake dries up, Tibet will no longer be habitable. The lake is said to be the female guardian of Buddhism, and people believe that it will bless and protect them. One of Yamdrok Lake's islands is home to the Samding Monastery. This monastery is unique because it is the only Tibetan monastery headed by a female. It is not a nunnery, so the female abbot heads a community of approximately thirty monks. Because of its sacred status, visitors to Yamdrok Lake can see pilgrims walking along the lake's banks. The many pilgrims add much mystery and dignity to the holy Yamdrok Lake.
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