Lake Manasarovar (Tibetan:
མ་ཕམ་གཡུ་མཚོ།, Wylie: ma pham g.yu
mtsho; Chinese: 玛旁雍錯 (simplified), 瑪旁雍錯(traditional)),
also called Mapam Yumtso, is a high altitude freshwater lake fed by
Kailash Glaciers near Mount
Kailash in the
Region of China. The lake is revered a sacred place in four religions:
Buddhism and Jainism.
4 Religious significance
4.1 In Hinduism
4.2 In the
4.3 In Buddhism
4.3.1 Dalai Lama
4.4 In Jainism
5 See also
7 External links
Sanskrit word "Manasarovar" (मानसरोवर) is a
combination of two sanskrit words; "Mánas" (मानस) meaning
"mind (in its widest sense as applied to all the mental powers),
intellect, intelligence, understanding, perception, sense,
conscience" while "sarovara" (सरोवर) means "a lake or
Map of the region
Lake Manasarovar lies at 4,590 m (15,060 ft) above mean sea
level, a relatively high elevation for a large freshwater lake on the
mostly saline lake-studded Tibetan Plateau.
Lake Manasarovar is relatively round in shape with the circumference
of 88 km (54.7 mi). Its depth reaches a maximum depth of
90 m (300 ft) and its surface area is
320 km2 (123.6 sq mi). It is connected to nearby Lake
Rakshastal by the natural
Ganga Chhu channel.
Lake Manasarovar is near
the source of the Sutlej, which is the easternmost large tributary of
the Sindhu. Nearby are the sources of the Brahmaputra River, the Indus
River, and the Ghaghara, an important tributary of the Ganges.
Lake Manasarovar overflows into
Lake Rakshastal which is a salt-water
endorheic lake. These lakes used to be part of the
Sutlej basin and
were separated due to tectonic activity.
Climate data for
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
View from Chiu Gompa Monastery
Satellite view of lakes Manasarovar (right) and Rakshastal with Mount
Kailash in the background
According to Hinduism, the lake was first created in the mind of the
Brahma after which it manifested on Earth. In Hinduism, Lake
Manasarovar is a personification of purity, and one who drinks water
from the lake will go to the abode of
Shiva after death. He is
believed to be cleansed of all his sins committed over even a hundred
Like Mount Kailash,
Lake Manasarovar is a place of pilgrimage,
attracting religious people from India, Nepal,
Tibet and neighboring
countries. Bathing in Manasarovar and drinking its water is believed
by Hindus to cleanse all sins.
Pilgrimage tours are organized
regularly, especially from India, the most famous of which is the
Kailash Manas Sarovar Yatra". Pilgrims come to take ceremonial
baths in the waters of the lake.
Lake Manasarovar has long been viewed by the pilgrims as being nearby
to the sources of four great rivers of Asia, namely the Brahmaputra,
Ghaghara, Sindhu and Sutlej, thus it is an axial point which has been
thronged to by pilgrims for thousands of years. The region was closed
to pilgrims from the outside following the Battle of Chamdo; no
foreigners were allowed between 1951 and 1980. After the 1980s it has
again become a part of the Indian pilgrim trail.
According to the Hinduism, the lake was first created in the mind of
Brahma after which it manifested on Earth. Hence it is called
"Manasa sarovaram", which is a combination of the
Sanskrit words for
"mind" and "lake". The lake is also supposed to be the summer abode of
the hamsa. Considered to be sacred, the hamsa is an important element
in the symbology of the subcontinent, representing wisdom and
According to Hindu theology, there are five sacred lakes; collectively
called Panch-Sarovar; Mansarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar,
Pampa Sarovar and Pushkar Sarovar. They are also mentioned in
Shrimad Bhagavata Purana.
Bon religion is also associated with the holy place of Zhang Zhung
Meri sacred deity. When Tonpa Shenrab, the founder of the Bon
Tibet for the first time – from Tagzig Wolmo
Lungring – he washed in the lake.
Buddhists associate the lake with the legendary lake Anavatapta
Pali Anotatta) where Maya is believed to have conceived
Buddha. The lake has a few monasteries on its shores, the most notable
of which is the ancient Chiu Monastery built on a steep hill, looking
as if it has been carved right out of the rock.
The lake is very popular in Buddhist literature and associated with
many teachings and stories. Buddha, it is reported, stayed and
meditated near this lake on several occasions.
Lake Manasarovar is
also the subject of the meditative Tibetan tradition, "The Jewel of
Tibet". A modern narration and description of the meditation was made
popular by Robert Thurman.
According to the legend,
Lake Manasarovar is the lake in which a great
Tibetan monk saw the letters "Aha", " Kha", " Mha". These three
initials helped the search team to locate the current the 14th Dalai
Lama of Tibet. The three initials stand for the province, the
district, and the monastery in which the current Dalai Lama was born,
i.e. Ahamdho, Khunbum, and Taktser respectively.
Lake Manasarovar is associated with the first Tirthankara,
Rishabha. As per Jain scriptures, the first Tirthankar, Bhagwan
Rushabhdev, had attained nirvana on the Ashtapad Mountain. The son of
Bhagwan Rishabhdev, Chakravati Bharat, had built a palace adorned with
gems on the Ashtapad Mountain located in the serene Himalayas.There
are many stories related to Ashtapad Maha Tirth like Kumar and Sagar's
sons, Tapas Kher Parna, Ravan and Mandodri Bhakti, among many others.
Lakes of India
^ Brockman, Norbert (2011). Encyclopedia of Sacred Places, Volume 1.
ABC-CLIO. p. 356.
^ Williams, Monier. "Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary".
faculty.washington.edu. mánas n. mind (in its widest sense as applied
to all the mental powers), intellect, intelligence, understanding,
perception, sense, conscience, will RV. &c. &c. (in phil. the
internal organ or antaḥ-karaṇa of perception and cognition, the
faculty or instrument through which thoughts enter or by which objects
of sense affect the soul IW. 53
• in this sense manas is always is always regarded as distinct from
ātman and puruṣa, 'spirit or soul' and belonging only to the body,
like which it is – except in the Nyāya – considered
^ Williams, Monier. "Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary".
faculty.washington.edu. sarovara ○vara n. (accord. to some also m.)
a lake or large pond, any piece of water deep enough for the lotus
Kāv. Pur. &c
^ a b Charles Allen. (1999). The Search for Shangri-la: A Journey into
Tibetan History, p. 10. Little, Brown and Company. Reprint: Abacus,
London. 2000. ISBN 0-349-11142-1.
^ a b In Search of Myths & Heroes By Michael Wood
Kailash Yatra. "About Holy Manasarovar
www.kailash-yatra.org. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
^ Eckard Schleberger, Die Indische Götterwelt. Eugen Diederich
Verlag. 1997 (in German)
^ a b  Encyclopaedia of tourism resources in India, Volume 2 By
Narayan Sarovar Temple in Kutch ~ KACHCHH GUIDE".
Kutchguide.blogspot.com. 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
^ "Kutch Visiting Places and Tourist Attraction : Kutch Guide –
Gujarat". Gujaratguideonline.com. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
^ The Jewel Tree of
Tibet – Robert Thurman. Soundstrue.com.
Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
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Gurus and saints
Buddhist temples in China
Chinese Buddhist architecture
Hip-and-gable roof (歇山頂)
Chinese guardian lions
Chinese guardian lions (石狮子)
Shanmen (Mount gate) (山門)
Shanmen (Hall of Mount Gate; 山門殿)
Hall of Four Heavenly Kings
Hall of Four Heavenly Kings (天王殿)
Mahavira Hall (大雄寶殿)
Bell tower (鐘樓)
Drum Tower (鼓樓)
Dharma Hall (法堂)
Hall of Sangharama Palace (伽藍殿)
Hall of Guru
Hall of Guru (祖師殿)
Hall of Kshitigarbha
Hall of Kshitigarbha (地藏殿)
Hall of Bhaisajyaguru (藥師殿)
Hall of Guanyin
Hall of Guanyin (觀音殿)
Hall of Maitreya (彌勒殿)
Hall of Skanda (韋陀殿)
Arhat Hall (羅漢堂)
Abbot's Room (方丈)
Buddhist Texts Library
Buddhist Texts Library (藏經閣)
Free Life Pond (放生池)
Schools and objects of worship
Notable Buddhist temples in China
Dafo Temple, Xinchang
Dafo Temple, Zhangye
Grand Temple of Mount Heng
Jade Buddha Temple
Ji Le Temple
Pagoda Forest at Shaolin Temple
Putuo Zongcheng Temple
Spring Temple Buddha
Standard Design for Buddhist Temple Construction
Temple of Bright Filial Piety
Temple of Great Compassion
Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
Wa Sau Toi
White Horse Temple
Xi Ming Temple
Lakes of China
Five Great Lakes
Notable freshwater lakes
Heaven (Changbai Tianchi)
Notable salt lakes
Rakshastal (La-Ang Tso)
Major urban lakes
See also: List of dams and reservo