Holy Mansarovar Lake
Holy Lake Manasarovar is what remains of the Lake Tethys, considered the source of all creation. As the legend goes, Brahma created this lake for his meditation and worship. Literally speaking, it is manas + sarovar. Manas, refers to the mind of the supreme God Brahma, the lake being its outward manifestation.
The sacred Manas (Holy Mansarovar Lake) is:
- At a height of 4560 m with a circumference of 110 km, which can be trekked in about three days.
- It has a depth of 300 ft and covers an area of 350 sq. km.
- It is amongst the highest bodies of fresh water in the world.
Through most of the year the lake remains frozen but around May, when the waters thaw (melt), the pilgrims start their yatra.
Manas (Holy Mansarovar Lake) is referred to:
- By the Tibetans, as Mapham - Yum – Tso, which means 'victorious'. According to a legend, Queen Maya was bathed by the Gods in its waters before giving birth to Buddha.
- Kalidasa says 'The water of Manasarovar are like pearls, to drink them erases the sins of a hundred lifetimes' Innumerable shooting stars descend into the waters as one sits and watches the celestial show at dusk.
- Pilgrims believe that in the dead of night, divine beings descend from heavens to have holy dip in the Mansarovar. A single dip in Holy Lake Mansarovar, washes away the sins of a lifetime.
The water is fresh and clear, often like a gem of cobalt blue. The high elevation lends it an unmatched radiance. The water is considered to have healing powers. Manas pilgrims often gather white - ringed pebbles from the lake's shore as the mementos of their visit.