Yilhun Lhatso Lake
Yilhun Lhatso Lake -Explore Tibet

The Yilhun Lhatso lake is located in Dege County of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. It is a glacial lake which is at an altitude of 4000 m above sea level. It has an average depth of thirteen meters. It is surrounded by snow mountains, rock mountains and forest.  It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Tibet. It sits just west of the small town of Manigango and next to the lake there is high peak Chola mountains rise to over 6000m.

Yilhun Lhatso Lake -Explore Tibet

The Manigango town is small and active town for the tourists. It is at an elevation of over 3000m above sea level. It is a town which exhibits a typical nomad culture with Tibetan herdsmen riding horses and these day local people enjoying riding bikes. These local people are nomads and they have lots of yaks, sheep and horses. They all live in black fabric tent in the summer season over vast grassland. They migrate one place to other with their cattle depending on the season and also depend on the quantity of grass.

Yilhun Lhatso Lake -Explore Tibet

The Chola mountains run in the northwest to southeast direction and the highest peak is Rongme Ngatra with an elevation of over 6000m above sea level. There are few other high peak mountains such as Dophu Ngatra and Zhiltron peak. At the lower elevations of the Chola, mountains are covered by sections of subalpine conifer forests and from north to east, it consists of vast grassland, shrublands and also meadows. The Tro La pass was an important road across the mountains, connecting Derge and central Tibet with the Garze and Sichuan basin regions.  In 2016, the Chinese government completed construction of a new 7 km long tunnel bypassing the mountain pass and is the highest vehicular tunnel in the world. There are many glacial fed lakes have formed along the northeastern edge of the Chola mountains with Yilhun Lhatso lake in the Trochu valley being the most famous lake of all.It is also considered as the sacred lake for Tibetan people. The lake formed by glaciers and snow mountains which is surrounded by high peak mountains. The outflow stream from the lake is one of the headwaters of Trochu river.  

Yilhun Lhatso Lake -Explore Tibet

According to epic story of King Gesar, Dege is the place where the king Gesar was born. The Yilhun Lhatso lake is located in the Dege. The Dhukmo was a beloved paramour of King Gesar. When she was travelled alone to the lake and she was totally fall in love with beautiful landscape of the lake and its surroundings. So she could not turn back on this beautiful landscape and decided to stay there forever. It was said that she was sunk herself beneath the lake. Therefore, the local Tibetan people named as Yilhun Lhatso lake for the lake to honor her. The meaning of Yilhun in Tibetan language as the fallen soul and Lhatso means the holy lake.

Yilhun Lhatso Lake -Explore Tibet

The Yilhun Lhatso lake is not far from Dege town and Kangding town. The landscape is so beautiful and it is surrounded by the elegant plateau, cypress trees and meadows. The lake is like the pool of turquoise with deep blue colour. n a sunny day, it offers a very splendid spectacle: blue sky and white clouds, snow-capped mountains, shining glaciers, luxuriant forests, green meadow, sparkling water, animals, birds and fish. It is one the most famous place for hiking and trekking from Derge to Yilhun Lhatso lake. The travellers mainly come for hiking and trekking to the lake, they come to Kangding town or Derge county from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. The tour also begins from Garze to Manigango and to the Yilhun Lhatso lake. From Garze to Manigango there is a well stretch road following along the Yalong river, with the hillsides scattered with the formation of prayer flags and one of the highest concentration of monasteries in the Kham such as the Dzogchen monastery, Dzongsar monastery and Shechen monastery.

Yilhun Lhatso Lake -Explore Tibet

The Yilhun Lhatso lake is located at Garze to Manigango highway road which is about an hour drive away from the main road. Those who are travelling by car or buses mainly spend the night at Manigango town, which has some small and simple local guest house. Those who are hiking or trekking, they usually camp near the lake and spend a day or two. It is the perfect place for camping as at night it is completely silent and one can hear the only sound of wind with waving leaves of a tree, at early morning the birds were singing with a beautiful sun rays reflected on the snow-capped mountains around the lake. It is the place where you can truly define the peace. Especially in the beginning of summer season the grassland is carpeted by wild colourful flowers and witness the wildlife such as deer, black-necked cranes and some amazing birds that are rare in other places. It is one of most concentrated wildlife animals in whole Tibetan areas. Not far from the lake site, the travellers can experience the Tibetan nomad’s lifestyle at the high altitude grasslands.

Yilhun Lhatso Lake -Explore Tibet

They might also help the travellers for horse and yak riding also might provide their local food and tea for the lone travellers.  Every traveller who been to this beautiful place always admires the beauty of the natural landscape of the Yilhun Lhatso lake. The best time to visit Yilhun Lhatso lake is in the beginning of summer to the mid-autumn season. During those seasons the temperature is quite moderate and the weather will sunny and the landscape will be perfect for the travel as clear blue sky mostly with fully greenery all around. At mid-autumn season the trees around the lake would turn yellowish and red colour. One can witness the migration of wildlife and bird to the lower elevation lands. So many tourists come for hiking and trekking at Yilhun Lhatso lake and its surroundings. There is also Tibetan who comes for pilgrim from different parts of Tibetan Regions.
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