(Last Updated on : 05/01/2010)
Manasarovara region can be called the cynosure of the world as it is considered very holy by the Hindus and the Buddhists. Lake Manasarovara or Lake Manasa Sarovar or Manasa River is a freshwater lake situated in the centre of the Himalaya Mountains
. The lake is considered to be the source of the rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra. It is one of the highest fresh-water lakes in the world. According to Hindu mythology it is believed that that Lake Manasarovara originated in the mind of Lord Brahma
. It is believed that taking a dip in the Manasa Sarovar and drinking its water is clean out all sins. Rather Manasa Sarovar or Manasarovar is said to be the creation of the Manas
(mind) of Brahma and is the holiest, the most fascinating and the most famous of all the lakes in the world.
The holy lake, famous for many centuries, stretches majestically over an extensive cradle of the Tibetan plateau hanging at a height of 14,950 feet above the bosom of the sea and sheltering in its vast circumference of 54 miles. There are eight monasteries around the lake and it is believed by the Buddhists that eternal silence of nirvana can be attained at this place.
The sight of Manasarovar Lake is magnificent. The holy lake is intimately interwoven with the texture of ancient religion and worship. The majestic mount Kailas (22028 ft.) stands as the guardian deity of sapphire-watered Manasarovar and its sister Lake of Rakshas Tal on its left. The Manasarovar is at an altitude of 14950 feet and covers an area of about 200 square miles. Its circumference is about 54 miles and it is nearly 300 feet deep. Both the lakes might have been one continuous lake once and the range of hills now separating them might be due to a subsequent upheaval. From Takalkot a place in the Himalayas the lake is at a distance of four hours. A special feature of the lake is that during a full moon night the lake looks enchanting.
The lake is between Mount Kailas in the north and Mandhata in the south and the peaks of these mountains are seen reflected in the lake on clear days. A common sight in the lake is swimming ducks and bar-headed geese. But no lotuses are generally found in the lake.
The approach to the lake is marshy and is full of small thorny bushes. Three of the principal rivers of India, viz., the Indus River
, the Brahmaputra River
and the Sutlej River
as well as the Karnali have their sources within a distance of about 45 miles. There are eight Gompas on the banks of the lake. The nearest Gompa was Thugolho Gompa. Near this Gompa, a sacrificial platform or a Yajna-Vedi had been built by Swami Pranavanand and havana is performed there on Shri Krishna's birth day and on other festive occasions. Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were immersed in the Mansarovar near Jiu Gompha.
But at the same time it has to be kept in mind that the lake is not is easily accessible to ordinary pilgrims. Their high altitudes and the dangers of the sloping forests and the shivering cold of these regions make climbing almost impossible. Manasarovar Lake stands as a splendid bounty gifted by the Almighty to Nature.