Lhamo La Tso or Lhamo Tso is a small oval oracle lake located in Gyaca County of Lhokha Province, Lhasa. Literally, in the Tibetan language Lhamo means Goodness and LaTso, which means soul lake. Lhamo Latso Lake is regarded as the most sacred Lake in Tibet. In other words, it is called Vision Lake, where senior Tibetan monks of the Gelug sect go for visions to assist in the discovery of reincarnations of the Dalai Lama. Other pilgrims from all over Tibet also come to seek dreams.
It is located in Gyaca County, Lhokha Province southeast of Lhasa. It is a four-hour hike from the Gelugpa Chokorgyel Monastery at an altitude of about 5,300 meters and covers an area of only about 2 square kilometers. The Lhamo Latso Lake is about 40-50 kilometers from the downtown of Gyaca, which is about 65km northeast of Gyaca County in Shannan Prefecture(Lhoka.)
Chokorgyel Monastery itself is about 115 kilometers northeast of Tsetang and about 160km (99 mi)southeast of Lhasa, at an altitude of 4,500 meters above sea level. The old path from Chokorgyel monastery used to be paved to make access easier for senior monks wishing to visit the Lake. Halfway along is a diamond-shaped pond fed by glaciers known as Yoni Lake.
There is Shokde, or the throne was built for Dalai Lama. Once he sat there to divine the future while gazing into the Lake about 1 kilometer in front and 150 meters lower down. Now a day it is buried under a mound of silk scarves (kadak). In early times there was a temple named Jemo Maksoma at the eastern end of the Lake; the site is now marked only by prayer flags and offerings left by pilgrims. There is a circumambulator pilgrimage (Kora) around Lhamo Lhatso.
Palden Lhamo and Lhamo La-Tso Lake
There is a strong connection between the Lhamo Lhatso and the Palden Lhamo, the female protector and guardian of the Tibetan people. It is a belief that she is the protector spirit of the sacLakeLake, and she would protect the incarnation of the Dalai Lama. The Lake is considered the place where Palden Lhamo, the Glorious Goddess of Tibet renowned for her miraculous ability in prediction, offered her skull to attach her spirit. Lhamo La-Tso lake is a synonym for LakeLake of Oracle., a lake that can foretell the future through the visions one sees on its surface.
The particular form of Palden Lhamo at Lhamo La-Tso is Jemo Maksoma, “The victorious queen who turns back enemies.” Lake is sometimes referred to as “Palden Lhamo Kalideva,” which indicates that she emanates Kali, Shakti of Shiva. Jemo Maksoma, also known as Machik Pelha Shiwe Nyamchen, is the mild form of Palden Lhamo.
The mountain in the south of Chokorgyel Monastery is the residence of Palden Lhamo, on which the sky burial site is located. The monastery was initially built in a triangular form to reflect the symbolism of its position at the conjunction of the three rivers and surrounded by three mountains. It also represents the conjunction of the three elements of water, earth, and fire, as well as the female principle of Palden Lhamo in the form of an inverted triangle.
Lhamo La-Tso Lake and reincarnations
Historically there is a very close relationship between the reincarnations of Tibetan religious leaders and Lhamo La-Tso Lake. The tradition could be traced back to the first Dalai Lama, Gedun Drupa (1391-1474). The Dalai Lama visited Lhamo La- Tso lake and met with Palden Lhamo, who made a promise to the first Dalai Lama that she would protect the reincarnation lineage of Dalai Lama. After the 1st Dalai Lama’s parinirvana, the senior monks followed his instruction and went to Lhamo La-Tso Lake to seek guidance. They found the reincarnation of the 1st Dalai Lama at Shigatse. Since the second Dalai Lama, the reincarnation system of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism officially formalized that the regents and other senior monks have to go to Lhamo La-Tso Lake to see guidance on a discovery of the next reincarnation.
Also, in 1935, the Regent of Tibet, Reting Rinpoche, went to Lhamo La-Tso to seek the clue of the next Dalai Lama. He was blessed with a clear vision of three Tibetan letters (Ah, Ka, Ma), a monastery with a jade green and gold roof, and a house with turquoise roof titles appeared. Based on this oracle, they are led to the discovery of the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso in Amdo Taktse. Every Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama was discovered with the guidance of Lhamo- La-Tso, and they are obligated to visit once in their lifetime at Lhamo La-Tso Lake.
Many pilgrims believe that they can receive the revelation of their future in the vision the Lhamo La-Tso show on the mirror lake the Lake. To get the most productive disclosure, they have to stay three days and nightsLakethe Lake for meditation and pay homageLakethe Lake with proper devoutness. They can’t even talk during the ceremony.
Due to its unique role in Tibetan Buddhism and lack of accommodation, Lhamo La-Tso Lake is currently only open for pilgrims and Chinese travelers. The distance of Lhamo La-Tso Lake from the Tsetang town is about 195km and 350km from Lhasa city. It usually needs two days to Lake the Lake from Lhasa.
We need to keep in mind certain things when traveling to Lhamo La-Tso LaLakeThe Lake is located high and far ring of grey mountains. The elevation and the surrounding peaks combine to give it a highly changeable climate to prepare well for the continuous passage of clouds. Wind creates a constantly moving pattern on the waters’ surface. There is possible high altitude sickness. Recommend for waterproof clothes and shoes. Rain can be expected in July and August, less in June and September, and virtually none during the rest of the year. Highly snow can be expected from December to February. The best time to visit Lhamo La- Tso Lake is between March and May.
During the travel to Lhamo La-Tso lake, it’s not about the unique and magnificent structureLakethe Lake. Still, also you can find the beauty of Mani stones piled on the way to indicate the direction. It is also an expedition through virgin forests, vast plateaus, towering mountains, and limp rivers. The pilgrims to Lhamo La- Tso lake is richly varied and has so much to offer, like high snow mountains, a magnificent monastery, seldom visited cave hermitages, nomads and their black tent culture, etc.