Tourist’s Comments As a gem in south Tibet, Basomtso’s beauties inspire imagination of anyone who comes here. The flowers in spring, green trees in summer, golden fruits in autumn and white snow in winter all suggest that this is real “Jiangnan of Tibet” and a paradise for both the immortals and the human beings.
Like a shy girl, Basomtso never intentionally displays her beauty to others. She quietly lies in the embrace of the snow mountains and forest, just as the verse going “There are countless gorgeous places in the world, but only Basomtso never releases her true face.” Profile Basomtso, also called Cuogao Lake, is a fantastic lake that hides among the mountains and valleys in southeast Tibet.
Thanks to its humid weather and mountainous topography, Basomtso boasts a piece of very dense forest. Bored of snow mountains and bare Gobi, the locals like spending their holidays in Nyingchi. Thanks to its convenient transportation facilities, Basomtso is always the hottest destination for holiday’s goers. Basomtso, hiding in the deep valley of the upper reaches of the River Ba, 50 km from the the Gongbujiangda County Nyingchi, is a famous holy lake and land for the Red Sect (the Ninma Sect of the Tibetan Buddhism) at the latitude of over 3,700 meters.
It spreads like a huge crescent that goes 12 kilometers long and a few hundred meters wide. The lake, ranked as a 4 A (the highest ranking in China) scenic spot in 2000, has a land coverage of 25.9 square kilometers, the deepest point of which is about 60 meters. It was categorized as a world tourist attraction by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) in 1997 and the national forest park by the Chinese National Forestry Administration in 2002.
The scenic zone with the Cuogao Lake at its center includes two villages of Xueka and Cuogao; the major attractions are the Arpei Manor, the Watch Tower, the Changjing Stone Tablet the Cuosong Temple and the like. Its vast area and mild topography make the lake an ideal place for aquatic recreations like angling. Scenic Spots 12,000 meters long and several hundred meters wide, Basomtso (also called Cuogao Lake, which means three rocks and three jakes in Tibetan) shapes like a huge crescent set in the Grand Canyon.
Birds like the yellow ducks and white cranes flock here for the numerous fish in the lake. The reflection of white snow mountain on the crystal like the flowers, butterflies on the bank and wide animals in the woods make it a real paradise for all creatures. Different from other holy lakes in Tibet, Basomtso is surrounded by dense green primitive forest. As its name implies, the lake is as green and clear as pure jade in which the swimming fish can be easily seen.
The green peaks around the lake are permanently frozen and their reflection on the lake surface constitutes a very pretty watercolor. What matters most is that here is still isolated and free from the disturbance of the outside world. “Goat Back Rock”, an isle on the lake center, was formed by the ancient glacier movement and we still see the scratches left by the ancient glaciers today. The isle, also called Zhaxi, is believed to be empty inside. Put it different, its bottom doe not touch the lake floor or it is floating on the water.
Whether it is the case, the chance is yours to make a judgment on the isle. On the isle there is a small but exquisite temple called Cuozonggongbashi of 200 square meters only. Built 1, 500 years ago in the Zanpu Period of the Tubo Dynasty, the two-storied temple is a wood structure. Lots of Buddha and animals statues were carved out of the reefs on the isle.
In the main hall of the temple there stand the statues of 1,000 arms Kwan-yin, gold boy, jade girl and Lianhuasheng. At the foot of a Buddha’s warrior attendant there is a small round concave, which is said to be the mark left by King Gesa’s horse shoes. There go many other legends about the small isle: the sword mark left by king Gesa, the Tibetan Letter Tree, the footmark on the rock of Songzanganbu and the holy spring where Lianhuasheng used to wash his face … All these tales add more mystery and charms to this isle.
A pine and a peach tree have joined their branches together like “husband and wife” in the south of the temple, which adds some romance to this pure land. The pink peach blossom with green pine needles in summer is a special attraction here. The lamas and followers of the Cuozonggongba Temple all come and go by canoe.
There is a mysterious cave called “Begging for a Son Cave” beside a brook in the southern bank of Basomtso. In the 20 cm wide and 40 cm deep cave on a big rock there is a small rock, which resembles the female sexual organ. It is said that it has been empowered by Master Lianhuasheng so women can come here to beg for a son. On the nearby sands there is the Lianhuasheng Practice Cave.
On the western bank is the location where King Gesa is believed to trial his arrows. The legend says that each year on the 15th of April Tibetan Calendar a long white ribbon will grow from the center of the lake bed, which is a hada (a Tibetan white scarf) as a tribute to King Gesa. There stands a huge rock in the northwest of the lake with a hole through its center.
The locals believe that to go through the hole will ward off bad luck. Being a holy lake of the Red Sect, each year Basomtso attracts a large number of people to make the circle-the-lake trip. Around the lake there live many Tibetan people. Going upstream of the lake, one sees many huge glaciers on the tributes and origins of the lake. Their long and big ice tongues go among the trees and the glacier, supplying abundant water for the neighborhood. Beside the picturesque lake there are lines of villas for the holiday village.