Baksum Tso Lake
Basum (Draksum) Tso is also named as Cuogao Lake meaning green water in the Tibetan language. Located within Gongbugjiangda County, it is about 300 kilometers to the east of Lhassa and 20 kilometers to the Sichuan-Tibet Highway. The lake is 3700 meters above sea level and covers a surface area of 27 square kilometers. About 50 kilometers to Gongbugyangda in the deep valley of the upper reaches of Bahe River, it is a famous holy lake of the Nyingma Sect.
The lake is surrounded by mountains and enjoys a temperate climate. At the feet of the snow-clapped mountains, the vegetation is luxuriant and the trees of black maples, birches, pines, cypresses and azaleas connected each other to form a world of greenery. Basum Tso is about 18 kilometers long and has an average width of about 1.5 kilometers. The deepest point of the lake reaches 120 meters. The lake surface does not ice up in winter. The replenishment of the lake water comes from the rainfall and melting snow and ice. The lake is rich in the resources of water conservancy.
Near the south bank 3 kilometers to the lower part of the lake is an small island covering an area of about 2,000 square meters. The ancient Tsodzong Monastery of Nyingma Sect stands on the island. It goes back 1,500 years ago during the time of the Tubo Tsenpo reign. Padmanatesvara is mainly worshipped in the temple. The round recesses on the cobbles at the feet of the statue of Mahakala is said to be the hoof traces left by Geshar horse. Every year crowds of pilgrims come from all directions to circumambulate the lake, pour butter for the lamps, burn joss sticks and pray in the temple. On every corner of the island the magical legends are distributed: the sword trace on the rock by Geshar King; the Tibetan characters natural formed on the leaves; the footprint on the stone by Songtsen Gampo; the holy spring Padmanatesvara once washed his face with its water and so on. All of these make you to be filled with respect and admiration. The Basum Lake is quiet and around it is the typical glacier topography with V-shaped valleys, horns and cirques.