In Tibet Autonomous Region of China, Lake Manasarovar lies 2000kms from Lhasa. To the north is Kangrinboqê Peak (also known as Mount Kailash) and to the west is Lake Rakshastal. Great attention is paid equally by the Jains and the Bonpas of Tibet.
With a height of 4556m above mean sea level, Lake Manasarovar is one of the highest fresh-water lakes in the world. The natural Ganga Chhu channel is a link between the Manasarovar and the Lake Rakshastal. The round-shaped Mapam Yumco is the origin of the Sutlej River which is the easternmost large tributary of the Indus. The origins of the mainstem Indus River--Brahmaputra River and the Karnali River which is regarded as an important tributy of the Gange are also nearby. According to Hindus, Lake Manasa Sarovar has the power to purify person's soul and leads them to heaven of Lord Shiva which will give them a hundred lifetimes. Because of its location, the Manasarovar lack only melts in spring and it is frozen in the whole winter. Its depth is 90m and the surface area is 320 square kilometers.
The lake is regarded as an abode of swans. As an important part of Subcontinent, swan is seen as sacred bird which is a combination of wisdom and beauty. Devas who are descended to bathe between 3 and 5 am of the day are known as Brahma Muhurta. Hindu religion says that the lake is first created in the mind of lord Brahma Hence. Its Sanskrit name is "Manas sarovara". Manas means mind and Sarovara stands for lake.
The legendary lake known as Anavatapta in Sanskrit and Anotatta in Pali, where Queen Maya is believed to have conceived Buddha are connected with Lake Manasarovar. A few monasteries are built along the shore. The most famous one is the ancient Chiu Gompa Monastery. Standing right on a steep hill, it impresses people as if it comes out right out of the rock.
Lake Manasarovar is a place of pilgrims just like Mount Kailash. Every year, religious people from India and the neighboring countries come to gather here. Tibetan locals and other believers from other parts of China will come, too. Since people believe the water has a power to cleanse the sins, so they drink the holy water and bathe in it. Pilgrims are attracted and organized regularly. The most famous one is called Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. The ceremonial baths in the cleansing waters of the lakes gives hope to the pilgrims.
Brahmaputra, Karnali, Indus and Sutlej are four of the greatest rivers in Asia. The pilgrims regard the Manasarovar lake as the source so people are forbidden to go for thousands of years. Between 1949 and 1980, pilgrims from other parts and foreigners are forbidden to enter this region. After 1980, it begins to integrate with other parts of the Indian pilgrim trail.