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Basum-tso (Draksum Tso) or Cuogao Lake in Tibetan name
Home » Nyingchi-East Tibet » Basum-tso (Draksum Tso) or Cuogao Lake in Tibetan name

Basum-tso Lake in Nyingchi, East Tibet Tourists Attraction

Basum (Draksum) Tso is also named as Cuogao Lake meaning green water in the Tibetan language. It is a highland lake lying 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of Kongpo Gymdo county and about 300km to the east of Lhasa and around 20km to the Sichuan-Tibet Hwy. It is a famous holy lake of the Nyingma Sect. The lake surface is on average about 3,538 meters above sea level. The lake covers an area of 25.9 square kilometers. The deepest part is about 60 meters from the surface. The blue, limpid lake water and the verdant mountain around the lake combine into a charming scene that can be compared with those in Switzerland. In summer and autumn, when flowers bloom and the air is filled with their fragrance, bees and butterflies are seen shuttling and fluttering among them. Bears, leopards, goats, musk deer, Tibetan snow roosters and other wild animals look for food and sport in the forest. An islet in the center of the lake is an enormous "sheep-back stone" left by glaciation eons ago.

Photo by our clients in April,2009


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.

Tibet Draksum Tso Album by clients in April,2009


Following the direction of the glacier's movement, one can discern distinct traces. On the islet stands a monastery of the Yellow Sect, which was built in the 17th century. Going upstream from the Basum Lake to the source of the mainstream and the tributaries, one can see large mountain glaciers. With abundant snow, the long tongues of the lakes often stretch into the lush and green forest, the white snow shining through green trees. The bank of the lake is dotted with small villas of unique shapes, making a beautiful and comfortable holiday village. In 1997, the Basum Lake was listed by the World Tourist Organization as one of the world's best tourist spots. Address: about 90 kilometers west of Gongbo'gyamda County.


Tibet Travel tips, the land adventure driving from Lhasa to Gongbo'Gyamda County will pass by the Pillar Rock in midstream, The  Mainstay which is really Awesom, Have an overview to the Tibet tour attraction below:

Pillar Rock in midstream,Tibet Photo Album taken by Tony