Yamdrok Lake is a freshwater lake in Tibet, it is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and regarded as the most beautiful lake in Tibet. It is over 72 km (45 mi) long. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams. The lake has an outlet stream at its far western end.
Around 90 km to the west of the lake lies the Tibetan town of Gyantse and Lhasa is a hundred km to the northeast. According to local mythology, Yamdrok Lake is the transformation of a goddess.
The Yamdrok Hydropower Station was completed and dedicated in 1996 near the small village of Baidi at the lake’s western end. This power station is the largest in Tibet, also the highest pumped storage power station in the world.
The lake is fan-shaped, spreading to the south but narrowing up to the north. The mountainous lakeshore is highly crenelated, with numerous bays and inlets. Lake Yamdrok freezes in winter.
Like mountains, lakes are considered sacred by Tibetan people, the principle being that they are the dwelling places of protective deities and therefore invested with special spiritual powers. Yamdrok Lake is one of four particularly holy lakes, thought to be divinatory; everyone from the Dalai Lama to local villagers makes pilgrimages there. It is considered sacred as one of the four "Great Wrathful Lakes" guarded by the goddess Dorje Gegkyi Tso. The others such lakes are Lhamo La-tso, Namtso and Manasarovar. The lake is revered as a talisman and is said to be part of the life-spirit of Tibet. The largest lake in southern Tibet, it is said that if its waters dry, Tibet will no longer be habitable.