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Lake Ngoring Tso, Tibet

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Mato county, also known as Machukha མ་ ཆུ་ཁ་ , has several marshy plains dotted with tiny lakes and meandering rivers which provide good grasslands for the many nomads around the source of the Ma chu རྨ་ཆུ་ (Yellow River). There are, however, two particularly large lakes, known as Kyaring Tso and Ngoring Tso, trough which the Ma chu རྨ་ཆུ་ (Yellow River) itself flows. To reach these lakes, take the jeep dirt road from Mato which follows the Ma chu རྨ་ཆུ་ (Yellow River) upstream, for 57 km to Ngoring Tso, the closer of the two lakes (area 618 sq km, average depth 17 m). There is a bird sanctuary at the southwest corner of Kyaring Lake (area 526 sq km, average depth 9 m), where swans, gulls, wild geese and ducks can be seen nesting. Both lakes provide a rich fishing ground for Chinese immigrants. Tibetans, even in these remote parts, are reluctant to eat fish. On a hilltop (4610 m)between the lakes there is a very small reconstructed monastery, Tsowar Kartse Doka མཚོ་ ཝ་ རྐ་ རྩེ་ དོ་ཀ་, said to mark the unknown site of Kartse Palace, which, according to old Chinese sources, is where Songsten Gampo met and married Princess Wencheng. It contains the mortal remains of Mani Lama, who passed away at jyekundo in the late 1950s, and is maintained by Nyingmapa and Gelukpa monks, despite having been built originally by a Bon Lama. A hilltop monument to the west has a monument, said to mark the source of the Ma chu རྨ་ཆུ་ (Yellow River), but this is a symbolic approximation.

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Taken on September 7, 2010