(Photo Via 500px)
In Nepal’s Sagarmatha National Park, at approximately 15,000 feet above sea level, lies the Gokyo Lakes. Comprised of six main lakes, it is the highest freshwater lake system in the world and its surrounding landscape draws everyone from adventurers to spiritual travelers to the rocky shores of the placid waters.
Located in Northeastern Nepal, the Gokyo Lakes are located near the Sagarmatha zone, which is where the base camp of Mount Everest is located. It is a popular site seeing destination for those on their way to attempt to conquer the iconic mountain as well at the final stop for those looking for a slightly less intimidating hiking experience. The lakes are formed from various water sources, one of the primary ones being fresh water seepage from the Ngozumpa glacier. The longest glacier in the Himalayas, the Ngozumpa both sustains and threatens the delicate ecology of the lake system. Because of the Earth’s warming temperatures, the glacier has been thinning over the past several decades. As a result, more and more melt water is being produced every year. As the water levels rise, the threat of a possible glacial outburst grows. Were that to happen, the excess water would flood the lakes and thus eliminate their existence. For this reason, the Gokyo Lake System has been deemed a Ramsar Site.
Both Hindus and Buddhists consider this spectacular lake system to be sacred. During the Janai Purnima festival, 500 Hindus travel to the site to take holy baths in the lakes divine waters. In addition, a temple honoring two Hindu deities is located on the western corner of the lake system. The serene waters and awe-inspiring panoramic views naturally create a spiritual environment, making this one of the world’s most treasured and hallowed destinations.