Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by asoulwindow
Table of Contents
Information about Rakshas Tal
Rakshas Tal is one of the most visually gorgeous places to see during Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. But it is not auspicious. Associated with the story of Atmalinga and Ravan, the demon king of Lanka,this is no ordinary lake. Rakshas Tal is an unusual place to see in West Tibet.
There are several visually gorgeous picturesque spots which attract many tourists in Tibet, China. However, I am sure you do not know much about some of the mysterious and strange restricted travel areas in Tibet? Rakshas Taal is one of those mysterious places in Tibet. This detailed travel guide reveals all you wanted to know about Rakshas Tal.
Where is Rakshas Taal located?
Rakshas Tal Lake in which country? It is a fairly commonly asked question. Rakshas Taal is located in the Burang County of Ngari Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Ngari Burang County or the Ngari District of Tibet has some of the most fascinating places associated with Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Situated in West Tibet, Rakshas Taal is located in close proximity with the places like Taklakot or Purang and Mansarovar Lake. Fresh water of Mansarovar lake also flows in the salty Rakshastal via Ganga Chhu channel.
Sacred places such as Mount Kailash (as the west calls it), Yam Dwar, Tarboche, Zuthulphuk and Darchen are located a few kilometres of drive away.
What is special about Rakshas Tal? Ravan Taal is the exact place where the demon-like King of Lanka, Ravan performed severe penance to please Lord Shiva (as the west calls Him). This is the main reason why Rakshas Tal is world famous. Tibet tour is incomplete without visiting Rakshastal Lake. This sarovar in Himalaya in a must-visit place in Tibet. Rakshas Tal is also the largest saltwater lake of Tibet.
My Experience of visiting Rakshas Tal
It did feel very odd when I visited Rakshas Tal lake. As we wheeled away on the smooth roads, I noticed Rakshas Tal from the window of my car. Sumit ji, our co traveller who was supervising this epic trip across West Tibet wasn’t even too keen to stop here.
When I requested many times, the car was stopped and we were warned to not spend too much time at Rakshas Tal, for it can attract negativity in life. I looked around quickly and walked over the barren land around Rakshas Taal for 15-20 minutes. Soon, we were asked to sit back in car. I wanted to see more and spend more time at Rakshas Tal but since it was not auspicious to stay here for a long time, we left.
Soul Window Thoughts
Before leaving, I turned and had a last look at the landscape around Rakshas Tal. There was no sign of life at Rakshas Tal. Small semi dry shrubs carpeted the barren landscape of the land around the demon lake.
No birds, no animals and no humans even in far distance could be spotted, except a pitch-dark Raven who sat on a distant rock, like a bad omen in a poorly made Bollywood movie. I stopped thinking much as the car pulled me away from Rakshas Tal and towards Darchen. The packed doughnuts in 4 different flavours and fancy colours comforted me.
Altitude of Rakshas Taal
Rakshas Taal is located at the high altitude of 15,010 feet or 4,575 meters. I have included all aspects of Rakshas Taal in this information packed travel guide. This is the most comprehensive travel guide on Rakshas Tal ever.
Area of Rakshas Tal
Rakshas Tal is huge. The total area of Rakshas Taal spans a whooping 250 square kilometres or 97 square miles.
Landscape of Rakshas Taal
There are no trees or grasslands near the salty Rakshastal Lake. I noticed many irregularly shaped stones and cobbles which gave a spooky look to the mysterious Rakshas Taal. Even at the first sight, I was able to see that it looks distinctly different from the other lakes and places which I saw in Tibet.
I saw many named and unnamed lakes across Tibet during the 15 days long trip. I saw many huge lakes while traveling from Saga to Kyirong aka Gyirong on a 16-hour long bus ride.
From a distance, I observed that the blue water of Rakshas Taal or Laangcuo Lake sparkled. Its sheer beauty is fascinating. This head turner of a lake is visually stunning. The source of water in both Rakshas Taal and Lake Mansarovar is the melting glaciers.
The background of Namunani Snow Mountain Group adds to the aura of Rakshas Taal. The unusual landscape of lakes, glaciers, grasslands and wetlands is what makes the Ngari District Tibet Autonomous Region of Southwest China so unique!
The clear blue skies and dramatic clouds add to the beauty of the stunning Lake. The reflection of clouds in the dark blue lake make it look visually gorgeous. This very salty lake is a must-see place in West Tibet.
No Sign of life at Rakshas Tal
Since there are no plants or wildlife around the Rakshas Taal, the Tibetans call it as “the Ghost Lake”. I found the lifeless surroundings of Rakshas Taal as spooky and eerie. Neither did I see any sign of vegetation or grass nor did I see any animals or birds in and around Rakshas Tal. I didn’t even see any fish in the water of Rakshastal. I did notice small patches of semi dry grass (I visited in August) on the barren land around Rakshas Tal.
Wild animals, irrespective of whether they are docile large herbivores or ferocious carnivores, dare not visit Rakshas Tal lake to quench their thirst or even to chill.
The wild animals would take a detour, climb a few hills and traverse long distances, than they would stop and drink water of Rakshastal. During my visit to Rakshas Tal, I had not seen a single animal or bird or even plants.
I had seen many Brahminy Duck or Ruddy Shelduck and noticed several small marine organisms while having a holy dip in Mansarovar Lake. Strangely, I didn’t see a single life form in Rakshas Tal. I noticed just lone black raven, croaking menacingly. In that eerie setting, the raven seemed less of a bird and more of a bad omen. I had seen many Brahminy Ducks in Ladakh as well.
At some places the local Buddhists have placed dry horns of dead animals such as sheep with Buddhist paraphernalia such as prayer flags etc.
Islands of Rakshas Taal
There are a total of 4 islands located in Rakshas Taal, namely:
The dark red colored islands give an interesting contrast to the deep blue water of Lake Rakshas Taal. These odd islands serve as winter pastures for the yaks of the local Tibetan people. I am not sure of that because I visited in summer. I have however heard that wild animals and local herders never visit Raksha Taal or Laangcuo Lake.
Depth of Rakshas Taal
Rakshas Taal is a very deep lake. The lowest depth of Rakshas Tal is 150 feet. The depth of Rakshas Taal was measured during the River and Lake Source Investigation. This focussed study helps in ascertaining the quantity of water in the lakes.
It also helps in studying the water balance of the basin and even mapping the lake isobath. Lowrance HDS-5 sonar depth finder is used to measure the depth of Rakshas Taal Lake.
Nomenclature/Etymology of Rakshas Taal
There are many names of Rakshas Taal in Hindi, Sanskrit, English, Tibetan and Chinese languages. Below are the other names of Rakshas Tal Lake. The deep insight I am sharing in this travelogue is not available in the mainstream media and old school traditional guide books.
Hindu names of Rakshas Tal
Rakshas Tal is a Sanskrit word. Rakshas means demon while taal means lake.
Rakshasa Taal is also known as Ravana Hrada, Rakshas Sarovar, Ravana Sarovar, Ravan Had, Rakshas Tal Jhil or राक्षसताल in Hindi language.
Tibetan names of Rakshas Tal
In the local Tibetan language Rakshas Taal is also called as Langa-tso, Lagngar Cho or Lhanag Tso, the literal meaning of which is “the dark lake of poison”. It is interesting to see that the negative naming of the Lake Rakshastal is done in both Hindu faith as well as Tibetan faith.
Tso stands for lake in Tibetan language, much like the Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri of Ladakh in North India on the border between India and Tibet. These are all high-altitude lakes of India and Tibet. In Tibetan language, “cuo” also means lake.
English names of Rakshas Tal
The English names of Rakshas Tal are Lake Rakshastal, Rakshastal Lake, Demon Lake, toxic black lake and lake of the demon, Ghost Lake, poisonous black lake.
Chinese names of Rakshas Tal
In Chinese, Rakshas Taal is named as La’angcuo, Laang Co Lake or Laangcuo Lake. It is also called as Ghost Lake Laangcuo which means”poisonous black lake” in the Tibetan language.
History of Rakshas Tal
This historical destination is an offbeat place to visit in Tibet. Historical significance of Rakshastal dates back to ancient times. Rakshas Tal despite being a despised lake has always been the topic of discussion since the time of Ramayana. That is how old the history of Rakshas Tal lake is. This is also why Rakshas Taal is also associated with the faith of crores of Hindus across the globe.
Who built Rakshas Taal?
Who constructed Raakshas Taal? The huge lake near Mansarovar Lake is believed to be originated through Ravana – the demon king of Lanka from the historical Ramayan era.
Rakshataal was created by the demon king Ravana, while he was meditating near Kailash Parvat in order to impress Shiva Bhagwan with his devotion. He expected to get special blessings from Lord Shiva (as the west calls Him).
When was Raakshas Taal constructed?
Rakshas Taal was created in the prehistoric times in the Ramayan era. It is a scenic lake which has existed since thousands of years.
The story of Ravan and Rakshas Taal
There are several secrets and mysteries associated with Rakshas Tal. There is a very interesting story which links the demon king of Lanka, Ravan with Rakshas Taal. Ravan did severe penance or kadi tapasya to please Shiv ji who still lives in Kailash Parvat. Ravana wanted to have some special superpowers. Meditation and acts of devotion were his tools.
So devoted was he that Ravan would even sacrifice one of his 10 heads on an island within Rakshas Taal. Finally, on the tenth day, Shiv Bhagwan acknowledged his sacrifices and was touched by his determination.
Pleased, Shiv ji granted him with the superpowers which he desired so badly. It was at Rakshas Taal that these events unfolded centuries ago.
Atmalinga connection with Rakshas Tal
A very interesting story of Atmalinga is also linked with above mentioned events. After Shiv Bhagwan granted the boon to Ravan, he insisted that Lord Shiva (as the West calls him) accompany him to his kingdom in Lanka or the present-day Sri Lanka.
Shiv Bhagwan agreed to accompany him but in the form of a Shivalinga or Atmalinga. Bholenath also warned Ravana that he if he keeps the sacred Atmalinga on the ground then he will not be able to lift it again.
While returning to Lanka, Ravan had a strong urge to answer the call of nature. This is when Ganesh Bhagwan, son of Shiv ji tricked him into handing over the Atmalinga to him. Lord Ganesh (as the West calls him) appeared in the form of a local shephard Baiju. Ravan asked him to hold Atmalinga and not to keep it on ground till he returns back.
While Ravan was away, Ganesh ji in the form of Baiju kept the Atmalinga on the ground. This is why temple on that place still exists in the picturesque Himachal Pradesh.
Soul Window Observations
It is interesting how some of the places I visited in the hilly Himachal Pradesh in North India and Karnataka in South India has links with Rakshas Taal in Tibet. While visiting, I had little idea that all of these spiritual places are inter connected.
Whether it is the world famous Baijnath Temple, Mahabaleshwar Temple of Gokarna or Murudeshrwar Temple, they are all linked with this Atmalinga story. Do check out these blogs of mine and join the dots. My blog A Soul Window has been mentioned as the no 1 travel vlogger in India many times.
Story of Shiv ji, Parvati ji and Ravan
As per another story, Ravan wanted to have bath in Rakshas Taal before he met Shiv ji. While he was on his way to meet Shankar Bhagwan or Shiv ji, he saw his wife Parvati ji at Gauri Kund. He was mesmerized with the beauty of Parvati ji. When he later met Shiv ji, the latter asked him about what he wants.
Ravan ridiculously said that he wants the wife of Shiv ji. It is said that since Ravan took the bath in the polluted water of Raakshas Tal, therefore it had a negative impact on his thinking process. He had lost his sense of judge to separate the right from wrong. This is also the reason why no one takes bath in Rakshas Taal.
Tibetan Legend of Laangcuo Lake or Rakshas Taal
As per the Tibetan legends, once upon a time, a traveler visited the La Angcuo Lake or Rakshas Taal by trekking through the high-altitude mountains and water. He got very thirsty with all the walking. Drinking the water of the Rakshas Taal was the easiest option he had.
It is said that after he drank the water of the evil lake, his soul was taken away by the evil spirit in an instant. He passed away after this event.
On an occasion, a group of herders traversed from far-away lands with their cattle and sheep around the Laangcuo Lake.
After they reached the Rakshas Tal lake, they were flabbergasted when they noticed a strange phenomenon in front of them. The sky was still clear when they visited but all of a sudden, dark clouds rolled out of nowhere. The surface of the lake which was calm, suddenly gave way to huge waves.
Soon, a group of rotating water mist rose on Rakshastal lake’s surface. The white smoke rose suddenly on the surface of the water.
It is said that a huge black shadow, rose into the air from the water of Rakshas Tal. They had also heard a dull roar at the same time.
The herders had not heard of any such roar earlier. It was scary and eerie. The roar sounded like a roar from the ‘evil spirits of hell’. The herders chickened out and fled in all the directions when they noticed the jet-black water of Rakshastal Lake rapidly rushing towards the shore with a deafening roar.
After some time as they turned their heads to see what happened next, they were surprised to see that the water of the Rakshas Tal had turned calm and the black clouds had vanished as well. It was again bright and sunny. As the sun rays danced on the rippling water, the herders thought, “Was it all an illusion?” But then, they also noticed the bones of sheep and other cattle by the Rakshastal lake.
This made news in the nearby villages in an era when there was no social media. The villagers educated the herders about the legends associated with Rakshas Taal lake or the ghost lake.
In old days, an ancient altar used to exist on Lake Rakshas Tal. As per the Tibetan folklore and history, the bottom of Rakshas Taal was the gate to another world. On certain occasions, people have observed strange things taking place on the ghost lake.
Sheep, cattle and even humans are known to be swallowed whole by the Laangcuo Lake. This is why, even today, the local Tibetans do not visit Rakshas Tal. This is after all the ‘lake that can eat people whole.’
Top things to do in Rakshas Taal
Rakshas Taal is a hidden gem. What is there to do in Rakshas Tal? You can spend some quiet time at Rakshas Tal as it is located away from the crowds. Some of the best things to do in Rakshas Taal are:
- Notice the landscape
- Observe from a distance
- Do photography and video making
- Do NOT take bath in Rakshas Taal
- Meditate (Avoid if uncomfortable)
- Do NOT touch or splash water of Rakshas Taal on your body.
Mystery and secrets of Rakshas Taal
What is the secret of Rakshas Taal? It is the most frequently asked question on Rakshas Tal lake. Himalayas are not just a mountain range but a mystery which no one has been able to solve yet. This region is famous not only for some of the highest peaks of the world but also some of the deepest lakes. The lakes which hide many secrets.
There is a very thin line between reality and magic in all the mystical places which I visited in Tibet during Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. There is no dearth of fascinating stories on this journey of a lifetime. Stories are hidden in every step that I took on this yatra (journey).
Rakshas Tal which appeared very calm and beautiful to me, is in reality the symbol of evil. Some local Tibetans say there are many secrets that lie in the bottom of Rakshas Taal. Scientists have conducted several investigations and studies on Rakshastal Lake.
Origin of Sutlej River
Which river originates from Rakshas Tal? Not many Indians know that the river they call as Sutlej originates at the north-western tip of Lake Rakshas Taal.
The Sutlej River is also called as Langqen Zangbo in the Tibetan language.
Why is Rakshastal salty?
Why Rakshas Tal is salty? Since the water in Rakshas Taal is salty, it is not possible to sustain any sort of life form in it. This is also the reason why devotees are discouraged from having a dip or bath in the water of Rakshas Tal. By taking a bath in Rakshas Tal, there is also the danger to causing harm to the skin due to high salt content.
When Ravan did his tapasya or penance, he had used the water of Rakshas Taal. Since then, the water of Rakshas Taal has been known to be salty. This is also why no one uses the water of Rakshas Taal.
Scientists had studied the composition of the water of Rakshas Tal deeply. After testing the water of Rakshastal, the scientists concluded that the water of Raksha Tal was not fresh water. They discovered that the water of Laoncuo Lake had high salt content.
Some scientists also say that since this lake is salty because there is no other way for water of Rakshastal to escape except evaporation.
No wonder, due to the excessive salinity of the water of Rakshas Tal, no birds and animals visit this cursed lake. Excessive salty water is also the reason why no plant life survives around Rakshastal.
Some of the other water bodies with high salt content which I have visited are Pangong Lake in Ladakh and Dead Sea in Jordan in the Middle East. The water of Dead Sea is so salty that my eyes began to burn after floating on it.
Can we bath in Rakshas tal?
Since the Rakshas Taal is considered an evil lake in Hinduism or Sanatan Dharm, I saw no devotees here. I and my co travelers were the only one who were present at Rakshastal when I visited.
Not only will any Hindu pilgrim not visit the Rakshas Taal but they also discourage other people to visit Rakshas Tal. Mostly, your tour operator will warn you about not taking bath in Rakshas Taal ever before the journey starts.
Main fresh water source and the water of Rakshas Taal are located very close to each other. Therefore, the devotees must be watchful while visiting this area.
Even touching the water of Rakshas Taal is considered inauspicious. Humans are not allowed to even touch the water of Rakshas Taal.
I know about some people who splashed their faces with water of Rakshas Taal to prove things. They were unable to complete the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and returned from Deraphuk after developing AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness.
It is said that if some-one bathes in Rakshas Taal, even by mistake, then something bad happens to him for sure.
Scientific Reason why people don not bathe at Rakshas Taal
These days, the mysterious phenomenon associated with the Rakshas Taal has been explained scientifically as well. A scientific reason which many people give is that since there are many harmful natural gases in the water of Rakshas Taal, people are discouraged from having a bath here. The gases might not kill if you take bath here but it can surely make you sick.
Can we do pooja havan at Rakshas Taal
No, any sort of religious activity at Rakshas Taal is strictly prohibited in the ancient Hindu scriptures such as the Shastras. This is why during my many days of stay at Mansarovar Lake, I never saw anyone doing any pooja-paath (prayer) at Rakshas Tal.
Soul Window Observations
There is a reason behind the existence of every-thing in the world! Still, some people, who claim to be ‘atheist’ try to do things just to prove the ‘God’ wrong. Even the Shastras say that our behaviour depends upon the company we keep.
So many times, when people visit Teerth Sthal or pilgrimages, they start taking bath in water bodies and doing pooja and havan without giving it a thought. Especially when on a pilgrimage, people must adhere to the norms set by our ancestors. There are certain things which are allowed and certain things which are not allowed. We must abide by the rules.
Can we meditate in Rakshas Taal?
Since not many visit Rakshas Taal even in the peak season, it makes for a good spot for some quiet meditation. In fact, I have heard that sadhus or Hindu saints sit on the banks of Rakshas Taal and meditate for hours without food and water.
Rakshas Taal In Buddhism
In Buddhist faith, Mansarovar lake is seen as “brightness” while Rakshas Taal is seen as “darkness”. I find it interesting that despite no association with Ravan and Buddhism, the mysterious Rakshas Taal is still perceived as a lake with negative energy in Buddhism as well. These are some lesser-known facts.
Even the local people of Tibet will ask you to not go near the Rakshas Taalor Laangcuo Lake. The Tibetan people prevent outsiders and other people from visiting Rakshas Tal Lake because they firmly believe that it will attract the wrath of God and will make them angry. Fearing that it will bring disasters to people, the Tibetans avoid visiting this lake.
Rakshas Taal and Bon people
Rakshas Taal is significant in Hinduism or Sanatan Dharm, Bön religion, Buddhism and Jainism. Except the Bön faith, the other religions are an offshoot of Hinduism. Religion of Yongzhong Bon has existed before Buddhism entered Tibet.
Excursions from Rakshas Taal
There are many points of attractions near Rakshas Tal such as Mansarovar lake and Taklakot. Other important places of interest such as Mount Kailash (as the west calls it), Darchen, Yam Dwar, Tarboche, Deraphuk, Dolma La, Gauri Kund and Zuthulphuk (in that order) are all located close to each other. One needs to drive from Lake Mansarovar to Darchen, which is the base village for parikrama around Kailash Parvat.
Some of the top tourist attraction and sightseeing places near Rakshas Taal are mentioned as below.
- Yam Dwar
- Gauri Kund
- Chiu Gompa
- Rakshas Taal
- Mansarovar lake
- Choku Monastery
- Taklakot or Burang
- Dzultripuk Monastery
- Yarlung Tsangpo River
- Kuber Kund (In the Inner Kora)
- Koppa Temple at Mansarovar Lake
Some other famous lakes of Tibet are Zharinammucuo, Gongzhucuo, Laangcuo, Dawacuo, Xu Rucuo etc.
These nearby places can be covered in car easily if you have the permit and local guide. However, be prepared to spend extra if you want to visit these tourist places in West Tibet. Most of these major attractions are located close to each other. You must respect these ecologically fragile places and not treat them as picnic spots. I have explained all the details in this exhaustive blog.
Festival of Rakshas Taal
Mahashivratri is the main festival in Rakshas Taal but unfortunately Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is not allowed during this time due to extreme cold weather conditions and harsh climate.
Vegan and Vegetarian Food around Rakshas Taal
Vegetarian and vegan Indian food is provided by the tour operators during camping. Breakfast, lunch & dinner with occasional tea break are also covered in most tour packages while staying in lodges. During the road journey, either packed lunches or meal in the best available Chinese or Tibetan restaurants are arranged for. The food is usually quite simple due to the remoteness of the place. Keeping in mind the sentiments of Hindu people, all the meals provided are by default vegetarian.
Is it safe to visit Rakshas Tal?
To be on a safer side, avoid taking a bath in Rakshas Taal. While paying a visit at Rakshas Taal, devotees must be respectful in order to avoid any inauspicious events. Things can change in a minute or even after few days.
Souvenirs Shopping Guide to Rakshas Taal
There is not a single souvenir shop near Rakshas Taal. I saw many souvenir shops in darchen but that is a little away.
What currency is used in Rakshas Taal?
Renmbi or Chinese Yuan is widely used across Tibet. US Dollar and Indian currency are not accepted here.
ATM around Rakshas Taal
There are no ATM near Rakshas Taal. However, I did not have to spend on anything while visiting Rakshas Taal.
Photography Tips for Rakshas Taal
Rakshas Taal is a paradise for the photography enthusiasts. Everyone can be a great photographer at the visually stunning Rakshas Taal. It was bright and sunny when I visited Rakshas Taal, therefore I was able you get some very nice pictures. However, be prepared to be disappointed in case you visit on a cloudy day.
Soul Window Thoughts
Bad weather makes for gloomy pictures. For example, it was a bit rainy when I visited Tso Moriri in the Changthang Plateau of Ladakh in North India. It impacted the quality of my pictures.
I had better pictures of Pangong Tso and Tso Ltak, also in Ladakh because it was a bright sunny day. Why I am mentioning Lakes of Ladakh is because the landscape and geography of Tibet and Ladakh is quite similar to each other. The culture of Ladakh however is quite different from the culture of Tibet.
Hire local tourist guide in Rakshas Taal
Hiring local English speaking tourist guide or experienced Hindu travel guide from India makes things a lot easier and meaningful. Many tour agents provide trained tourist guides during the entire Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Languages spoken in Rakshas Taal
Tibetan and Mandarin are commonly spoken in and around Rakshas Taal. Though not many Indians visit Rakshas Taal but if you see one then expect to converse in English and Indic languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Malyalam, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi etc.
Books recommendation on Rakshas Taal
I always recommend reading related books before and after visiting a place. It gives you a deeper perspective about the place.
Toilet facility around Rakshas Taal
There is not a single Toilet near Rakshas Taal. The closest toilets were available at the lodge opposite the sacred Mansarovar Lake. However, the open toilets are stinky and very dirty.
I feel that a place with such a rich history deserves better maintenance which I didn’t notice. By maintenance I mean the facilities of basic accommodation and toilets around the lake.
Soul Window Travel Tips
The second-best option is to answer nature’s call in the open fields or in tent toilets which I didn’t like because they are uncomfortable, stinky and very small. The infrastructure across Tibet, I realised is way too bad.
Entry fee in Rakshas Taal
There is no entry fee in Rakshas Taal as it is located right next to a baby bottom smooth road. Visiting Rakshas Taal is a free thing to do.
Backpacking Budget Travel Tips for Rakshastal
Though you can take a free walking tour at Rakshastal but it is not an inexpensive or pocket friendly place. Visiting Rakshas Taal doesn’t cost anything but reaching here costs a lot of money. The devotees have to pay a hefty sum of money to go on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra because being a restricted area, only packaged group tours are allowed here.
Solo Trip Tips for Rakshas Tal
Individual package tours are also available. However, in order to keep the cost low and logistics smooth, most of the solo travellers are clubbed with group tours.
Luxury travel Tips for Rakshas Taal
Do not expect any luxury facilities at Rakshas Taal. It is as raw a place as possible. In fact, I wondered this is how it must have been like thousands of years ago too.
Where to stay in Rakshas Taal?
Our accommodation at Mansarovar Lake was very simple with a basic but cozy room. It had common public toilets (stinky). Hot water is provided on request in every room for refreshing and for drinking. Hot water for bathing is not available.
What to wear in Rakshas Tal?
Heavy woolen and clothing meant for mountaineering must be worn all the time. However, I found Mansarovar Lake and Rakshas Taal manageable with a down jackets, woollen lowers and layering of many shirts under the jacket. I didn’t require hand gloves in Rakshas Taal. I visited in August.
Timings of Rakshas Taal
Tibet time is 02:00 hours ahead of the Nepalese time.
Best Time to visit Rakshas Taal?
April to September is a good time to visit Rakshas Taal.
The entire Tibet area is closed for tourism in the winter months due to extreme cold weather. December and January are the coldest months in Tibet. Temperature of Rakshas Tal dips a lot in winter.
Summer is the only time when one is allowed to go on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. You can visit Rakshas Tal in the months of April, May, June, July, August, September and mid-October.
It did not rain much when I visited Tibet in third week of August. It drizzled very lightly on two occasions. I was totally exposed during both occasions. But it was manageable with my rain proof down jacket.
Duration of Visit in Rakshas Taal
How many days to spend around Rakshas Taal? No one spends days at Rakshas Taal as it is considered inauspicious to be in the same space. This is why I also discourage camping here. I had stayed at a basic lodge opposite Lake Mansarovar.
I made a 15 minutes stop at Rakshas Taal while I was being driven from Mansarovar to Darchen for the final parikrama around the holy Kailash Parbat.
Itinerary for Rakshastal Lake
It is simple to follow this itinerary for Rakshastal Lake
- Stay at Mansarovar Lake
- Next day visit Rakshas Taal while going to Darchen
- Arrive in Darchen by afternoon
Local Transport for sightseeing in Rakshas Taal
Taxis and private cabs are available in this area. Mostly the tour operator who arranged your Kailash Mansarovar Yatra will also manage the sightseeing in Rakshas Taal upon request.
How to reach Rakshas Taal
Located close to the pious Mansarovar Lake and Taklakote, the Rakshas Taal is also easy to visit and falls on the route between Mansarovar and Darchen.
Distances from Rakshas Taal
Rakshas Taal is located merely 3.7 kilometers or 2.3 miles away from Lake Manasarovar which is located in its west direction. Rakshas Taal is located south of the sacred Kailash Parvat.
Conclusion: Is Rakshas Taal worth visiting
Why visit Rakshas Taal? It is a complicated question but here are my final thoughts. Though many devotees will discourage you to pay a visit to Rakshas Taal but I recommend that at least spend 5-10 minutes here without touching the water. You can visit Rakshas Taal from the periphery of the lake. In a nutshell, Rakshas Taal is worth a visit only for its natural beauty. To summarize, Rakshas Taal is one of the most visually stunning location during the entire Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and is not to missed.
Many people have heard about Rakshas Tal in India but not many still known much about this lesser visited place. I hope more people read this blog and things change. Rakshas Tal is off the beaten track for sure. As someone once said, “Tibet does not lack faith, nor does it lack lakes”. Located in the lap of Kailash Parvat, Rakshas Tal is a must visit place.
The view from my Soul Window has negative energy!
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