Rakshastal

Rakshastal


About Rakshastal:

As the name suggests, the literal meaning of Rakshastal is the Lake of Demon or the Lake of Devil. Rakshastal is a crescent-shaped saltwater lake which is full of negativity. It is believed to be the place where Ravana- the Demon King meditated and paid reverence to Lord Shiva. Rakshas Tal is known as Lagngar Cho or Lhanag Tso in Tibetan, which means "the dark lake of poison".

There are many stories related to the creation of Rakshas Tal, a few of them have been listed below:

  1. Rakshastal was created by Ravana who worshipped Lord Shiva. Every day Ravana cut off his own head and offered it to Lord Shiva. Impressed by his act of sacrifice, Lord Shiva appeared on the tenth day and blessed the demon king.

  2. According to another story, Ravana was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He visited Mount Kailash to fulfil his wish. He bathed at Rakshastal and meditated here before visiting Mount Kailash. According to mythology, Rakshastal was full of negativity and when Ravana immersed himself in it, his mind was filled with much negativity. Approaching Kailash Parvat, he saw Mata Parvati. Lord Shiva was very impressed with Ravana's devotion and asked Ravana for his wish to which he asked for Mata Parvati. Legend has it that this inappropriate desire arose in his mind after bathing in Rakshastal. However, there is no definitive judgment as to whether this wish was planned in advance or after the dip.

  3. According to Tibetans, the demon king Ravana is believed to have wanted Lord Shiva to migrate to Lanka. He meditated deeply and worshipped Lord Shiva at Rakshastal to please him. But Lord Shiva said that he will not leave Kailash Parbat. Ravana tried to lift the sacred mountain but Lord Shiva put pressure on it and Ravana's thumb was injured. From excessive pain, Ravana began to recite Shiv Tandav Strotam. Lord Shiva was impressed by his deeds and gave him the Shivalinga as a symbol to take to Lanka.

Location of Rakshastal:

Rakshas Tal is located to the west of Lake Mansarovar, about 50km from Mount Kailash. Rakshastal has four islands namely Dola, Lachato, Topserma, and Dosharba. It is situated at an elevation of 4500 meters in the Ngari Province of Tibet.

Significance of Rakshastal:

According to Hindu mythology, the Rakshastal is associated with the demon king Ravana. It is not inauspicious and even touching the water of the lake is discouraged. The crescent shape of Rakshastal symbolises darkness. There is a short river here called Gangachu, which connects Lake Manasarovar and Rakshastal, and is believed to have been created by Rishis to add pure water from Manasarovar.

Rakshastal is considered to be a poisonous lake and going for a dip in it can have a highly negative impact. Taking a dip in Rakshastal can be fatal and may result in health-related issues. There are no fishes and other aquatic animals in Lake Mansarovar due to the high level of salinity. The Chinese authority has barricaded the area of Rakshastal, you can spot the lake at a distance.

Mountain Kailash view from Rakshastal:

Rakshastal is located about 50km towards the west of Mount Kailash. One can get a glimpse of the holy Kailash Mountain from here. It is believed that Ravana took a dip in this lake before visitng Lord Shiva at Mount Kailash.

A photo of Kailash Parvat with Rakshastal comes best. Rakshastal is the first halt while going to Lake Mansarovar. Since nobody is allowed to go near to Rakshastal, therefore it is very clean.

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