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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Manasa-sarovara, MAnasa-sarovara, Maanasa-sarovara

Mānasa-sarovara literally means ‘lake that emerged out of Brahmā’s mind or heart’.

Significance of Mānasa-sarovara

One of the most sacred places of pilgrimage for a devotee is the mount Kailāsa and the lake Mānasa-sarovara. The four-faced Brahmā while doing penance in the Himalayas is said to have created it out of his mind (or heart). Hence it is named so.

Geographical Location of Mānasa-sarovara

It is in Tibet at a distance of 32 kms. (20 miles) from the mount Kailāsa. Several rivers like the Sindhu (Indus), Sutlej and Brahmaputra originate from here. Its water is crystal clear and very cold. It is 90 meters (300 ft.) deep. It abounds in swans and ducks. There are eight maṭhas or monasteries on its banks. Some of the monasteries contain the images of gods like Kālī. It is situated at a height of 4500 meters (15,000 ft.) above the sea-level.

A bath in it is considered highly meritorious. Its actual circumference is 89 kms. (55 miles). However, the route of circumambulation is 113 kms. (70 miles). Those who visit this lake, often undertake the circumambulation of the mount Kailāsa also which takes about 2 to 3 days. There is a twin lake called Rākṣasa- tāl, where Rāvaṇa is said to have per¬formed tapas (austerity) to please Lord Śiva.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore