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Hike to Cheri, The Long Trip Home
More Sights in Thimphu

All images copyright to Kimberlee Adolph

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The first stop on Tuesday was Membartsho (The Burning Lake). It was about a 30 minute trip East of Jakar and then a quick hike down the gorge. The path was only 4 feet wide in places and the other side was a steep ravine cut into the mountains by the Tang Chuu (River). There must have been hundreds, if not thousands of prayer flags strewn across the bridge and in the trees. The 17th was a National Day of Offering, so many were brand new and offered a stark contrast to flags that had been hung years before and were not faded and tattered.

The history of the spot goes back to the 15th  century when Pema Lingpa is said to have jumped into the lake and retrieved treasures of the Buddhist religion. This occurred twice after a meditation session directed him to a spot where ”the river forms a large pool that looks like a lake.” The second jump for treasures was witnessed by many people and is how the spot came to be known to the non-enlightened. It is believed that those who have reached true enlightenment can look into the pool and see the golden palace beneath the waters.

While none of us saw anything in the waters, the place is truly serene. One can stand below the bridge and sit among the boulders that line the river. It is away from any main roads so the only sounds one hears are the rustling of the prayer flags in the wind and the constant rush of the river. 

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