Lugu Lake is a place filled with mystery and charm. It is known as the ‘Shining Pearl of the Plateau’ of Yunnan, due to its radiance and beauty.
The Lake lies 200 kilometers (approximately 124 miles) from the center of Lijiang City, on the border of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. It’s lake surface spans 58 square kilometers, is 2685 meters above sea level, average depth at 45 metres and being about 93.5 m at its deepest.
The lake is in the shape of a horse’s hoof. A local Myth tells of a story on how the lake was created. Long ago, on where the lake is now, there was a village with an orphan boy. Everyday, he would bring his herd of goats over to the Lion Mountain. One day he napped and dreamed of a Giant Fish. The fish spoke to him, “You are a kind child. You have suffered much. From now on, don’t worry about lunch, just slice a piece of my meat for your meal.”
The boy searched the mountains thoroughly and finally found the Giant Fish in a cave. He sliced a piece of meat of the fish and ate it. It was delicious. The next day, the boy went to the cave again. The Giant Fish had magically grew back meat where it was previously sliced.
Word of this magical fish spread to a greedy man in the town. He hired men and with nine horses and nine bulls, dragged the Giant Fish out of its cave. From a hole which the fish used to lie over, water started to gush out endlessly. In an instance, the whole town was submerged in the flood, forming the lake.
As the floods came in, a local Mosuo woman was feeding pigs. Seeing the floods, she grabbed her kids who were playing nearby and placed them in the wooden trough (used for animal feed). The kids survived the ordeal while the mother sacrificed. Hence, Lugu Lake is also known as ‘Mother Lake’.
The scenery at Lugu Lake is beautiful. Untainted by modern industries, the place retains its mystic charms. The lake is a gorgeous jade green while the surrounding mountains stand grand and elegant. There are 8 islands and many bays and beaches.
The charms of Lugu Lake come not only from its breath-taking scenery, but also from its rich and interesting culture. The local people, Mosuo, have their own religion and distinctive traditions and culture. They are a matriarchal society, where the women are the head of the family. The Mosuo culture is colourful and filled with ancient charisma.
This Orient’s ‘Girl’s Kingdom’ has enchanted many with its lake’s alluring scenery and people. It is among the ten most beautiful lakes in China and United States botanist John Locke once exclaimed, “Serenity and mystery surround the lake… its a place fit for gods to reside”.
lú gū hú
泸 沽 湖 Lugu Lake n.
摩 梭 Mosuo n.