By: Parallels and Meridians
“If I am a demon, I shall die! If I am not, and I am the true spiritual son of Guru Rinpoche, this lamp will continue to burn and I will recover hidden treasures!” Cried Pema Lingpa, holding a burning lamp before he leaped into a pool of icy water travelling to the sea. Pema Lingpa, was a treasure finder who saw a vision that he would find the hidden treasures of the second Buddah, Padmasambhava, in this tiny pool. To everyone’s astonishment, he came out of the water with the treasures and his lamp burning, still.
In the southern part of the Thang Valley, thirty minutes’ drive from Chankar town, on a road towards a village called Tang, lays one of the most revered sites of the country, the MebarTsho or the Burning Lake. There are a few of myths around this lake; one of the most well-known though, is Pema Lingpa’s tale. Small as it might seem, this lake is the stage for many of Bhutan’s legends and myths from mermaid sightings and mysterious ladies in its lakebed. It in itself is not actually lake but a whirl of fresh river water gathered in one area, which further down flows again as a river.
Surrounded by rocks and stones of different sizes covered in lush mosses thriving in the damp areas, this is unquestionably a scenic location. You can stand by boulder and look through the water’s depth. You can pay your respects, tie a bright prayer flag and if luck is on your side, you might see one of these mystical creatures. The story is, however, that only the purest of hearts will be given a chance to witness such enchanting sights. While you’re there, do not forget to meet the lama who lives and meditates by the lake, he has a lot of stories to tell. What you might not see, you might actually hear; it is equally bewitching.