#09 YIHUN LHATSO

Yihun Lhatso (新路海) is a sacred lake.
It is a pilgrimage place for Tibetan ethnic groups,
they come to prey and make buddhist consecration rituals.
Mani stones with mantra drawings are scattered around the lake.
The lake is on a top of a mountain in the Sichuan province of China.
In winter, the area is covered with snow and the temperature goes down to -10°C.
The mountain is situated in Garzê,
one of the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Sichuan.
But traditionally, this area is considered by the Tibetan people
as one of the “Kham provinces” of Tibet.
As the Yihin Lhatso, 21AW is a season covered with spiritual mist,
the atmosphere is cold and quiet.
We expressed calm, mysticism, and serenity.
From Shanghai to Chengdu, from Chengdu to Danba, then to Yihun Lhasto.
As we get farer from Chengdu, we enter the autonomous Tibetan area.
The altitude gets higher and the Tibetan culture becomes more visible.
We see small signs written in Tibetan, mantras drawn on walls,
some praying flags, and herds of yaks everywhere...
In Garzê town, city of nomads, tents and shawls are commonly sold.
In the middle of the country side, we randomly come accross a horse race. Tibetan women got colorfully dressed up for the event,
holding small parasols, celebrating and admiring the horse riders.
After driving 6 hours everyday during 3 days,
we finally arrived to the Yihun Lhatso.
The altitude is 3875m. The air is filled with mist.
In the middle of shadow-like mountains, the cold ice-grey lake and the sky interweaves, transcending time and space.
A herd of mantra stones is reflected by the lake.
On a small hill, from where one can have a complete view of the lake,
a small group of people lead by an elder woman is walking, singing and praying. The elders have very long braided hair
and they are wearing crossbody dresses.

On the other side of our view,
some people are installing traditional tents out of their minivan.
In Tibetan buddhism, pilgrimages are performed by
walking in circle around sacred lakes, mountains, or temples.
It is also considered a meditative practice, called « Kora ».
These Tibetan we saw may have been walking around the lake.
Grey to pastel turquoise.
The mystic colors of the Yihin Lhatso’s wild stones.
Details inspired from daily Tibetan garments and architecture's decorations.
Clothing made from grey Yak wool.