The famous lines of Firdaus, the Persian poet “If there is heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here” has been an inspired verse for many beautiful places around the world. Nepal is not just blessed with divine artistic Goddesses but also natural ones. One of the most powerful natural Goddesses that reside in our country is Lake Phuksondo in Dolpo.
Few years back, I got the opportunity to visit this area. I was offered a ride by a friend working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on a rural electrification project in the area.
As I close my eyes and go back in time, a feeling of serene satisfaction envelops me. I feel truly blessed to have seen this unravished and untainted natural wonder – Shey Phuksondo. It seems like all the celestial beings – the sun, the moon, the mountains, and the sky protect this heavenly abode on Earth. No natural calamity or man-made disaster has disturbed its existence. It has been untouched, unperturbed and undeniably revered by all nature and humankind. This unique natural wonder where there is no aquatic life except algae is worshipped by the local community and no human activity like bathing, swimming, or boating is allowed.
Natural Goddesses like Shey Phuksondo with its silent, strong and clear message stir your soul and also put matters very simply. Without having to study and question anything, your mind is just at peace.
It was a long and arduous two and half hour helicopter ride from Kathmandu on a cloudy monsoon day. It was the pilot’s first flight to Dolpo and as we traversed above and below the clouds, I simply shut my eyes hoping to reach there in one piece. But the danger, the fear and the anticipation was all worth it. As the helicopter circled the lake to land, my jaw dropped in absolute awe. I couldn’t believe the sight – a glistening gem that glitters with a glow, surpassing even the grandeur of the rising sun. I am not exaggerating! The colours change from turquoise to emerald to sapphire to aquamarine as the position of the sun shifts across the sky. It seems like as if the lake is flirting with the sun and showing her admirer, her breathtaking beauty from every angle.
The magnitude of the scene is inexplicable. Spectators are simply stunned by what lies before our eyes. You feel like you have been transported back to mythological times where Gods came down from the heavens and resided on Earth. Such is the purity of the area, that it doesn’t feel like the current corrupt century.
After I was done photographing, I sat down on a rock and just watched the lake for a long time. Besides wondering how this pristine beauty can exist in such perfection, a soothing stream of serene sensation flowed from my head to my toes. It was so therapeutic. Without any spoken word, the lake simply pacified me. Just like the clarity of the water, my muddled mind began to clear itself and washed away all my worries. The lake simply gave gentle and soothing vibes and I began to reflect on how blessed I am. I felt like Goddess Phuksondo was telling me “You have witnessed my beauty, my strength and my power, now why worry about anything? Make positive ripples and be clear and conscientious like me. You will then see your true colours radiating.” My internal conversations with the lake continued with deeper realisations. Having witnessed such a heavenly natural beauty, one feels some sense of completeness; as if a life mission has been accomplished.
Our religion conjures fancy man-made Gods and Goddesses based on complex philosophies that take a lifetime to understand. In our quest to understand ourselves and the world around us better, we crave for clarity from spiritual gurus, religious texts, heritage, history and self-help books. The more we learn, the more questions come up and the perplexity continues. After all, the foundation of the human race thrives on creating confusion and chaos. From the dawn of civilisation, when has peace ever reigned for long?
Natural Goddesses like Shey Phuksondo with its silent, strong and clear message stir your soul and also put matters very simply. Without having to study and question anything, your mind is just at peace. A quote by Albert Einstein explains it all: “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better”.