The only Lake in southern Bhutan, popularly known as Khurul Lake is not only attributed with historical significance but also the driving site for new visitors. Beautifully located in the mid of thick forest, you will often see the tranquil environment surround by thick broad leaved forest of natural Sal. The vast pool of lake, referred as the sacred site of guardian deity Palden Lhamo, is often visited by people for offering prayers or otherwise for its natural beauty. Histories according to live explanation of researcher Sonam Tobagay popularly known as Ajab Sonam Tobagay says, the site is most significant to Bhutan as a Buddhist country. It was before Gautama Buddha or Guru Rinpoche, the highly realized Dzogchen master Rigzin Garab Dorji attained rainbow body form the locality. It is therefore accentuated in history of Buddhism origination in Bhutan.
Before it got its name as “Palden Lhamoi Lhatso” it was known as Khurul lake. The people believe to have spotted Oyster which was actually a freshwater Mussels. Khurul is generalized name of freshwater Mussels by the locality. Since ages, the historical significance of the site is protected by the locality with special care. The people do not have liberty to disturb with noise, pollution and misconduct. They are often beaten with heavy rain, hailstone and with other natural calamities if the site is being disturbed. That is why the people still give special importance and care while visiting.
With the advent of modernization with intense pressure on environment, the site was in the brink of distortion before the locality could actually act upon and restore the historical site. The people now has cemented the surrounding wall to control the water discharge and maintain the level. The site now has a Palace “Phodrang” for guardian deity where the people now offer butter lamps and incense for well being and blessings. Many believe it as the wish fulfilling lake and visit frequently to offer prayers. Today the site is also the driving source of tourist attraction.
Beside cultural and historical benefits, the site is also important wildlife habitat. When the water has dried up in the forest, wildlife like elephants, Leopards, Deer and Wild boar visit for quenching their thirst. It serves as important water hole for the survival of wildlife animals. Not only for terrestrial wildlife but also for water ecosystem for fishes and Mussels.
Though it is good to see more people vising the site, it is however a concern for environmentalist and wildlife. Just like we have common problem of waste everywhere, the site is often seen surrounded with plastics and papers though its minimal. Therefore, as a visitor it has become our fundamental duties to be mindful of the plastics we are carrying. Littering around the lake could not only hampers its aesthetic beauty but also hampers wildlife habitat and at last to the community if the histories with natural calamities is true. So, enjoy your trip to the site but also care the things you are carrying. Your carelessness can be the trouble for others.