Khecheopalri Lake, India

Located near the village of Khecheopalri in the northeastern region of Sikkim, India, is the Khecheopalri Lake. “Kha-Chot-Palri” means “the heaven of Padmasambhava” and the local name for the lake is “Sho Dzo Sho,” which means “Oh Lady, Sit Here.” The lake and surrounding hills are considered sacred for both Hindus and Buddhists. The lake is also believed to be a wish-fulfilling. The lake is an important aspect of the valley of rice – or “Demazong,” and it forms part of a holy Buddhist pilgrimage, which also includes Yuksom, the Dubdi Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, the Rabdentse ruins, the Sanga Choeling Monastery and the Tashiding Monastery. Legend has it that as soon as a leaf lands on the water, birds in the immediate area pick it up. The lake is a protected ecotourism site and the local community is involved in maintaining the surrounding plantations and managing the religious festivals that occur there.