West Sea-qinghai Lake(1)

By: Mercier


Over a thousand years ago, so the beautiful story goes. The Tang Dynasty(61 8-907)Princess Wencheng married the Tibetan king Songzan Gambo. Before she set off on her long journey to Tibet, the Tang emperor gave the princess a magic mirror, telling her that whenever she missed home.she should look into the mirror and her home, the city of Chang'an,would appear in it. Having covered quite a distance of her journey, the princess and her entourage arrived at the Sun and Moon Mountain on the borders of ancient Tibet, where she began to feel homesick.

Producing her magic mirror, she did indeed see the image of her home, and realizing that she would probably never be able to return, tears began to roll down her cheeks. Just then she remembered her sacred mission of cementing friendship between the two ancient kingdoms through marriage and cast the mirror away. Where the mirror landed, a beautiful lake appeared-the Qinghai Lake. The princess pressed on across the mountains. As she trudged on westwards, her tears became a river flowing west, following her footsteps. Now it is known as the Daotang River.

In history, people referred to the Qinghai Lake as the "West Sea". while the Tibetans. Mongolians and the ancient Beihe tribe all had their own names for the lake. Western Queen Mother was said to be the female chieftain of the ancient Qiang tribe who lived in the lake area 3, 000 years a90. Once she invited King Mu of Zhou, who came in a carriage drawn by eight horses to visit Yaochi-another name for theQinghai Lake. Western Queen Mother is seen as the goddess of the lake and the myriads of migrating birds that keep returning there year after year are the same birds that kept a lookout for King Mu of Zhou.

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