The word "Manasarovara" originates from Sanskrit language, which is a combination of the words "Manas" "sarovara" manas meaning mind and sarovara meaning lake. According to the Hindu religion, the lake was first created in the mind of the Lord Brahma after which it manifested on Earth.
As per Hindu scriptures, Lake Manas Sarovar is a personification of purity, and one who drinks water from the lake will go to the Abode of Lord Shiva after death. He is believed to be cleansed of all his sins committed over even a hundred lifetimes.
Like Mount Kailash, Lake Manas Sarovar is a place of pilgrimage, attracting religious people from India, Nepal, Tibet and the neighboring countries. Bathing in the Manas Sarovar and drinking its water is believed to cleanse all sins. Pilgrimage tours are organized regularly, especially from India, the most famous of which is the Kailash Manas Sarovar Yatra which takes place every year. Pilgrims come to take ceremonial baths in the cleansing waters of the lake.
Lake Manasarovar has long been viewed by the pilgrims as being nearby to the sources of four of the greatest rivers of Asia, namely the Brahmaputra, Karnali, Indus and Sutlej. Thus it is an axial point which has been thronged to by pilgrims for thousands of years. The region was closed to pilgrims from the outside following the Chinese Invasion of Tibet; no foreigners were allowed between 1951 and 1980. After the 1980s it has again become a part of the Indian pilgrim trail.
According to the Hindu religion, the lake was first created in the mind of the Lord Brahma after which it manifested on Earth. Hence, in Sanskrit it is called "Manasa sarovaram", which is a combination of the words manasa (mind) and sarovaram (lake). The lake, in Hindu religious belief, is also supposed to be the summer abode of the Hamsa goose. Considered to be sacred, the Hamsa is an important element in the symbology of the subcontinent, representing wisdom and beauty
Buddhists also associate the lake with the legendary lake known as Anavatapta in Sanskrit and Anotatta in Pali, where Queen Maya is believed to have conceived Buddha. The lake has a few monasteries on its shores, the most notable of which is the ancient Chiu Gompa Monastery built on a steep hill, looking as if it has been carved right out of the rock. The lake is very popular in Buddhist literature and associated with many teachings and stories in Buddhism. Lord Buddha, it is reported, stayed and meditated near this lake on several occasions. Buddhists say that famous Uturu-kuru divaina (island or mountain range) was nearby the Anavatapta vila. However, more evidence shows that Uturu-kuru divaina was the Kuril Islands, as the Sanskrit meaning of Uturu-kuru is Northern-men as Kur meaning man, in the Ainu language. Lake Manasarovar is also the subject of the meditative Tibetan tradition, "The Jewel of Tibet". A modern narration and description of the meditation was made popular by Robert Thurman.