Lake Iskanderkul is one of the visiting cards of Tajikistan. To visit Tajikistan, but not to go to Lake Iskanderkul, is like visiting Paris for the first time, but not to go to the Eiffel Tower. Moreover, getting to this popular attraction is not so difficult - there is only 130 km from Dushanbe to Iskanderkul Lake.
The name of the lake Iskanderkul comes from "Iskander" - this is how Alexander the Great was called in the East and "kul" - which means lake in the Turkish language. It is not known for certain whether the famous commander had been here or not, but there are several legends about the lake, associated with his name.
According to one legend, during a campaign against Sogdiana and Bactria, Alexander the Great met resistance from one mountain village, which resolutely did not want to come under the command of the great conqueror. And then Alexander ordered to change the river beds in order to flood the recalcitrant, and thus Lake Iskanderkul was formed.
According to another legend, during his conquests, Alexander the Great stopped for a halt on the shore of the lake, and his beloved horse Bucephalus caught a cold after drinking the icy water of Iskanderkul. When he recovered, he climbed a high rock and threw himself into the water. Alexander waited several days, and leaving the grooms by the lake, he took his army away. And since then, it is said that on the full moon on Iskanderkul, you can see a snow-white horse that comes out of the water to graze on the picturesque shore.
If you look at Iskanderkul from a scientific point of view, then this is a dammed lake, which was formed after a rock collapse. It is located at an altitude of 2195 meters above sea level, reaches a depth of 72 meters, and has an area of 3.4 km². You can swim in it, and many tourists rest on rocky beaches in summer, but already 10 meters from the coast, the water temperature drops sharply to about + 10 ° C.
Apart from Iskandar lake, there are several other attractions: Snake lake, which, due to the higher water temperature, is inhabited by many snakes; 43-meter waterfall "Fan Niagara", located on the river flowing from Iskanderkul; and rock with the inscription "Ruskie, 1870", left by the expedition of the famous scientist and traveler Alexei Fedchenko.