Aydarkul Lake In Uzbekistan: The Sea In The Sands

Aydarkul is a large artificial reservoir in the Kyzylkum desert, located in the north-east of Uzbekistan. The picturesque lake is often called the ‘’turquoise sea in the sands” due to its beautiful color of water and its impressive size. The length of the Aydarkul exceeds 250 km., and its width is 15 km. Today, the mirror of the lake is 3000 square km. It lies at an altitude of 247 m. above sea level.

Many wild animals and birds live here. Also, various species of fish inhabit the artificial lake, such as carp, zander, bream, catfish, and snakeheads. 760-2000 tons of fish are harvested here annually.

Aydarkul attracts many tourists. People come here to enjoy the untouched nature and beautiful landscapes. Swimming, boating, fishing and watching wild animals and birds are local entertainment options.

Arriving at the lake, tourists can spend the night in a yurt camp, built 7 km from the lake. The yurts are made of wood according to ancient technologies that have been used by nomads living in the desert for millennia. The interiors of yurts are lovingly decorated by local artisans. There, travelers can take a shower, charge their cellphones, have dinner and spend a night.

Bactrian camel rides are conducted from the yurt camp to the lake. In addition, tourists are offered long camel rides and horseback riding to desert attractions.

Reservoir History

Until the middle of the last century, on the site of the lake there was a dry land that did not have access to moisture, except for the spring season. In the spring, Tuzkan lake, which evaporated with the coming of the heat, was formed here. At the same time, the Chardara hydroelectric power station with sluices to verify the water level was built. Water in the hydroelectric power station came from the Syr Darya river, but in 1969 the station could not withstand the abundant water flow and the floodgates were partly opened to avoid dam breakthrough. Therefore, the water began to flow into the Arnasay lowland, where later Aydarkul lake was formed.

Nowadays, the artificial pool includes three salt lakes: Aydarkul, Arnasay and Tuzkan. It is called the Aydar-Arnasay system of lakes, the second largest body of water in Central Asia, second only to the Aral Sea.

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