Do you know how the heart of Pamir-Alay looks like? Well, if you don’t, you should know that it’s a lake and one of the major Tajikistan landmarks. You can’t visit Tajikistan without visiting Iskanderkul Lake! This signature Tajik sight is located 130 km away from Dushanbe. The name of the lake is translated as “Lake of Alexander the Great”; Iskander is Oriental pronunciation of name Alexander and “kul” means lake. The legend says that Alexander the Great with his army passed through the lake. Favorite horse of the great ruler Bucephalus sank in the lake. It’s said that you can see horse that comes out of the lake to graze in the moonlight. Another legend says that Alexander the Great wanted to invade Sogdiana, but faced resistance of freedom-loving highlanders. Alexander ordered to dam a river so it drowns the city of highlanders. In reality the lake was formed because of a rock fall.
Make sure to dedicate at least one full day to explore this Tajikistan landmark; there’s so much to see in the surroundings! There’s “Fann Niagara” or Iskander-Darya – river that starts from the lake. It’s known for creating beautiful 40-meter waterfall in a gorge. There’s another beautiful lake near Iskanderkul – Snake Lake. The name was given because of snakes that inhabit the lake. The area is full of dense thickets of wild cherry, barberry, and juniper. There’s a camp site on the shore of the lake, however, it was built in Soviet times and doesn’t function anymore. It’s much better to stay in Sarytag village, as a bonus you’ll be able to immerse in traditional Tajik lifestyle. Locals are very open-hearted and hospitable.
Every country has its own most significant sightseeing places. One of the most significant Tajikistan landmarks is this magnificent lake. If you have any doubts, come here and see why it’s such a popular sightseeing destination.