RIVERS, LAKES AND SPRINGS
The Karakum canal is one of the sights of Turkmenistan. The huge artificial river has been built in 1955-1962. The general length of Karakum canal is 1100 km, it directly crosses the Southeast Karakums, passing through heart of the desert from Amu Darya up to Ashgabat and providing with water the large industrial cities of Ashgabat, Mary, Balkanabat, Turkmenbashi.
Amu Darya is the largest of the rivers of Turkmenistan and central Asia, its general length makes 2540 km.,from them of 1000 km are on the territory of our country. The area of reservior of Amu Darya is measured of 227 thousand square kilometres; the river is fed with thawed snow of glaciers and snows that causes two floods-in the spring and in the summer. From the left bank of Amu Darya the Karakum canal begins. It connects the main waterway of the country with the rivers Murgap and Tedjen.
The river Murgap takes the second place under the size and economic value, the common length of the river is 852 km. from them of 350 km. pass under the territory of Turkmenistan.
In the southwest part of the country the rivers Atrek and Sumbar are flew. Small Mountain Rivers flowing down from northen slopes of Kopetdag are Arvaz, Altyyab, Sekizyab, Firyuzinka, Ashgabat, Beurminka, Karasu, Kozganchay, Dushak, Minechay.
BAKHARLY UNDERGROUND LAKE “KOV-ATA” – is a unique, world known natural object located 100 km from Ashgabat. A warm hydrogen sulphide lake lies in a cave at the Kopet Dag foothills. 276 steps lead into the lake. On your way down you will admire marvelous grapes and lines of stalactites and see bat’s bevies. This cave impresses with its greatness. It has the length of 250 m, width 50 m, depth of 65 m.
“Kov-Ata” cave is very popular among the tourists. In is surrounded by tourist complex consisted of restaurant and cafes. The lake is available all year round because of constant temperature of water (33-37◦C) and air. Chemical analysis has shown that water contains a complex combination of chemical elements – 30 have been found to date. Its turquoise shade and medicinal characteristics attract a lot of visitors. The cave is famous for its biggest settlement of bats.
Lake Sarakamysh is the largest lake of Turkmenistan. Its area exceeds 2, 200 km. Sarakamysh natural reserve was made for protection of water fowl - pelicans, cormorants and coots.
Lake Mollagara is a not drying saline. The water there is so salty that the human body is pushed onto the surface. The depth of the lake varies from 60 m up to 1.5 km depending on the season. There are located the world's famous therapeutic mud-baths.
One of the most beautiful waterfalls of the country is the Big Nokhur waterfall. The water is falling from 30 m height. Equally beautiful are the Koshtemir, Umbardere and Kyrkghyz waterfalls. There are other waterfalls in the north part of the country, for example, the Kyrkdeshk Rapids with a canyon to the north of Lake Sarykamysh.
Gara Bogaz Gol is a huge sea basin stretching to the north and the west. In one of gorges of Sumbar Valley is located a picturesque Gochdemir waterfall with crystal-like waters falling like shimmering openwork curtain.