Lake Balkhash in the Karaganda region, Kazakhstan.
Journey to Lake Balkhash from the city of Almaty.
Fishing and recreation on Lake Balkhash.
Lake Balkhash is a great huge lake that occupies a closed depression in the southeastern zone of Kazakhstan, and Central Asia, which also includes the Caspian Sea basin and the Aral Sea. The area of Lake Balkhash is 16,996 km², it is one of the largest lakes in Asia and the 12th largest lake in the world. Its average height is 320 meters above sea level and covers an area equal to countries such as Sweden, Uzbekistan, Morocco, Iraq or Paraguay.
Lake Balkhash - how to get there.
Lake Balkhash is located in three regions of the Republic of Kazakhstan at once, these are Almaty region, Karaganda region and Zhambyl region. From the city of Almaty to the lake, the distance is 342 kilometers, 5 hours on the way. GPS coordinates of Lake Balkhash: 46°10′N 74°20′E
Lake Balkhash - information for tourists.
Lake Balkhash has an area of about 16,400 km², so it is the largest lake that is located entirely on the territory of Kazakhstan. There are many bases for recreation and fishing on the territory of the lake. Also, kite surfing is gaining popularity on Lake Balkhash in the summer, a strong wind often blows on the lake, which is very good for practicing this sport. In winter, there is also ice fishing on the lake.
On the lake you can rent a boat and go on it to the island located in the middle of the lake. The Sariesik peninsula, located in the lake, divides the lake into two very different parts: the western and eastern parts, one part of the lake is freshwater, the other part is salty. The lake lies at an altitude of 340 m above sea level and has a shape similar to the shape of a growing crescent. Its length is about 600 km, and its width varies from 9–19 km in the eastern part to 74 km in the western part.
The Ili River, which is its main water supplier, flows into Lake Balkhash, as well as other large rivers that flow into Balkhash are the Karatal, Aksu, Kapal, Koksu rivers. In the place where the Ili River flows into Lake Balkhash, a beautiful delta of the Ili River was formed. The average depth of the lake is 5.8 m, and the maximum is 25.6 m.
The largest city in the lake area is also called Balkhash and has about 66,000 inhabitants. The main industrial activities in the area are mining, mineral processing and fishing. The lake remains under ice from the end of November until the beginning of spring.
Legend of Lake Balkhash.
The legend says that the magician Balkhash, who lived under a huge tree on the lake, had a beautiful daughter whose name was Ili. Balkhash said that he would marry her to the richest and most handsome man. The richest people from China, Mongolia and Bukhara merchants came here. But the daughter did not want to marry other men, she loved one local man who was not very rich and his name was Karatal. When the men staged a competition, Karatal defeated everyone, but Balkhash kicked him out and did not let them get married. Then at night the daughter of Balkhash Ili ran away with Karatal and the magician Balkhash got angry and turned the lovers into two rivers, the Karatal River and the Ili River, both of which flow into Lake Balkhash.