<…Having made our way between the bushes and near the gigantic blocks of stones blackened in times, I instinctively went a few paces down towards that slope which blocked the river and then stopped our packs. The sounds were similar to the wheels of a mill and undoubtedly it was clear that the waterfall is hidden somewhere. But it was hard to come close to the river. Finely, having found a proper place and bent over I was fascinated to see an interesting scene, a great waterfall was in front of me. There were several plants covered by the white dust of the water. This dust was painted a little with pinkish color…>.
V.I. Lipski “Gornaya Bukhara”
The Niagara Fan which is at the same famous water reservoir in Tajikistan is located 300 meters from the mysterious Snake Lake – Mountain which can create an intrigue and let the wishes comes true.
In ancient times Alexander the Great during his campaign towards India had stopped here whose name was inscribed on the “pearl of the mountain” - Alexander Lake and there is a legend that the legendary horse of Alexander – Bucephalus had drowned here and the only selected one had seen it. They passed this mystical story from mouth to mouth.
The lake is located on 2195 meters above sea level between the western end of Gissar and Zerafshan ridges, Soghd Province of Tajikistan, half way from Khujand to Dushanbe or from Dushanbe to Samarkand. Iskanderkul knows how to charm and attract people. This is not the only fascinating scenery of the lake, not at all, the smooth water surface which has the rectangle shape with an area of 3,5 square km and 70 m depth, the cold water that only hard-tempered and reckless people can swim in it in summers, but the romantics under the clear and starry night of myriad, clinging silence, songs under the guitar at the fire place, ascent to the top of the surrounding peaks and rushing towards the blue sky. The untouchable waterfall which was described in 1905 by the investigator Lipskiy in his works and hello from XIX century inscribed on a rock “Here were… ” by the traveller and explorer Alexey Fedchenko “Russians 1870” is a great admiration.
The Iskanderkul Lake appeared due to a landslide. It was formed due to a mountain collapse after an earthquake (like Sarez Lake) when the rocks collapsed and blocked the Hazormech and Saritag valley creating a natural reservoir surrounded by mountain ridges from 11 of it is 5 km high. It is possible to meet a variety of flora and fauna, starting from forest, steppes, pastures and mountains (apricots, mosses, lichens) and finishing with hairs, wolves, brown and red marmots, brown bears, mountain goats, rocky partridges, griffon-vulture and quails.
There is a Snake Lake approximately 300 m from the waterfall. The water is warmer in it than in Iskandaerkul and there were no snakes but the locals told on the contrary. From the “Alexander Lake” streams “Alexander River” –Iskanderdarya flowing into the Fan River which is the inflow of the largest river in Central Asia Zerafshan (translated as “gold spilling”). So the “Niagara Fall” is exactly located at 800 m downstream here and this is one the fabulous sights which tourists should visit. From the watching platform one can see the fascinating scenery – the drops of water spraying in the sun the water dust creates a splendid rainbow.
The heart of the Fan Mountains – Iskanderkul is protected by rocks of Chapdara, Bodkhona (the house of winds), Mirali, Mariya, Zindan (a jail) like gigantic giants. The highest of them is Chimtarga 5489 meters above sea level. One of the peaks is called Dojdemernaya (3342 meters above sea level and is translated “Kuhi chuli boi”), the dome of which is standing right over the lake that helps the locals to predict the weather forecast. If it is covered by clouds it will rain.
When the reflection of Dojdemerni touches the smooth surface of the lake with the reflection of the furious Kirkshaitan (the mountain of the forty Satan) something unpredictable and hardly perceptible and elusive happens, may be the cry of the rocky giants or the heartbeat of their cold hearts narrates about the long time of the harsh past.