Iskanderkul is a mountain lake of glacial origin in Tajikistan's Sughd
Province. It lies at an altitude of 2,195 metres (7,201 ft) on
the northern slopes of the
Gissar Range in the Fann Mountains.
Triangular in shape, it has a surface area of 3.4 square kilometres
(1.3 sq mi) and is up to 72 metres (236 ft) deep.
Claimed to be one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the former
Soviet Union, it is a popular tourist destination.
It was formed by the congestion of the Saratogh river. It is
134 km from
Dushanbe and 23 km from the Dushanbe—Khujand
The lake takes its name from Alexander the Great: Iskander is the
Persian pronunciation of Alexander, and kul is lake in Tajik.
The outflow of the lake is the Iskander Darya, which joins the Yaghnob
River to form the Fan Darya, a major left tributary of the Zeravshan
A 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi) tract of land including
the lake and surrounding mountains has been designated a nature
reserve. As well as the lake itself, habitats found in the reserve
include rivers, water meadows, broad-leaved and juniper forests,
mountain shrubland and sub-alpine meadows. Over half of the reserve,
comprising 177 square kilometres (68 sq mi), has been
BirdLife International as an
Important Bird Area
Important Bird Area because
it supports significant numbers of the populations of various bird
species, either as residents, or as breeding or passage migrants.
These include Himalayan snowcocks, saker falcons, cinereous vultures,
yellow-billed choughs, Hume's larks, sulphur-bellied warblers,
wallcreepers, Himalayan rubythroats, white-winged redstarts,
white-winged snowfinches, alpine accentors, rufous-streaked accentors,
brown accentors, water pipits, fire-fronted serins, plain
mountain-finches, crimson-winged finches, red-mantled rosefinches and
^ Historical Dictionary of Tajikistan, Kamoludin Abdullaev and Shahram
Akbarzadeh. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, and London.
2002, p. 95.
Iskanderkul lake and mountains". Important Bird Areas factsheet.
BirdLife International. 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
Lake Iskanderkul, Big Soviet Encyclopedia on Yandex (Russian)
Iskanderkul — the heart of the
Fann Mountains (Russian)
Iskanderkul on Panoramio
Lake Iskanderkul: p