Nestled in a portion of the Tian Shan Mountains situated 129 km. from the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan is Lake Kaindy, well-known all over the world for its picturesque beauty and features the submerged forest with sunken trees. The lake’s name “Kaindy” means “a lot of birches” in Kazakh.
Lake Kaindy can be found near the village called Saty in the Kungey Alatau Mountains, a range located in Northern Tien Shan in the middle Asian country of Kazakhstan. At first glimpse, it may appear as an ordinary lake but sunken trees protruding from the crystal, clear lake waters would hint about the mysterious story this beautiful lake is hiding. Explorers can see sunken trees looking like enormous masts gathered from lost ghost of ships.
The stunning Lake Kaindy is a great destination for trout fishing and ice diving during winter season when the lake freezes. The water gets so cold even in the summer season when the temperature doesn’t get higher than 6 degrees Celsius. The rough coldness can literally preserve drowned trees. The crystalline, clean mountain water allows you to see the inner depths of Lake Kaindy.
History has it that the mystifying sunken forest was produced in 1911 as a result of a 7.7 magnitude Kebin earthquake which destroyed more than 700 buildings also triggering a colossal limestone landslide eventually forming a natural dam. As time passed by, rainfall and water flowed into the area which covered the trees.
The captivating Lake Kaindy measures about 400 meters long and reaches depths of nearly 30 meters at its deepest level. One of the lake’s characteristics which lure tourists from all over is its enchanting, almost unnatural bluish-green hued water. Compared to other lakes, it maintains a different color owing to the limestone deposits altering the area.
The submerged trees look like remains of a shipwreck from below the water with the temperature incredibly cold helping to preserve the Schrenk’s Spruce Trees or Asian Spruce, large ever-green specie native to the Tian Shan Mountains which can grow up to a height of 160 feet.
The scenic spot is also a famous destination for diving and of course sight-seeing. A number of Kazakhstani and Russian divers revel at the freezing temperatures to swim into the lakes water amongst the sunken trees.
You can see huge trunks of trees from above the water and the lake water itself can be described as hypnotic, kryptonite blue. The lake is situated amidst Kazakhstan’s second Almaty which means “the city of apple trees”, having a population density of 1.5 million and considered as the country’s economic and cultural center. Kazakhstan is also the 9th largest country in the world.
Even though Lake Kaindy is a short distance away from the busy city of Almaty, travelers must be prepared to off-road on some rugged terrain for the last 15 km. away from the village of Saty. Because of the prolonged exposure to the elements of Lake Kaindy, its surface is almost stripped bare and if you dive beneath the water, you will be welcomed by the ghostly apparition of algae-covered remnants of the spruce tree’s long-dead branches.