Seven lakes - Haftkul
Seven lakes in the Tajik fann mountains
The Tajik Seven Lakes are located in the Shing Valley which stands south of Panjikent, at the western edge of the Fann Mountains. The lakes were formed after an earthquake that created landslides or rock slides and therefore series of natural dams across the valley. There is a legend saying that the formation is related to 7 beautiful but lovelorn daughters transforming into the water to be one with their tears.
The 7 Lakes that are also known as Haftkul and Marguzor Lakes, is a collection of sparkling beauties that are known for their amazing blue waters and surrounding mountain scenery. Seven Lakes has remained one of Tajikistan’s best-kept secrets, receiving relatively few visitors each year. Therefore it is a great place to observe unspoilt rural mountain life in Northern Tajikistan with small green villages by the Shing river and the beautiful lakes.
Nezhigon, first of the Seven lakes
Nezhigon normally the first lake that you will meet on the way. It is the lowest lake 1640 meters above sea level. It’s name in Tajik means “Eyelashes”. It is a mystery where the name comes from, although some suggest its gently curved shape may be the reason.
It differs from others by its range of vibrant colors: depending on the lighting and season, the water can be turquoise, blue, or even purple. This is due to the water’s high mineral (sodium and calcium) content. In summer, the water is quite warm and visitors can plunge into this bewitching lake.
Soya is located at an altitude of 1701 meters and occupies only an area of 0,1 square kilometers. Soya lake offers a striking scene back down towards to Nezhigon. The lake is named after the Tajik word for “shadow” because the lake is settled between high cliffs and is therefore in shade almost all day.
Alike Nezhigon, the water in Soya Lake varies in color depending on the weather and time of day.
Gushor lake is located 400 meters from Soya, located at an altitude of 1771 meters and has an area of 0,23 square km. Gushor Lake is enclosed by cliffs and once housed poisonous snakes, which explains the origin of the lake’s name.
Nofin Lake lies 400 meters further from Gushor lake the route along the serpentine is a full km. Nofin is highly extended as it is more than 2,5 km long but only about 200 meters wide.
Nofin lake lies at an altitude of 1820 meters and its area are 0,48 square km. The lake’s name means “umbilical cord”, due to Nofin being the central one of seven lakes and very long, and well, like an umbilical cord.
Khurdak, the smallest of the seven lakes
The smallest lake of the seven Khurdak lakes means “baby. It occupies an area of only 0,025 square km and lies at an altitude of 1870 meters. The distance from Nofin Lake to Khurdak Lake is 1,5 km and along the way, you can see the village of Padrut.
There used to be a small hydroelectric power station at Khurdak Lake that provided electricity to Padrut and surrounding houses. Khurdak lake has also a very beautiful meandering river area above it where the Shing river changes its course frequently creating amazing patterns, especially during spring time when the lake is not yet full from the melting glaciers.
Marguzor, largest of the seven lakes
Marguzor is the largest and perhaps the most impressive one of the Seven Lakes. It lies at a height of 2140 meters. Marguzor Lake is 2,7 kilometers long, with an area of 1,16 square km and a maximum depth of 45 meters. The majestic mountains in the background create a magnificent, beautiful reflection on the lake.
Hazorchashma, the last lake of the Tajik Seven Lakes
Hazorchashma lake the highest of the seven is located at around 2400 meters above sea level. It has a maximum length of 2 km and an area of 0,92 square km. The name Hazorchashma (or Azorchashma) means “a thousand springs” – the lake is filled by the waters of two rivers and many streams and springs. Hazorchashma is the last lake in the gorge of the Shing River.
The Seven Lakes road ends here and behind there are no further settlements and you will only meet the wildlife of the Fann Mountains. The road to the last lake is also worse than to the previous ones and can only be driven with a rugged 4×4 car or hiked.
Tajik Seven Lakes Tour
Travel to 7 lakes
You can get to the lake from Penjikent town, 40 kilometers away and from Samarkand, Uzbekistan (100 km & about 2,5hrs) or Dushanbe (260km & 5hrs). While the lakes all lie along a 14 kilometer span, if you plan to stop at each lake (highly recommended) plan to spend a minimum of 3 hours on this drive, and 5-6 hours if you wish to take your time and make the most of the fact that you’ve likely traveled a rather long distance to reach this place. Hiking is also an option. The route is easy but can take a day per direction.
Other sights & Destinations near Seven Lakes
Page updated 16.8.2022