Charvak (or Chervak) reservoir is known as the pearl of the Uzbek Tien Shan Mountains. The lake is located 60 km northeast of Tashkent and is the most popular recreational area for local people making it an excellent day trip destination for tourists as well. The coastal areas of the reservoir are almost 100 km long and half of this area is filled by various recreation zones, boarding houses and summer camps. The color of the water is definitely impressive, it’s like an emerald-tinted blue-colored lake. The 168 meter height of the Charvak reservoir has been created by a rockfill dam in the intersection of Pskem, Kok-Suu and Chatkal mountain rivers. The word Chervak comes from the Persian language “Chor bogh” meaning four gardens, also transliterated as Tcharvak.
Previously, some evidence of existence of some villages, mounds, primitive people sites, petroglyphs and other historical sights have been found at the bottom of the lake. However, after the catastrophic earthquake of 1966, when the entire USSR made every effort to rebuild Tashkent, it was a period of a severe shortage of cheap and ecological electricity. Therefore the authorities decided to create the Charvak Hydropower Station as they didn’t have another more suitable place for this purpose. Archeologists and historians conducted studies on several objects, made photos and got over 150 monuments of this area. Today, 40 years later, a major part of this site is under layers of mud and sludge.
What to do in Charvak
Reaching Charvak Reservoir from Tashkent takes about two hours. At the lake you can swim from June till early September, otherwise the water level is low and the water cold. The best public beach, called the new beach (Novyy Pyazh) is at the south side of the lake, others are paid and fenced pensionates. There are excellent places for hikes along the surrounding hills and mountains with the chances for paragliding or water scooter rides. After the city bustle of Tashkent, it is also just nice to enjoy fresh air, pure mountain water and see unforgettable sunrises and sunsets. Charvak is also a good place to escape the summer heat of Tashkent.
You can also check out the village of Bogiston nearby the reservoir on its northeast side. It is the birthplace of two great figures of East: Sheikh Khovendi at-Tahur (Shaykhantaur) and his distant relative Ubaydulla Akhror, a world-wide known great master of Sufism. Also, on the way to Charvak Dam, you can visit “chaykhona” (a teahouse) where you will find a 600-year old plane tree and mural paintings of primitive people close to it. Additionally on the road, you can stop in almond groves in the hills surrounding the valley that leads to the reservoir. On the way you will also pass the Tavaksay area that is a popular hiking destination due to its several waterfalls.
At the very northern end of the lake there is the Nanay sharshara nature reserve that has some nice areas for hiking and some waterfalls to admire. Ugam Chatkal national park is further northeast from Chervak.
Sights near Charvak Reservoir
Page updated 3.5.2021