Lake Kaindy is distinguished from other lakes by its history and youth. In geological terms, Kaindy is actually a very young object – it’s a kindergarten, a nursery group. It was only recently formed, at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1911, the city of Verny and its environs were shaken by a massive earthquake, and a tectonic collapse occurred in the Kaindy gorge. Simply put, in the Kaindy River, which ran through the gorge of the same name, at one point a large dam was formed. The water flooded part of the gorge, calmed down, and after a while, a giant dam made a beautiful lake with a flooded forest.
For those who love numbers, there are a few dry statistics. The lake is 286 kilometres east of Almaty, at an altitude of 1,800 metres above sea level. It is 400 meters long and about 100 meters wide. The maximum water depth is just over 20 meters. The water is extremely clear and clean, but very cold, it is only +6 degrees. In the past, until the mid-1980s, the lake was much deeper, up to 40 meters, and slightly wider. But a powerful mudslide which happened at that time had washed away a part of the lake and forced it to become shallow in half. But the result of natural disasters is impressive with its beauty and attracts tourists all year round.
The word "kaindy" in Kazakh means "a birch" or "covered with birches". But there are no birches around the lake: its shore is covered with dense spruce forest. Where did that name come from? The fact is that just downstream of the river there is the largest birch grove in all Tien Shan, which gave the name to the gorge, the stream and a newly-merged lake.
The views that open from different points when you look at the lake are amazing and unique, and it’s for that beauty that people go to Kaindy. Many call Kaindy and the neighbouring Kolsay lakes "Little Switzerland" because of its absolutely alpine landscapes. The water body is deep blue or turquoise, the colour changes depending on the weather. After the rains, the lake becomes brown due to calcification.
And the main feature of Lake Kaindy is a flooded forest. When the lake was formed in 1911 and the water flooded the spruces growing in the gorge, its trunks remained in the water and rise above the lake as huge poles or masts of flooded sailboats. You can even see the spruce branches underwater, which haven’t rot just because the temperature of the lake is low all year round. Even during the warm summer days, the lake does not warm up to +6 degrees.
It’s because of these miraculously surviving underwater spruces that this place attracts divers. There are a lot of fans of diving deep and enjoying incredible underwater beauty in this place. Divers come not only from all over Kazakhstan, but also from the nearest countries. If you have a certificate you can dive and swim in the lake with a team and an instructor or alone with your own equipment.
Well, if you haven’t been to Kaindy yet, we need to correct this oversight, because it’s a real wonder of the world that any other country can’t boast of! Edited 2020may16