Underground Lake Kow-Ata in Turkmenistan

Not far from Ashgabat, just 60 km to the west, there is the well-known Bakharden cave with the equally famous underground Lake Kow-Ata (Koy-Ata) inside it. The lake name is translated as “father of the caves”. Its popularity is connected rather with the healing properties of water, than the beauty of this underground nature.

The descent into the Bakharden cave begins with a steep stair which cannot be covered without a torch. Beneath, at the depth of 60 meters, can be seen only a small part of the Lake Kow-Ata. The water there is very warm (34-37degree), a little turbid with a blue-green tinge. The lake depth varies from 8 to 14m, but swimming is prohibited there. The admission to the cave is charged, however, there are some facilities to take manipulation treatment, such as locker rooms.

The therapeutic water of the Kow-Ata Lake includes 38 elements such as iodine, magnesium, iron, bromine, potassium, sodium, sulfate, and others. This water is proved to improve blood circulation, help control rheumatism, skin disorder and kidney diseases, and ease the nervous system and positively affect the total body. At the same time, the recommended time of staying in water should not exceed 20 minutes. In addition, there is a legend that during the Parthian rule there, rebellious slaves, mortally wounded, were healed.

In conclusion, though located in a seismic region, the Bakharden Cave is save from earthquakes. Over the past 100 years these places experienced more than 200 earthquakes of different intensity, but the underground lake and cave vaults never balged and remain stable.