Tajikistan

Varzob Lake is 60 years old. What it looked like then – many, many years ago

15:34, today

On August 8, 1960 the opening of Varzob Lake took place.

Under the bright southern sun, 12 kilometers from Dushanbe, the blue of Varzob Lake, once the most favorite resting place of Dushanbe residents, sparkles dazzlingly. The lake was built on the initiative of young workers and specialists who came from different cities of the Soviet Union to build the All-Union Komsomol construction site of the Novo-Stalinabad cement plant.

Leningrad experts Vladimir Afanasyev and Daniil Gendlin became the architects of the new lake.

The reservoir was no longer built with ketmen and shovels, as the Komsomolskoye lake in Dushanbe once did, but with bulldozers and excavators. All construction work was carried out free of charge using the people’s khoshar method.

The size of Lake Varzob is half the size of Lake Komsomolskoye, only twelve hectares, but it is much deeper.

Here natural stepwise water purification was applied. Two settling ponds were built, where the Varzob water was clarified and purified from turbidity and only then was supplied to the lake. Oaks, poplars, plane trees, Turkestan maple were planted along the shores of the lake.

View of Varzob lake. August 1960

Photo by Nikolay Sofyin

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A boat and rescue station with berths, a beach, a cafe and a restaurant, a theater playground, children’s and family attractions were also built here.

Dressing rooms, gazebos and shade pavilions were installed on the beach. Lighting was installed along the entire perimeter of the lake, a bus station was built and a bus route was opened.

For boating enthusiasts, 20 boats and three motor boats were prepared. The official opening of Lake Varzob and the first swimming season took place on August 8, 1960.

Always available (the entrance to the lake in the Soviet years was free, and it was never fenced off) and the open Varzob lake for many years became a favorite resting place for the townspeople, from early morning until late evening Dushanbe residents found salvation there from the summer heat, swam, sunbathed boating.

Today Kuli Dushanbe, as the lake was renamed, is available only to the elite, because the entrance to its territory has become paid …

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