Balkhash | Asia Travel

Balkhash – is a small green town on the northern shore of the lake of the same name in the Bay of Bertys that is situated 380 kilometers from the regional center of Karaganda city, Kazakhstan.

In addition, to the territory of the city can also be attributed Konyrat, Gulshat and Sayak villages.

The city’s area is 230 square kilometers and a population with rural suburbs is 75, 6 thousand people. Balkhash – is a very cosmopolitan city, there on a relatively small area, peacefully co-exist more than two dozen different nations and small nations, among them are: Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainians, Germans, Koreans, Tatars,Belarusians, Chechens, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks, and others.

The climate is sharply continental and not looking at the proximity of the huge lake — very dry, with hot, long summers and cold winters with little snow.

Balkhash is young enough, with complete confidence, you can call it the brainchild of socialist five-year plans. After all, only 70 years passed since that time, when the first stone of a new town was laid on the shores of beautiful Lake, which in the future became one of the largest industrial centers in Kazakhstan.

The development of the entire area of Balkhash started in 1928 year, during the work of geological survey expedition, headed by M.P. Rusakov. Thanks to the results that proved the existence of vast reserves of copper ore in the local deposit of Kounrad became the impetus to start at this place the construction of the smelter plant.

From all over the vast Soviet Union volunteers began to arrive on the scene, whole auls of Kazakhs — herders came too.

The city was built in difficult climatic conditions of semi-desert, far from human settlements and proper roads. The first materials were delivered to the site by cartage — on horses and camels. Another way of cargo transportation was crossing the Lake of Balkhash from the pier Burle-Tube to the Bay of Bertys. And only in 1935 year, railroad Karaganda — Balkhash was commissioned and the same year the construction of thermal power plant of the city was begun.

After that in 1930 year, commercial fishing in the lake started, which created 17 fishing cooperatives. On the northern shore of Lake of Balkhash Burubaytal fish factory was restored, and a year later, from the Far East three fishing farm, «Poset», «Achievement» and «New Road» moved into Balkhash.

The most eventful for the construction of a shock was the period from 1937 to 1938 years. In February of 1937 year, its first cinema — «Drummer” was opened, after that in July — the first line of the bus started to operate, in March of 1937 year, the Balkhash thermal power station turbine generator has given the industry’s first current, and in November, the long-awaited CHP was commissioned.

In the spring of 1938 year the village of Balkhash became a town.

On the eve of World War II lead-zinc and molybdenum deposits Gulshad Kounrad and East were discovered, which served as the basis for the creation of new enterprises to supply the front of the defense with production.

In early 1971 year, Sayaksky mine was put into operation, and in 1985 year a unique setting — PZHV — melting in the liquid bath began to work. Its advantage was the high performance, increasing concentrations of sulfur dioxide to produce sulfuric acid, fuel economy, the possibility of extraction of metals from poor ores.
1996 and 1997 years were marked by the receipt of first copper wire, the first bars of gold and granular silver by the non-ferrous metals and metal plant drag. In October 2003 year, a zinc plant was put into operation.

Modern Balkhash, as before is not very large, but plays an important role in the economy of the whole country.

Residents of Balkhash are very fond of their city, its tree-lined avenues and parks, the quiet sound of the surf, emerald-turquoise lake coats, hot sun and cloudless sky of the East. And how not to love the city, which emerged out of nowhere, more than 70 years ago thanks to the work of hundreds of thousands of people, that is almost a miracle. The city, which in itself is a unique monument being erected by builders and pioneers, who managed to conquer the desert steppe for the benefits of the motherland, for the benefit of the people.

Lake of Balkhash.

Lake of Balkhash, «Kokteniz» or «blue sea» – is one of the most important and indisputable attraction.

Balkhash — is the third largest closed lake in Kazakhstan after the Caspian and Aral seas. It is located in the Balkhash-Alakol basin at an altitude of 342 meters above sea level. Surface area of the lake is 18.2 square kilometers and the length of coastline – is 2383 kilometers, and the volume of water — 106 cubic kilometers.

Conditionally, the lake is divided into the lake’s western and eastern parts. The greatest depth of the western part reaches 6-12 meters, and the eastern one -15-26 meters. The lake is just indented by numerous islands, bays and coves. The largest of them – is the Tarasal and Basaran islands. The biggest river carrying its water to the coveted Lake is a mighty Or.

Balkhash – used to be an amazing lake and it is a phenomenon of varying salinity of western and eastern parts, which are connected by a narrow strait. Western basin, receives water from the abounding Ili River — is fresh, the Eastern — is more salty.

The nature of the Balkhash is colorful and fascinating. From time immemorial, this lake about songs were made , as well as beautiful legends were told. In wise folklore it is associated with a gray-haired elder, who always shared shelter and food with the poor wanderer, gave a good advice. Sometime long long time ago, right here along the shores of Balkhash Lake, the Great Silk Road countless caravans were walking from China to Central Asia and Europe. After all, it was always possible to coast to fill up the purveyance of fish and game, which were carried out in these places in abundance, stock up with fresh water.

And nowadays, avid hunters and anglers can safely go to Balkhash Lake. Here, there are more than 20 species of fish, six of which are local, living from ancient times (Ili and Balkhash sinegolovka, perch, and many others), some others — immigrants from other bodies of water (spike, barbel, perch).

Here you can come up with a gun hunting for a duck, grouse, partridge, hare, wolf, fox, and if you have enough skill– even to shoot a wild boar.

In general, Balkhash famous for its bird «farm», cormorants, teals, pheasants, eagles, egrets, pelicans, as well as many others nest on the shores. However, the real talisman of this turquoise lake is white swans — as a symbol of purity, fidelity and hope.