In western Tajikistan, near the city of Penjikent, there is a beautiful group of mountain lakes that amaze visitors with their vivid and ever-changing colors. These are called the "Seven Lakes", Haftkul (which means "Seven Lakes" in Tajik) or sometimes the Marguzor Lakes (named after the largest lake in the group). The Seven Lakes are located in the Fan Mountains, in the Shing River canyon. The lowest lake (Nezhigon) is at an altitude of 1,640 meters and the highest (Hazorchashma) at 2,400 meters. The difference in altitude between the lowest and the highest lake is 760 meters, and the distance between them is more than 14 km.
Usually the lowest lake is at an altitude of 1,640 meters. Lake Nezhigon is up to 20 meters deep and has an area of 0.05 square kilometers.
It is characterized by its bright colors: depending on the lighting and the time of year, the water can be turquoise, blue or even purple. This is due to the high mineral content (sodium and calcium) in the water.
As you head up the steep serpentine road from Lake Nezhigon, you cross a natural dam that separates Lake Nezhigon from the second lake, Soya (and offers a breathtaking view back to Nezhigon). Soya Lake is named after the Tajik word for "shadow" - as this lake is located between high cliffs, it is in the shade for most of the day. Like Nezhigon, the water in Soy Lake changes color depending on the weather and time of day. The lake is at an altitude of 1,701 meters and has an area of 0.1 square kilometers.
The third lake, Gushor, is 400 meters from Soya and as you approach it you will see a turbulent stream connecting the two. The Gushor Lake is located at an altitude of 1,771 meters and has an area of 0.23 square kilometers.
The distance between Gushor Lake and Nofin Lake is only 400 meters, but the route along the switchbacks is a full kilometer. Nofin, the fourth of the seven lakes, is very elongated - it is over 2.5 kilometers long, but only about 200 meters wide. The height of the lake is 1,820 meters and its area is 0.48 square kilometers.
This lake, whose name means "baby", is the smallest of the seven lakes with an area of only 0.025 square kilometers. It is located 1.5 kilometers from Lake Nofin at an altitude of 1,870 meters. The distance from Lake Nofin to Lake Khurdak is 1.5 km and you can see Padrut village along the way. There used to be a small hydroelectric power station on Lake Khurdak that supplied Padrut and the surrounding houses with electricity.
This is the largest and, for many people, the most beautiful of the Seven Lakes. To reach it, you have to go more than 2 kilometers on the serpentine road from Lake Khurdak and climb to an altitude of 2,140 meters. Lake Marguzor is 2.7 meters long, has an area of 1.16 square kilometers and a maximum depth of 45 meters. The expanse of blue water and the majestic mountains in the background create a wonderful landscape.
The seventh and highest of the Seven Lakes is around 2,400 meters above sea level. As one of the largest lakes, but slightly smaller than Marguzor, Lake Hazorchashma has a maximum length of 2 kilometers and an area of 0.92.