“Kov Ata underground lake“
The Bakharden Underground lake Kow Ata is an unusual natural site in the biggest cave of the Kopetdag mountains, located about 107 km south-west of Ashgabat. The Turkmen name Kov-Ata means “father of caves". At a first glance, this underground area looks like a magnificent auditorium : the overall length of the cave is 230 m, its height goes up to 20 m, and its width is at some points 57 m. Daylight only enters the “ante chamber" of the cave. As you approach the lake you feel the air becoming damper and warmer. You can hear sounds like sighs or whispers above your head. These are bats. It was considered one of the largest colony of bats in the ex Soviet Union. The lake is located at a depth of 52 m from the entrance on a vertical line. The lake is 72m long and 30 m wide. The water has a constant temperature 33-37 C. Chemical analysis has shown that water contains a complex combination of chemical elements.
The cave is open daily from 9.00 AM till 6.00 PM.
This place is old and unusual, hence it has become legendary. One of the beautiful legends tells: “Many years ago two young people intensely loved each other. Being afraid of their parent’s wrath they fled from their houses. Their parents decided to find them and vigorously punish. When the chase mostly got these unhappy loving couple, they knelt in front of a huge rock and began to pray. The strength of their love and belief was so deep that the rock opened and the loving couple hid in it. Awful flying monsters appeared out of the cave and frightened the chasers".
This cave impresses with its greatness – 266 steps lead into it. During the way down tourists have an opportunity to admire marvelous crystal clusters of stalactites and see bat’s bevies. Kov -Ata cave is very popular among the tourists. It is surrounded by tourist complex, which consisted of restaurant and cafes. The lake is available all the year round because of constant temperature of water and air inside.