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    Lake Teletskoye

    Lake Teletskoye: Jewel of the Altay Mountains

    © Sputnik / Nik Pavlov
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    An ancient Altay legend says that the real treasure of the region isn’t its gold reserves, but Lake Teletskoye, hidden deep in the Altay Mountains.

    Nikolai with his dog Pastushok leaving Moscow
    © Photo : Nikolai Pavlov
    After visiting Novosibirsk, we drove down some 300 km to the Altay Republic, a small region in southern Siberia that borders Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. Altay is the home of the majestic Altay Mountains, rapids and lakes.

    Among other unique natural beauties in the region, Lake Teletskoye, the biggest lake in the Altay Republic, is found hidden in the mountains.


    Тем, кто будет на Телецком, очень советуем взять тур по озеру с посещением водопадов. У нас получилось по 2.100 с человека. Катались на удобном катере своей компанией. Капитан-экскурсовод все показал и рассказал. На этой фотке — один из островов на озере. Говорят, если взять у водопада, который здесь находится, камень и оставить в этой груде, загадав желание, оно обязательно сбудется. Размер камня должен соответствовать размеру вашей мечты 😃 ________ Those of you who'll ever visit Lake Teletskoe in the Altay Republic, we highly recommend renting a boat and visiting the southern shore of the lake along with several amazing waterfalls. Prices are reasonable for the amount of time given and most importantly the unique places one gets to see. On a picture there is one of the magic waterfalls, which according to an Altay legend, can make a person's dreams come true. For that to happen, one must bring a stone from the waterfall and put it on the pile on the side of the island. The bigger the stone, the bigger the wish. #thelong_wayhome #путешествия #путешествияпороссии #travel #travelgram #алтай #алтайскиеканикулы #телецкоеозеро

    Фото опубликовано Велопробег Москва-Мирный (@thelong_wayhome) Июл 12 2016 в 4:22 PDT


    The first Russian settlers who ventured into the Altay Mountains saw the stunning lake on the shores of which lived the Telesy, one of the tribes of the local Altay people. To keep things simple, the Russians called the lake Teletskoye.

    Locals, however, have always called the lake by the name of Altyn-Kul, or the Golden Lake.

    According to an Altay legend, once upon a time, there lived a very skilled hunter on the shores of Lake Teletskoye. The hunter was a rich man selling all the fish, meat and furs he had hunted in the mountains near the lake.

    One day, the hunter came across a large piece of gold, the size of a horse head. The man brought the piece of gold back to his yurt and began boasting to everyone that from now on he’d be the richest man in the area.

    And so he was. People from all over the Altay Mountains came to see and admire the golden piece that belonged to the renowned hunter.

    The happy days of the hunter didn’t last long. The next summer, an extreme drought spread into the area. All the animals, birds and fish were gone; the water dried out and trees became ill. People fled the lake. Those who stayed perished from starvation.



    The hunter, certain of his luck and hunting skills, stayed near the lake and continued to search for food. But all his attempts were in vain. One day when the man returned home, he found that his wife and children died of starvation.

    Misery filled the man’s heart. Left alone only with the piece of gold, the hunter climbed the highest mountain on Lake Teletskoye and threw the precious stone into the lake.

    “Dear forest and water spirits! I sacrifice this piece of gold to you and ask for your blessing that from now on this land would be rich in fish, birds, animals, forest and water instead of gold,” the man cried out.

    After that things returned to normal: trees began growing, water filled the hills, birds and animals became plentiful again.

    In memory of the hunter and his will, that gold isn’t important, the mountain became known as Altyn-Tu, or the Golden Mountain, and the lake near it Altyn-Kul, or the Golden Lake.



    I don’t know whether or not the huge piece of gold, the size of a horse head, still lies on the bottom of Lake Teletskoye. But one thing is certain – the lake, listed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, is a true piece gold in our country.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.


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