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Bashkiria: Legends of the Karagai Lake
January 9, 2015 14:44


The lake in the village of Voznesenka in Uchalinsky District has several names: Karagaily, Karagaikul, Karagaika, Vorozheich. Makes you confused. “Karagai” means pine, “Kule” – lake in Bashkir. A plate saying “Karagai Kul” is installed at the access road to the lake.

The locals love to go fishing here, and those who live far away, come closer and set a camp for a few days. The lake has a complicated bottom, which has been studied by divers several times: the water in the centre is clean, and deep mud lies closer to the shore. Relict plants are growing there, including rare 24-petal white lilies.

There are some things aside from plants here: the shores of Karagaika have emersions of marble and jasper. If you’re lucky, you can pick up a gem.

They say, girls really came to tell fortunes to the overgrown shores of Vorozheich, and still come here on Ivan Kupala Day (Feast of St. John the Baptist) even from Ukraine. Lilies are traditionally associated with drowned mermaids, and Karagaily-Vorozheich rich in aquatic vegetation is accompanied by corresponding legends.

One of them is quite realistic: they say a golden mine was once found here, and a cemetery was destroyed for its development. The place of disturbed graves was flooded with water, then a lake appeared. The golden mine turned out to be empty, but the dead moan from its bottom at night from time to time since that event.

Another legend is associated with the long-suffering Church of the Ascension. Its main bell was drowned in the lake in 1930 - whether by the “militant atheists”, or on the contrary, God-fearing people of Voznesenka who hoped to hide it and save until better times.

This bell has been insistently sought until today. Local residents said more than once that they found it; according to Father Andrei, the prior of the Church of Ascension, “the postwoman’s son assured that he stood on the bell”. However, all attempts to find any real evidence were in vain. On the other hand, conductors of tourist and sports centre in Uchaly also claim that the bell was found, it has only to be picked it up.

There are other historical findings: archaeologists discovered a site of Paleolithic people in the centre of Karagaily on an island.


Read more about Bashkiria...


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Bashkiria Republic of Bashkortostan    

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