Durumkul lake is located approximately 80km to the east of Khorog, and 38 kilometres from the centre of Roshtqala district. Durumkul is situated at an altitude of 3345m above sea level. The lake was founded when the streams of Durumdara and Shokhdara rivers were blocked by the earthquake. The climate in Durumkul is semi-arid. The length of the lake is 3.5km, width is 200 – 300m and a maximum depth is 45m.
Fauna and Flora of the Lake
The flora of the steppe land where the lake is located is not rich, and is filled by wormwood, half-shrubs, gray teresken, rose-flowered wormwood. The nature and climate of the lake can be characterized by long and harsh winters, short summers, late vegetation of herbaceous vegetation, the absence of trees and shrubs. This kind of harsh nature put animals in difficult living conditions. Himalayan snowcock, snow vulture, bearded vulture, golden eagle; mammals represented by long-tailed marmot, red pika, and silver vole are the birds which permanently live the in area. The Siberian ibex and its companion, the snow leopard, are also found here. The fauna of insects of these places is also poor. The lake has plenty of fish and is attractive for fishing.
Legend of the Appearance of the Lake
In the past, there was a village of Lujdir in this place, most of which population had lived in luxury, and were non-believers. One day a poor man came to the village, but the villagers were making fun of this strange dervish. Only an old poor woman offered him refuge and hosted with goat’ milk. While drinking the milk, the derwish told the women that she should leave the village on that evening and climb mountaing and do not aware the people. The old woman took her goat and climbed to the top of the mountain. In the morning she saw that the village was turned into a lake When an old woman woke up in the morning, she sees a lake instead of her village Lujdir village was under mudflow and Sejd was underwater. There was another village further down, where a rich Kyrgyz man named Tursun lived there with his forty sons. The only thing that Tursun and his sons were occupied was robbery. This village also went underwater as a result of earthquake.
The place which the old woman climbed, is now named after her as Gawarzhir (the stone of Gawar). Beside the Gawarzhir, there is the stone which resembles a cock. According to the tales Gawar climbed to the mountain in the evening. In the morning, the village went underwater, and it was a cock inside a wooden plate that was swimming towards her. The cock climbed to the cliff and turned into a stone. This is the sign and consequence of the people’s bad deed and mistakes that their village was turned into a lake. There are three shrines in Durum village. One of them is called the shrine of Shoh Abdoli Vali. This shrine consists of two caves, where, according to legend, Imom Muhammad Bokir, the fifth Imam in Shi’a Islam, had taken a refuge.
There is the road that passes a small and mediaeval fortress in Shohbuvad. There is trekking route that goes from Shoshbuwad over the Vrang pass to Wakhan. The road then climbs to Jawshangoz valley, offering visitors the first glimpses of Peak Karl Marx (6723m) and Peak Engels (6510m).
Travelling to the Site
To reach Durumkul visitor can travel to the site via the road connecting Khorog and Roshtqala. Durumkul can be also reached by trekking from Vrang village in Ishkoshim. There is the road that passes a small and mediaeval fortress in Shoshbuvad. There is trekking route that goes from Shoshbuwad over the Vrang pass to Wakhan. The road then climbs to Jawshangoz valley, offering visitors the first glimpses of Peak Karl Marx (6723m) and Peak Engels (6510m).