The great and enigmatic lake with soul of an ocean
Lake Baikal is placed on the south part of East Siberia, it is the deepest lake of our planet, the largest nature reservoir of sweet water. The lake and coast territories differ the unique variety of flora and fauna. Local people historically name this lake Baikal as a sea.
The Baikal is the purest nature reservoir of sweet water an the Earth. There is no one similar open reservoir of fresh water in the world, like Lake Baikal. Its water is suitable for drinking and have a high taste features.
Baikal... From where, from what side, from what people is this name originated – debates about it lasts up to now. Similar phonations, which mean heavy, rich water, can be found, it turned out, in Arabian and other languages. As if the common call was prepared in all sayings for the Baikal as for the future savior. At Chinese there is Bei-Hai – the northern sea. Who of us doesn’t know the wonderful song “Nice sea, sacred Baikal”. In it there are such words: “I came alive, feeling freedom”. One feels in the Baikal as if you’ve broken away from torture chambers of slavery, made by yourself, out in free open space.
Year 110 B.C. The first mention of the lake under name “Bei-Khan” in Chinese written sources.
V-VIII centuries. Dawn of Kurumchinskaya culture on the coasts of the lake.
XI-XIV centuries. New ethnic tribe Hori forms, here live tribes of Turkunsky and Tungussky origination.
XVII-XVIII centuries. Formation of Buryat nationality on the banks of the lake.
In 1709 the first correct image of the lake appeared in “Drawing book of Siberia”, assembled by Tobolsk Cossak S. U. Remezov.
Year 1729. D. G. Messfilidt – the first scientist in Baikal, who was sent there by order of Peter I for studying Siberia, he composes the first description of the lake.
The Baikal is interest and unique. The area of the lake makes up 31.5 thousand sq. km, the length is 636 km. The average width makes up 48 km. The maximal depth is 1620 m. The lake lies in the deep tectonic basin, surrounded with mountain ridges.
Over 330 rivulets and rivers flow into the Baikal; only one river the Angara flows out of it. There is a very beautiful story about father Baikal, who was going to give his only daughter Angara in marriage to Irkut, but at a dark night the self-will daughter run away from him to mighty Yenisei, a flung stone, which became Shaman-stone in the source of the Angara - also was late. And pained Irkut had nothing to do but get nothing for his pains.
In spite of the fact that these places are wonderful in all seasons, it is better to go to the Baikal in summer. From July to the middle of September the weather is warm without strong winds and temperature drops. Its water is usually very called in shoal and in summer it warms up to +22 C.
On the territory of the Baikal there are many small islands.
Island Olkhon is called the heart of the Baikal (the largest one). First of all climb up Hill of Sinners. By Buryat legend everyone should bring a stone on the hill, with which he redeems his sins. If there are few sins – the stone is small and what if they are numerous. But even in the small variant “Sisyphean toil” on such steep hill is quite a serious ordeal.
Here live 2630 species and plant sorts and animals kinds.
More than 80 per sent of animal plankton consist the crayfishes in the lake. Such crayfishes serve a function as purifier of water.
More interesting in the Baikal a viviparous fish. It surprises the scientists by daily feed migrations from the deep to shallow water. There are also omuls, umbers, white – fishes, bur – bots, pikes.
The largest peninsula of Baikal is the the peninsula Olkhon, people call it as «the heart of Baikal». Among thirty peninsulas on the territory of Baikal, the peninsula Olkhon is the biggest one and has various landscapes and nature monuments. A part of Baikal, placed between two west coasts of the lake and peninsula Olkhon, is represented itself the special water area with peculiar microclimate and has a name «the Small Sea».
On the territory of this peninsula there are several monuments of nature, guarded by government: Shamansky cope, Sagan – Khushun cope, Khoboy cope, Kobiljya golova cope.
Ushanji Islands are wonders of the Baikal. The islands attract all – both scientists, who try to discover the geological beginning of the Baikal, and tourists. But Ushanji islands are famous most of all for seal. Here in “Ushanchiki”, three small islands, its “beach”, where it gets out on stones and warms itself in the sun, is situated. Now in Tonkiy Island one can observe seal. The observation place is equipped with camouflage net and set informational shield in Russian and English.
Among numerous capes there is a grandiose architectural ensemble of the nature. The most pertinent name of Peschanaya Bay is Cove – it is an ideally delineated arc of over 1 km length with wonderful sandy-gravel beaches. It is bounded with Big and Little belfry, the height of which makes up 80 and 60 m above water.
On the Big belfry one of the first beacons in the Baikal was set. In the southern-western part of the bay there is small bay Akademicheskaya. In it on the bank a permanent establishment of the Baikal ecological museum is situated. From the east bay Babushka joins Peschanya bay. It is of the smaller seize but it is less picturesque. There remains of an ancient man were found.
The warm and sand coasts of the bays Babushka and Peschanaya, and also Barguzinsky and Chuvirkuisky bays were changed at the beaches. Many cruise ships come over the Baikal, its passengers visit the Baikal museums and sights. Among them there is a rock Shaman – stone in the village Listvyanka, this village is trimmed by stone wall in VI-X centuries.
In Chuvirkuisky Bay there is the famous “Snake spring” – healing thermal spring. The spring streams out by several sources overland and underwater. One of them is supplied with a wooden shell, rid of obstacles and is used for radiculitis and diseases of musculoskeletal system treatment.
The Baikal is unique by its natural peculiarities. Here, for example, a year counts more sunny days than in Black sea resorts. And it is in the center of Siberia where it is permafrost and deer live.
Many scientists consider the Baikal an inceptive ocean. Except active movements of the earth’s crust in its area considerable magnetic anomalies along its axis are observed. But there are very few evidences. Additional researches are necessary.
For the most part the Baikal is a very beautiful but severe area. The slopes of its mountains are covered with snow even in summer. It is an area of peace, harmony and repose. Sometimes in our furious rush we lack for it so much.
Come here, gain the nature’s strength and wisdom. But it depends on us, if our children, grandchildren perceive this wisdom.