Lake Bosten  
 

LAKE BOSTEN IN UYGUR AUTONOMOUS REGION OF XINJIANG

Lake Bosten is one of the largest fresh water lakes in China, located in the lower reaches of the Kaidu River in the south of Bohu County of the Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin, Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, The highest recorded water level is 1048.75m (Aug. 16, 1958, against Gaositandin base level), with a water surface area of I 002.4km2, and a storage capacity of 8.8 billion m3(Fig. 10-1-1).

To the north of the drainage area of Lake Bosten stands the Tianshan Mountains, and to its south lies the Tarim Basin, belonging to the Tianshan Mountains topography zone, which consists of three subzones of the Tianshan Mountains, the Uldus Basin, and the Yanqi Basin, high in the northwest and low in the southeast. The drainage area is situated in the south slopes of the middle section of the Tianshan Mountains, basically composed of several parallel mountains, 140 to 200 km wide, averaging 3,000 to 3,5O0 m above sea level. Mount Heyuan of the Songshan Mountain, the highest peak in the drainage area, is 5,280m above sea level. The Major and Minor Uldus Basins are high basins situated among the Narat Mountains and the Elwengenwu Mountains, at 2 400 to 2 500m above sea level, the landform in the basin being mild, with the Kaidu River flowing zigzag in it. The Yanqi Basin is a fairly large medium basin between the Elbin-Alagou Mountains and the Huola-Kuruk Mountains, 170 km long (E-W), 80 km wide (N-S), 1 200m above sea level, tilting from the northwest to the southeast, and its lowest part is Lake Bosten. The drainage area of Lake Bosten is 55úČ597 Square kilometer , of which 43úČ586 km2 is of mountains, 10úČ100 Square kilometer of plains, 734 Square kilometer of sand dunes, and 1úČ067 Square kilometer of the lake.

Bosten Lake is also named Bagrax? in Mongolian and Baghrash Kol in Uygur language. Besides, it was called 'West Sea' in the ancient time. Bosten Lake is situated in the southeast of the Yanqi Basin of the South Slope of Tian Shan in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. And it's the largest inland freshwater lake in China with 1,048 meters above sea level. It has an average depth of 9 meters and the maximum depth reaches 17 meters. And Bosten Lake is made up of a big lake district and a small lake district. The big lake district is 57 kilometers away from Korla and the small lake district is 21 kilometers away from Korla. As a result, tourists can visit the big lake district which covers 988 square kilometers in the first place. There are dozens of variably sized small lakes with an average depth of 10 meters in the southwest of the big lake. Furthermore, together with the infrequent oases in the desert and the specialanimals, Bosten Lake is a tourist attraction that gladden the heart and please the eye. Meanwhile, in May 2002, Bosten Lake tourist spot was approved as the provincial? tourist spot by the State Council. Bosten Lake is not only rich in reeds, wild animals but also the rare animals such as the yellow goats and the wild deers. Bosten Lake is one of the fishery bases of Xinjiang as well as one of the four reed growing areas in China. In summer, people can organize rich, varied and colourful activities on the lake, and in winter Bosten Lake becomes another wonderful place for people to enjoy themselves on the ice. So it is described as both a summer resort and a heavenly place.

The ecological resources of Bosten Lake
Reeds,
with the total area of 400,000 mu, grow in the peacock river bank and the small lake bank. The reeds in the lake are dense, tall and straight. And the tourists can enjoy the verdant reeds along the lake. For example, in summer and autumn, a flock of wild ducks, white-plumed egrets, geese are always sporting on the lake. If you go boating and enjoy the beautiful lotus and the natural scenery, you will enjoy yourself to your heart's content.
Bosten water lilies
Bosten water lilies, with the largest area of the water lilies that grow naturally in China, give people keen enjoyment.
Migrant Birds
Migrant Birds are the most characteristic attraction of Bosten Lake. There are more than ten species of migrant birds with as many as ten thousand ones. Egrets, gulls, White Storks, cormorants and other precious birds can be seen there.
Fish
Bosten Lake, as the largest fishery base in Xinjiang, is not only rich in 24 kinds of fishes, but also? Mitten Crab, freshwater mussel and so on with an annual capacity of 2,500 tons. The marine fish and pipefish in Bosten Lake are not only fresh and tasty, but also very large. Even the smallest ones are more than 10 kilograms. Furthermore, Bosten Lake is also an ideal place for fishermen to cast. It is an important part for the tourists to taste the fish feast of Bosten Lake when they come to Bosten Lake for a visit.

The beautiful legend
Besides the attractive scenery of Bosten Lake, there was also a beautiful legend. A long time ago, there was no lake there but the vast and picturesque grassland where the herdsmen lived and worked in peace and contentment. It was said that there were once young lovers there. The boy was called Bosten and the girl was named Naya.They were deeply attached to each other. However, unfortunately, the God Rain above discovered the beautiful Naya and forced Naya to marry him. Of course, Naya pledged to fight to death in disobeying the God Rain. As a result, the God Rain was blazing with anger and gave the grassland no rain. And there was a great drought on the grassland for successive years. However, the brave Bosten had fighted with the God Rain for 81 days and made the God Rain into subnission at last. But Bosten died because of the excessive exhaustion. Naya was inconsolable for the loss of Bosten and her teers became a large scale of lake water and Naya died with grief and indignation. In order to be in memory of them, the local herdsmen named the lake as Bosten Lake.

Weather
As Bosten Lake is surrounded by high mountains, you will enjoy not only spring with little rain and a changeable climate, autumn with the rapid decline of the temperature, but also a hot and dry summer and the cold winter. In a word, the weather is fine in the whole year with an average temperature of 7.9 centigrade. And the annual average range of temperature of Bostan Lake is from 0.6 centigrade to 23 centigrade. The view of Bosten Lake is magnificent with the scenery of desert and watery town. In recent years, some tourist sites of the tourist sports of Bosten Lake have begun to take shape, such as the Lotus Lake, the Lovesick Lake and Return to Nature. There are many tourist sites for entertainments. Meanwhile, the baked fish and the original fish feast of Bosten Lake will gladden your heart and please your eyes. Bosten Lake is an important water amusement and tourist area of South Xinjiang and it is celebrated as the "Hawaiian "of Xinjiang.

 

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