Arakulskie Shikhany, Mount Arakul, or simply Shikhan - is the southern rocky array and the highest (40 meters) one in the Middle Urals. It is situated in 18 kilometers to the north-west from city Kasli, 6 kilometers to the east from the station Silach on the South-Ural Railway. Shikhan got its name from the widespread in the South Urals dialect sheehan and from the name of Bashkirian generic group "Uwan" - a high tapered mountain.
Shikhan is a rocky chain, stretching from east to west for more than two kilometers. The maximum width of the chain is 40 - 50 meters, and the maximum height above the ground is 80 meters (peak Chamberlain). The South side throughout has a 30-40 meters height above the ground and reminds a wall around some ancient fortress, made from enormous granite boulders. The northern slope is much lower (15 - 20 m) and flatter, and on this side there is an easy climb to the top of the rocks.
On the southern slope usually train climbers, for them was prepared 1 / 10 of the rocks. Shikhan resembles granites of Chertovo Gorodishche and Peter Gronsky rock. Shikhan was folded by enormous granite slabs and blocks, hewed for centuries by elemental forces, which gives it an old and a majestic view. On these rocks you can find different bizarre deepening: some of them have a perfect round shape, while others resemble the footprint of a giant.
Here are located ancient human sites dating from the Early Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. In 2002-2005, the combined team from the South Ural Branch of the Institute of History and Archaeology Ural Branch of RAS and Chelyabinsk archaeological center under the leadership of E. V. Tideman conducted archaeological excavations on the lake Arakul, and as a result an ancient site Sredniy Shikhan 1 was found (Early Iron Age - Middle Ages). In total, there are 13 well known archaeological monuments around Arakul (from the Chalcolithic to the second half of XIX century). An amazing Shikhan relief was formed by a long water and wind work. From the highest point of Shikhan, top Chamberlain, you can see 11 lakes.
At the foot of Shikhan there is one of the most beautiful lakes of the Urals - Arakul. In 1969 this lake was considered to be a natural monument. Arakul and Shikhan are very popular among tourists. It is always possible to meet tourists from different regions, and often from other countries. The popularity of these places is due to their unique beauty and easy accessibility. Tourists break tent camps and just traveling, enjoying the grand view. You cannot just train on the rocks, but also have an active rest in summer, because there are a lot of amazing beaches and you can also go fishing.
Lake Arakul (it means - "intermediate lake" or "lake between the mountains") - is a hydrological natural monument, created by executive committee decision № 29 from the 21.01.1969. This lake is situated among the mountains on the western border of Kasli municipal area, 6 km west from the working village Vishnevogorsk and 19 km north-west fromt he city Kasli. On the northern shore of the lake is located the village Arakul. From the west and south this lake flows into small rivers - Olkhovka and Kaganka, and in the north - into river Arakulka. In the southern part Arakul connects with the lake Small Kagan, and in the north, across the river Arakulka flowing into Vyazovka, with the lake Silach, and then with the Kasli lake system.
The banks are high, rocky, and there are not many swaps there. The bottom in the center is silty, and near the banks it is sandy with pebbles. The biggest depth is closer to the eastern and southeastern shores. The coastline, like in all mountain lakes, is rugged, and forms a few quiet backwaters: Kurya Teplaya in the south-western part, Kaganskaya in the south, Maksimov in the east and some others. In the southeastern part of the lake there are many springs, and on the opposite shore over the water surface rises the island of Love. It is interesting to note that on the shores of Arakul grow mainly pine and larch, and on the island is formed a real Dendrarium. In addition to conifers, there are a variety of hardwoods.
In the forests of Arakul live squirrels, hedgehogs, hares, moose, and occasionally you can find lynx and bears, but they come close to the lake very rarely. In 1910, by the initiative of fish culture "pioneer" in the southern Urals, I.V. Kuchin, in Kyshtym was organized the first fish breeding and biological station. In 1912 it was transferred to the lake Arakul. The station for many years was the only one institution in our area dealing with an artificial fish breeding. For this was used running water of the river Arakulki.
Whitefish, brook trout from Arakul and the river Arakulka swam into tributaries of the river Miass: Kushtumga, Bolshoy Kialim and other water bodies. The fish factory annually gave a large number of fingerlings of whitefish, peled, white salmon, whitefish, and hybrid of ripus for resettlement in other water reservoirs. In 1969 the lake Arakul was acknowledged as a natural monument. Arakul and Shikhan are very popular among tourists. It is always possible to meet tourists from different regions, and often from other countries.
Here you can see the beautiful lake, with a variety of fish and crayfish, and mountains surrounding the lake and the main attraction of these places - Arakulskiy Shikhan, often called just Shikhan. Bizarre indentations in stones that resemble troughs, ancient settlements of human dating from the Early Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, amazing relief formed by long-term work of water and wind - all this is Shikhan.
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