Welcome to Kyrgyzstan
Located in the heart of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is a great mountain barrier between an environment of huge desert and steppes. The landscapes are so diverse, that this small country offers a multitude of reasons to go there. Semi-desert wedged between lakes and alpine forests, unexplored mountains, fertile plains and nomadic traditions have created the peculiarities of Kyrgyzstan.
Top Experiences in Kyrgyzstan
Top Sights in Kyrgyzstan
Talas is a small town in northwestern Kyrgyzstan, located in a long valley between two imposing mountain ranges. Its geographical location is 42°31′N 72°14′E and its population is 32,538 (as of 1999). It is the administrative headquarters of Talas Oblasty. Its economy is traditionally oriented towards the Kazakh city of Dzhambul.
The mythical Kyrgyz national hero, Manas, is said to have been born in the Ala Too mountains in Talas oblast. A few kilometers outside Talas lies a mausoleum, supposedly that of Manas. However, the inscription on its richly-decorated facade dedicates it to "...the most glorious of women Kenizek-Khatun, the daughter of the Emir Abuka". Legend explains that Manas' wife Kanikey ordered a deliberately false inscription in order to mislead her husband's enemies and prevent the desecration of his body. The building, known as "Manastin Khumbuzu" or "The Ghumbez of Manas", is thought to have been built in 1334. It now contains a museum dedicated to the epic. A ceremonial mound also lies nearby.
The Talas river was the site of the Battle of Talas (751 CE), fought between Chinese and Arabian forces, which marked the beginning of China's precipitous decline from its greatest golden age.
Burana Tower is seven km. far from the city of Tokmok. It is an 11th century minaret, and one of the first buildings of such type in Central Asia. The original height of minaret was 45 meters. Today the tower is 24.6 meters high, the remaining part came down during an earthquake in the 15th century. In the 10th to 12th centuries, Karakhanids khanate was a great feudal state of Central Asia and Kazakhstan.
The founders, "karakhans", chigil tribes by birth, lived in the Tien-Shan and for a short time of the second half of the 10th century they conquered a large territory. One of the capitals of this state was Balasagun. In Karakhanids' time new towns and settlements were developing, the centers of big cities were improved and Moslem religious buildings were built in the town of Balasagun. Burana tower, mausoleums and other buildings found after archeological excavations are the witnesses of that build up. The town's life declined slowly, people left it, the buildings fell apart and finally in the 15th century it ceased to exit.
Lake Issyk Kul has a length of 182 km, a width of up to 60 km, and covers an area of 6,236 km². This makes it the second largest mountain lake in the world behind Lake Titicaca. Located at an altitude of 1,606 m, it reaches 702 m in depth. About 118 rivers and streams flow into the lake - the largest are Djyrgalan and Tyup. It is fed by springs, including many hot springs, and snow melt-off, and it has no current outlet. Its southern shore is dominated by the ruggedly beautiful Tian Shan mountain range. The lake is slightly saline and its level drops by approximately 5 cm per year.
Lake Issyk Kul was a stopover on the Silk Road, a land route for travelers from the Far East to Europe. Many historians believe that the lake was the point of origin for the Black Death that plagued Europe and Asia during the early and mid-14th century. The lake's status as a byway for travelers allowed the plague to spread across these continents via medieval merchants who unknowingly carried infested vermin along with them. A 14th century Armenian monastery was found on the northeastern shores of the lake by retracing the steps of a medieval map used by Venetian merchants on the Silk Road.
The city of Cholpon Ata is located on the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kul, 265 km east of Bishkek. There are about 11 000 inhabitants.
The city is known for its sandy beach, seaside resorts and hosts many tourists in the summer. Tourists come mainly from countries of the former USSR.
Many hotels, guest houses and apartments are open throughout the summer. Also, you will find animated streets ...
Things to see: The petroglyphs, the museum Rukh Ordo, the Regional Museum Cholpon Ata.
Song Kul lake
The scenary Song Kul (or Song Kul) lake is the main pasture of nomads. Hundreds yurts are built during summer. The beautiful lake large of about 25-35 km is a natural reserve. Many species of birds are stopping during their long migration. Some tombs from Sakh times and petroglyphs are most ancient traces of live. Different trekking or horseback riding roads are joining the place.
At the eastern tip of Lake Issyk-Kul, Karakol is a fertile garden town of wooden chocolate-box cottages and shady, poplar-lined avenues. Fringed to the east by the Terskey Ala-Too Mountains, which tower dramatically over its low-rise skyline, Issyk-Kul ripples 10 km to the west.
Karakol is the best base from which to explore the lakeshore and Central Asia's prime trekking and mountaineering routes. With the most spectacular parts of the Central Tien-Shan right on its doorstep and newly open to foreign visitors, the town attracts trekkers, hikers and climbers from all over the world.
Karakol and its surroundings have just as much to offer their less energetic visitors. Besides one of Kyrgyzstan's largest and most colorful bazaars, a nomadic livestock market and several good museums, its spectacular environs boast an endless array of truly unique day trips. Blood-red cliffs, hot springs, Scythian burial mounds, nomad camps and sandy beaches thousands of miles from the sea are all within easy reach.
The town was build since 1869, one year after Teplokluchenka (actually name Ak-Suu). There is a unique building in the center of Karakol - ancient wooden orthodox church. But you may visit also the zoo, the regional museum, the wooden mosque, the Panfilov park, the Park Victory, the museum and memorial Prejwalski.
Despite Karakol's status as the administrative center of the Issyk-Kul region, it has only 75,000 residents and a gentle, small-town atmosphere.