Geography of Kyrgyzstan


 

Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country. 

The mountains are considered to begin at the altitude of 1500 m. a. s. l. And 94 % of Kyrgyzstan territory lies above 1000 m. a. s. l. and 71 % above 2000 m.

 

There are over 88 major mountain ranges in Kyrgyzstan. The arms of two great mountain ranges embrace over 90 % of the country: the Tian Shan (Celestial mountains) stretch from east to west, and Pamir Mountain range to southern Kyrgyzstan. Over 30 per cent of the country is blanked in permanent snow and ice, which doesn't melt already at the altitude of 3600 m. a. s. l. 

2/3 of the Tian Shan range lies in the territory of Kyrgyzstan; another part crosses the border of Kazakhstan. Tian Shan is a Chinese name of the mountains. In Kyrgyz language it sounds like Ala-Too. The written sources about Kyrgyzstan and its nation appeared firsthand in China, where Chinese called our mountains like Tian Shan. It is usually separated on Northern, Western, Eastern, Central and Inner ranges. The Pamirs are found in the South of the country.

The Pamir-Alai mountains separate the Pamirs and the Tian Shan and consist of Turkestan and Alai ridges

Kyrgyzstan is famous for its three 7000 m peaks. They are Peak Pobeda (Victory), Peak Lenin and Peak Khan Tengri.

Peak Pobeda (Victory) is in the Issyk-Kul region. It is 7439 m. a. s. l. It is named in the honor of the victory in the Second World War. It is the second highest peak in the whole former Soviet Union.

Peak Lenin is in the Osh region on the border with Tajikistan. It is 7134 m. a. s. l. Its shape is similar to a huge armchair.

Khan Tengri peak lies in the Issyk-Kul region near the border with Kazakhstan. Khan Tengri means the Prince of Spirits or Rules of the sky, and is 7010 m. a. s. l. Its perfect pyramid summit of marble and fluted ridges burns in the sunset with the colors of hot coal, earning itself the nick-name Khan Too - blood mountain.

Most of the ranges are from 100 to 300 km long, and 10-40 km wide.

The longest range is Kok Shaal. It is 582 km long.

Kyrgyz range is the closest to the capital; its peaks are seen, even if you are in the centre of the city. It is in the South of Kyrgyzstan and is 454 km long. There are several beautiful gorges and national parks on this range. For example Issyk-Ata or Ala-Archa national park.

Ala-Archa park is 40 km from Bishkek and is at the altitude of 2200 m. a. s. l. There are several high peaks in these parks:

  • Ala-Archa - 4000 m
  • Crown - 4692 m (six towering peaks)
  • Teacher - 4562 m
  • Manas - 4379
  • Komsomol member - 4150 m (on May 1 mountaineers gather to climb this summit).

 

Issyk-Ata is SPA. It is at the altitude of 1200-1800 m. a. s. l. Issyk (Turkic)means  saint; Ata means father. According to the legend, in 11-12 century here lived a respectable healer who cured people with water. After his death the hot springs appeared which continue to cure a lot of illnesses up till now. There is a golden stone with the inscription of Issyk-Ata in the territory of SPA, where one can come and to make a wish to cure one's illness, looking at this stone. The water in these hot springs include alkali and other minerals. The water is salty and hot (about 50 degrees C). It warms by friction when it goes throw the underground tunnels.  There are two open pool, where one can swim even in winter, but not for a long time, because the altitude is high plus the water is hot. It can influence the blood pressure and cause dizziness. Also there is a beautiful waterfall on the territory of SPA.

 

The Terskey range is situated in the Southern shores of the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan - Issyk-Kul. They are called Shady Mountains, because of being in the shadow almost all the time.  It is 453 km long and 40 km wide. The highest peak of this range is Karakol (5280 m).

The Kungey Range (the Sunny Mountains) is in the Northern shores of the lake Issyk-Kul. It is 285 km long and 32 km wide. The highest peak of this range is Choke Tal (4771m).

 

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan!