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Geography of Kyrgyzstan


Due to its topography the country is very much split into the northern and t southern part. In the north of the country, there are big valleys like the Chui-valley (where the capital Bishkek is situated), and the Talas-valley, as well as the lake Issyk-Kul The Kyrgyz also call the lake "Blue Pearl of the Tien-Shan" or "Sea of the Kyrgyz".


Directly to the south of those big valleys, there's the heart of the Tien-Shan Mountains what means "Heavenly/Celestial Mountains " from Chinese.

Its highest peaks can be found in the triangle of Kyrgyzstan, China and Kazakhstan: The Peak Pobedy (Peak Victory) with an altitude of 7439 m and the Khan-Tengri with 6995 m above sea level. Peak Pobedy is also the most northern situated 7000m-high mountain in the world.

Also in this fascinating high-altitude mountain area, that usually is explored starting from the town of Karakol at the eastern end of lake Issyk-Kul, there are the famous glacier Enylchek and the mysterious Lake Merzbacher, that is being emptied once a year, but then refills completely.

Because of that, many years scientists and explorers were questioning whether it is existing at all - some of them mentioned it on their maps and in their descriptions, some did not - depending on the time of the year and the level of water.

The Tien-Shan mountain range is a very varied area and offers all kind of mountainous landscapes one could imagine: green and fertile high-altitude pastures, lower situated valleys with woods, sandy and rocky mountains and valleys, rocky and snow-covered high-altitude mountain regions, and those very famous mountain lakes:

Apart from the popular lake Issyk-Kul, which is used mainly for beach-holidays, one should mention the regions of lake Son-Kul at an altitude of about 3000m, and lake Sary-Chelek at about 1900 m above sea level.

The powerful mountain range is not only famous for its landscape, but first of all very much visited because of its fauna: Rare animals like the Marco-Polo sheep and the snowleopard live in the area, and very common birds are eagles, falcons and vulture, while you could also at an altitude of 3000m watch seagulls and find rare species everywhere around the country.

In the south-west, the Tien-Shan mountains are divided into two parts and embed in their middle the Ferghana-valley. This lowland is situated for its biggest part in Uzbekistan, but the east borders also reach into Kyrgyz territory.

It is famous mainly for its fertility and rich, juicy and fresh choice of fruits and vegetables. In this part of Kyrgyzstan naturally, population is quite dense, and also the second-biggest town of the country is situated here: Osh , with about 300.000 inhabitants.

The visitor finds a calm atmosphere in the country side with lots of fields, especially sunflowers, an abundance of culinary specialities.

The far south of the country is dominated by the Pamir mountain range, which establishes the borders to Tadjikistan and China.

Here, there is another high, famous peak: Peak Lenin (7134m), which is popular with mountaineers from all over the world, also thanks to its technically not too demanding ascent.