Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia Travel
The most precious jewel in the necklace of Kyrgzystan
lakes is Issyk-Kul
. It has water surface of 6,236 sq. km. and a maximum depth of 668 m.
means "warm lake" in Kyrgyz. It lies in a vast basin ringed on two sides, the south and north, by snow-capped mountains; it does not freeze in winter, and one can bathe in it till late autumn.
, which lies at 1,608 m. above sea level, is the world second largest mountain lake, the largest being Lake Titicaca in South America, and is first in terms of depth and volume of water.
is unique in that dozens of rivers fall into it but none flows out. The wooded mountain slopes around it are populated by wolves and bears, graceful gazelles and magnificent elks.
The lake's water is famous for its curative properties, and some of its springs contain mineral substances that have unique medicinal value. As a health resort Issyk-Kul
ranks among such well-known health-building areas as the Crimea, the Caucasus and the Baltic region.
"A blue emerald set in a frame of silver mountains" is how the outstanding Russian scientist and traveler
, Piotr Semyonov-Tienshansky, described Issyk-Kul. That was said more than a hundred years ago, and the "Kyrgyz Sea" has lost none of its beauty. Its waters remain unbelievably blue against the snowy peaks of the Ala-Too Mountains. Issyk-Kul
remains to us one of nature's wonders, the "blue eye" of the Kyrgyz Mountains.