Midst the Tian Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan’s eastern parts, the IssykKul lake, the second largest saline lake and the tenth largest lake in the world by volume offers a panoramic view to its visitors. Issyk-Kul in the Kyrgyz language means “warm lake”. This is kind of ironical as IssykKul is surrounded by snow-capped peaks on three sides. However, the lake never freezes.
Lying on the shoreline of Lake IssykKul, RukhOrdo in the city of Cholpon-Ata is a cultural centre that is dedicated to five major religions of the world- Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, Judaism and Orthodox Christianity. The cultural centre and museum was a briefing place for interreligious peace and understanding.
Found in 2002 on a sacred spot, the centre is now used for festivals, tours, concerts, exhibitions, international events and local parties.
The centre now includes a concert hall and five sanctuaries open to allow the panoramic view to the lake. There are portrait and photo exhibition halls featuring designs by the nomadic groups around the area.
Dedicated to ChingizAitmatov, the centre has a plenty of statues motivated by his stories and books and exhibits of his life stand on the walls of the museum.
A popular resort for tourists from Kyrgyzstan, Cholpon-Ata is the most famous site on the lake. This gives the town more of a commercial feel with the pleasant lake on the beachfront. A sprawling, medium-sized town with a busy main road, the city of Cholpon-Ata is worth a visit.
Issyk-Kul Provincial State Historical-Cultural Museum-Reserve
The plains on the rolling hills above the IsyykKul Lake, the provincial State Historical-Cultural Museum is a government-protected nature reserve.
Also known as the Petroglyphs Nature Reserve, the plain fields are beautified with stone petroglyphs. The low, lichen-covered boulders scattered in the plain area are truly photogenic.
The Beach Around IssykKul
The admirable lake view with its snow-capped mountains on the backdrop complements the warm IsyykKul beach.
There are a number of accessible beaches along the shoreline of the city of Cholpon-Ata. The scenic lakeside setting around the circular headlands goes in hands with people watching.
Karakol used to be a Russian colonial outpost located on the eastern side of Lake IsyykKul. A fairly compact centre, Karakol has traditional white-washed timber houses on the residential streets leading up the hill roads from the town.
A nondescriptive typical Kyrgyz town, Bokonbeyov is a briefing base for exploring the lake’s southern attractions. A few kilometres away from the lake, Bokonbayevo has more of a rural setting. Yet the small town has a rich cultural background to explore.
The lake is a site of globally important biodiversity. Places around the IssykKullake are worth a visit. Call us or visit our website to book your tour to places around IsyykKul Lake.