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Issyk-Kul Lake is the pearl of Central Asia

The length: 178 km
The width: 60.1 km
The Area: 6236 km2
The length of coastline: 688 km
The maximum depth: 700 m
The average depth: 278.4 m
The water temperature: in winter +4,2 ° C +5,0 ° C; in July and August +18 ° C +24 ° C.

 

Issyk-Kul is the alpine and the largest lake in Central Asia that’s located on an altitude of 1,600 m above sea level.  The lake is surrounded by Teskey - Ala-Too and Kungey Ala-Too mountains and one of the most clearest and highest in the world.  From Kyrgyz language «Issyk-Kul» is translated as "Hot Lake" - even in the coldest winters it doesn’t freeze. The local residents call it "Tuz-Kul" - "Salt Lake" for the salty taste of the water - water salinity - about 6%, people say: "the lake is salty, as tears of the girl, and as hot as her heart." More than 80 rivers flow into the lake, but none of them does arise.

Issyk-Kul is inhabited – carp, marina, perch, bream, mirror carp, grass carp, and trout, and other fishes.

 

The nation cherishes dozens legends and stories about this sacred place, here is one of them...

 

Issyk-Kul legend

There was an ancient city many centuries ago and tower on top of a steep mountain stayed over it. It belonged to old and mighty khan, who was famous not for his wealth but cruelty. Once he hears about a fairytale beautiful girl from a poor nomad family, and he decided to take her. This girl lived in a small village that nestled at the foot of the mountains, on the creek’s bank.  A lot of glorious brave man fight for belle and laid their head, but for all marriage proposals she replied that she loves another person.

No one could know whom she loved and even she herself did not know. She only remembered that one’s early morning when the sun lit up the mountain peaks, handsome horseman appeared in front of her on a white horse, grabbed her, and they soared to the sky-high. The girl remembered how with the vortex speed they raced together to unattainable sky, and parting, took off his ring and put on her finger, said: "I will be back soon. Never shoot the ring, until you have it, unhappiness will not touch you"

And now, when khan’s envoys came to her with rich gifts and offered to marry him, she angrily pushed gifts and exclaimed:

- I love another person, and I will not be anybody’s wife, except of my love!

Having said this, she quietly went to the mountains hoping to meet again rider and seek his protection.

 

Only now she noticed that the ring has gone from her finger, girl began to cry and decided to return home. Before she could reach the house, she was surrounded by armed horsemen, which seized her and quickly disappeared in the gloomy gorge. When servant took off the blindfold and released her, she saw untold riches around. Then she realized that she is a khan’s prisoner and decided to die rather than become his wife.

Khan surrounded her with unprecedented luxury, but gifts could not change the girl’s decision.

Finally, khan decided to take by force what he could not sought by gifts. He came to her again, promising everything for love, even freedom.

- I love another person, - was the previous answer.

Khan rushed to the girl, but she quickly came to the open window, which was shining over the abyss, she threw herself down. At the same moment impregnable walls wavered, granite arches collapsed, the water came from all gorges. The remains of the khan's wealth have already disappeared under the water, but the water was coming and coming until flooded a large valley.

On the place of sinister khan tower, among the bare and dark rocks, beautiful alpine lake appeared. Blue as the sky, clear as crystal, and hot as a girl's heart, people called it Issyk-Kul.

In the quiet summer evenings, when the sun moves into retirement, the ruins appear under the water and a girl's voice heard…