About Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan shares borders with Kazakhstan in the north, Uzbekistan in the west, Tadjikistan in the south-west, and China in the south-east. It comprises the western part of the Tien Shan and a small part of the Pamir mountain ranges. The lands of Kyrgyzstan extend 900 km from West to East and 410 km from North to South.

Kyrgyzstan is a picturesque mountainous land. The country lies between 390 and 430 North latitude and between 690 and 800 East longditudes. The total area of the country is about two hundred thousand square kilometers. The land lies at altitudes that range between 394 m and 7439 m above sea level - with an average height of over 2000 meters. Almost 93% of the land is over 1000-meters above sea level and 40% over 3000 meters.

The highest peaks are Peak Pobeda (Victory Peak, at 7439 m), Peak Lenin (7134 m), Khan-Tengry (6995 m), and Druzhba Peak (or Friendship Peak at 6800 m). There are plenty of glaciers across the territory of Kyrgyzstan. There are over 8 thousand of them measuring over 10 hectares, and together they cover just over 4% of the total land area. They are located on the highest parts of mountains above 2850-2900 m, above the zone of forests and alpine meadows. The largest are Engilchek, Kaiyndy, Korzhnevskiy, Mushketov, Semenov, and Petrov. The thickness of some glaciers is of 100-120 meters.

The longest rivers of Kyrgyzstan are: The Naryn, Karadariya, Chatkal, Kyzylsuu (eastern), Chu, Talas, and Sary-Jaaz. The Naryn river flowing together with Karadariya forms the Syrdariya, the second in size river in Central Asia. The length of the Naryn river is 535 km. An average water discharge is 429 m3/sec. The Chu river has a length of 221 km inside Kyrgyzstan. Outside Kyrgyzstan the river loses itself in Moyun-Kum sands. The same does the Talas river. The glaciers and snows of the Kan-Tenir mountain mass feed the river Sary-Jaaz that carries its waters out to the territory of the Chinese Peoples Republic.

Almost all of the rivers of Kyrgyzstan are deep from April till September, that attributed to melting of glaciers located highly in mountains. That also explains the increase in water level in head rivers at day time.

More than 30 water reservoirs were built on the rivers with the aim to increase the volume of water for irrigation. The most significant are: Toktogul water reservoir across the Naryn, Ortotokoiy across the Chu, Kirov across the Talas, and Nizhnealaarcha across the Ala-Archa rivers.

Kyrgyzstan has nearly 1923 lakes, 16 of which have a surface area of over 1 square kilometer. The majority of the lakes are located in the mountain zones at altitudes of 3-4 thousand meters above sea level. The largest lakes are: the Issyk-Kul, Sonkul, and Chatyrkul. Their origin is tectonic. The largest of these lakes is Issyk-Kul. It stretches for 178 km in length and is 60 km wide. The depth is 668 m in some places. The total surface area is about 6200 square kilometers. It is situated at an altitude of about 1600 m above sea level. The lake contains many minerals. It does not freeze in winter. The temperature drops down to + 40 C in winter and in summer it can reach up to + 240 C. There are over 80 small streams flowing from their sources on the slopes of the Kyungay and the Terskay Ala-Too ridges into the lake, the lake has no outlet. Issyk-Kul and its hollow have favorable climatic conditions for medical treatment and recuperation. There are plenty of sanatoriums, resorts, and houses offering accommodation, and other tourist facilities also on the coast. Still, only a small part of its resources are used. The perspectives for development are huge.

Kyrgyzstan has a large number of underground fresh, mineral and thermal springs. The types of mineral and thermal waters of Kyrgyzstan are noted for their variety and the richness of minerals they contain. Total minerallization of carbonaceous waters ranges between 1 and 40 g/L, the carbonic-acid content varies from 500 to 2500 mg/L.

The carbonaceous waters similar in composition to Borzhomi, Arzni, and Essentuki are found in the Fergana Range. The waters of the Narzan type are frequently found on the northern slope of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too, in the Kabak-Too, in the Atbashi range, and in the vicinity of Chatyrkul Lake.

The hydrogen sulphide waters of the Matsesta type are Maily-Suu, Maily-Sai, Changyr-Tash, Shor-Bulak, Kyok-Tash, and Yarkutan deposits located on the South of Kyrgyzstan.

In the South of Kyrgyzstan are discovered also iodic-bromine and iodic-boric waters. Thermal waters with radon contamination are in Djety-Oguz, Ak-Suu, Issyk-Ata, Teploklyuchinka and others. The deposits of thermal nitric waters are in Jyrgalan, Issyk-Ata, Kerege-Tash, Kysyl-Suu, Jalal-Abad, Kochkor-Ata, Alamedin and others. The deposits of highly mineralized thermal waters are in Cholpon-Ata, Bosteri, Chok-Tal, and Bulan-Syogyottu (Komsomol) resorts.

The resorts and many plants works for pouring out mineral waters operate based on the deposits of mineral and thermal waters.

In addition, deposits of medicinal mud of silt and silt-peat origin are available in Kyrgyzstan. Such deposits are mainly in vicinity of the Issyk-Kul, in Chui Oblast, and the South of Kyrgyzstan.

The climate of Kyrgyzstan is extremely diverse. In some regions it is continental with sudden and large temperature changes, while in others it is close to marine. A large part of Kyrgyzstan has a temperate climate, while in the South it is sub-tropical. This diversity is attributed to the existence of the large lake, Issyk-Kul, and the mountainous landscape. Annual and daily temperatures are smoothed. There are signs of droughty. The seasons are clearly expressed. The length of a day in December 9 hours and in June 15 hours. Precipitation falls down more in mountains and temperatures there are lower than in valleys.

The presence of Issyk-Kul influences the local microclimate, making the temperature milder in the vicinity of the lake. In winter it is 3-50 C warmer than in other parts of the country, while in summer there is no sweltering heat. In January the average temperature ranges between -50 C and -100 C while in July betwen 20 and 300 C in low mountain regions that surround the lake.

Absolute low temperatures of air drop in winter down -500 C on the Ak-Sai. Absolute high temperatures of air reach + 440 C in Chui Valley and in the South of Kyrgyzstan.

An average wind velocity is small, 1-3m/sec, however the mountain landscape and availability of a large area of water of the Issyk-Kul cause numerous winds. Frequently alongside with alteration of day and night the wind direction also changes. Intrusion of cold air into the Issyk-Kul hollow is accompanied with a stormy wind the velocity of which sometimes mounted to 40km/h. In the valley areas of Kyrgyzstan a total amount of precipitation makes up 230-500 mm. In the mountainous areas it can reach 1500 mm. In warm seasons precipitation falls more than in a cold ones. The most cloudy sky can be observed in the end of winter and in the beginning of spring.