High Mountain Kyrgyzstan: interesting facts
1. Kyrgyzstan is a small state in Central Asia, once part of the Soviet Union along with Russia.
2.Now Kyrgyzstan or Kyrgyzstan is a separately sovereign state. It is not part of the Russian Federation and does not border it.
3. 3. Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic) is a country in Central Asia, a state in the western and central part of the Tien Shan mountain range.
In the north Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan, in the west – by Uzbekistan, in the southwest – by Tajikistan, in the southeast and east – by China.
5. Kyrgyzstan has a population of only 6 million 141 thousand people (111th in the world). This is almost four times less than in Moscow.
6. The territory of Kyrgyzstan is 199,951 km² (85th place in the world). This is approximately the territory of Belarus. Among all the CIS countries, Kyrgyzstan ranks 7th in terms of area.
7.Kyrgyzstan, located almost in the heart of Asia, is characterized by amazing nature, picturesque mountains, deep lakes and abrupt seasonal changes of climate – this is a consequence of its geographical location.
BISHKEK – THE CAPITAL OF KYRGYZSTAN
8. The capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek (formerly Frunze, after the commander) was conceived in the Soviet Union as a marble city, so most Soviet-era government buildings are made of marble.
9. Bishkek, is the largest city in Kyrgyzstan. The population here in 2019 passed one million people.
10. Bishkek is the only city in the world named after a wooden household device (the word translates as “koumiss stick” or “butter churn”).
11.In 1926, the capital of the state, Bishkek, was renamed after the famous revolutionary Mikhail Frunze. The authors of this idea did not take into account that the Kyrgyz language lacks the “f” sound, and so the locals called the city “Prunze.”
THE CITY OF OSH IN KYRGYZSTAN
12. Major cities in Kyrgyzstan: Osh, Jalal-Abad, Karakol.
13. 13. In the past, two branches of the Great Silk Road passed through the territory of Kyrgyzstan, the Fergana and Northern branches.
14. Kyrgyzstan has no access to the sea.
15. There is a huge underground bunker under Ala-Too Square in the center of Bishkek, which was dug in Soviet times for the leaders of the republic. Now this room is sometimes used for exhibitions.
WALNUT FORESTS IN KYRGYZSTAN
16. Kyrgyzstan has the largest fruit and nut forests in the world – they cover over 600 thousand hectares in the valley of the Arslanbob river.
17.Legend has it that Alexander the Great, returning from a military campaign, camped in these forests and then took the fruit and nuts that grew there with him on his journey. The army brought some of this provision with them to Greece, and these nuts are now known as “walnuts.”
18. The Kyrgyz are still divided into tribes, of which there are about 20. The Kyrgyz believe that the Kazakhs and Uzbeks are also Kyrgyz tribes, and the Kazakhs and Uzbeks claim that the Kyrgyz are their tribes.
19. The flag of Kyrgyzstan is a red rectangular cloth, in the center of which is an image of a circular solar disk with evenly diverging rays of golden color (forty rays). Inside the sun disk placed an image of tunduk (Kyrgyz yurta) of red.
20. The Kyrgyz language is the state language in Kyrgyzstan, but Russian also has official status.
HERB OF KYRGYZIA
21. The coat of arms of Kyrgyzstan is an image of a white falcon with outstretched wings, placed in the center of a blue circle in a white frame. In the background are a lake, the spurs of the Ala-Too Mountains, and a rising sun with rays of golden color placed on either side of cotton stalks and ears of wheat. At the top of the circle is the inscription “Kyrgyz” and at the bottom is the inscription “Respublika”.
22. The Kyrgyz are very respectful of adults.
23. Although it is commonly believed that the Kyrgyz are Muslim, it is important to know that customs are more important to them than the laws of isalam.
24. Kyrgyzstan owns the world’s only high-altitude military fleet.
25. The Aigul flower (scientifically called the “Ryabchik Eduardo”) grows in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and is found nowhere else in the world. “Moonflower” (so the name is translated) for this reason back in 1978 was included in the Red Book.
BOTANIC GARDEN OF BISHKEK
26. In the southeastern part of the Botanical Garden of Bishkek there is an “anomalous square”, where its own microclimate is established – asters, tulips and other heat-loving flowers bloom there in winter.
27. Kyrgyz coins are minted in Kazakhstan.
28. And special cotton paper for Kyrgyz soms (the local currency) is made in France and Great Britain, and banknotes are printed in Malta.
EQUESTRIAN GAMES IN KYRGYZSTAN
29. In Kyrgyzstan the equestrian games are very popular, they are held on every national holiday, and it is really interesting to watch them.
30. Mountains occupy more than three quarters of the state. At the same time 4% of Kyrgyzstan is covered by ice, which never melts.
31. On one of the glaciers, scientists found wooden arrows that were made by hunters several thousand years before our era. Thanks to the ice surrounding them, the arrows are perfectly preserved.
32.The country is home to the northernmost “seven-thousandth peak” on Earth – the highest point of the Tien Shan, which is called Victory Peak. At 7,439 meters, it is the 78th highest mountain in the world.
33. Incredible and controversial among scientists is the ancient stone statue of Buddha in Yssyk Ata.
34. The mummified remains of a royal family, which date back to the 7th century B.C., were discovered during well-drilling at Kumtor.
35. Between the Saryjaz and Tengri-Tag mountain ranges, Lake Merzbacher appears and disappears every year. Scientists still cannot understand why and how it happens.
36. In the city of Karakol there is a unique Dungan Mosque, which looks very much like a Buddhist temple and was built without a single nail in the late 19th century.
37. In the center of the city of Osh is Mount Suleiman (Biblical King Solomon), standing on which, according to legend, the prophet spoke to God, leaving the imprints of his knees and forehead on the stone.
38. In Kyrgyzstan there is Kumtor, a high altitude gold deposit, second only to the Yanacocha deposit in Peru. Kumtor lies more than 4 kilometers above sea level.
SALTY LAKE ISYK-KUL IN KYRGYZSTAN
39. There is one interesting body of water in Kyrgyzstan – Issyk-Kul. It is the second largest salt lake in the world after the Caspian Sea (which is a sea only nominally), and in terms of transparency it is second only to Lake Baikal.
40.Scientists have proved that Issyk-Kul is a part of the Pacific Ocean, with which the lake is connected by many underground rivers.
41. On the shores of Issyk-Kul is a villa that once belonged to the legendary Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
42. 42. Astronauts claim that from near-Earth orbit, the famous Kyrgyz lake of Issyk-Kul resembles a human eye.
43.Kyrgyzstan is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from around the world because of the “Tamga-Tash” stones with prayers and Tibetan inscriptions carved on them, which are located on the southern shore of Issyk-Kul. Archaeologists date the sacred stone blocks to the eighth to ninth centuries.
44. In Jalal-Abad, according to legend, there was a spring of Chashma-Ayub, the water from which the prophet Ayub (Job in the Bible) drank.
45. 45. There are more than 3500 kinds of plants on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.
46. Residents of Kyrgyzstan, especially shepherds, still often live in yurts, the “mobile homes” of nomadic peoples.
47. The national Kyrgyz drink is kymyz (koumiss), which is made from mare’s milk taken at a strictly defined time.
48. There are almost all minerals on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, but they are abundant and difficult to extract, so agriculture is more developed.
49. Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country, so a lot of snowboarders and skiers come in the winter, skiing is very strongly developed. It turns out that you can vacation here in both winter and summer. In winter to ski, in summer Issyk-Kul (a very beautiful lake), hunting, rock climbing. Therefore, the number of tourists visiting Kyrgyzstan every year is about the same as the population of this country.
50. After the collapse of the Soviet Union fraternal ties between Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation have not broken off completely, and one can still find many similarities between them, especially in terms of mentality and Soviet heritage in general.
40 Interesting Facts about Kyrgyzstan
Typical Kyrgyz landscape
- Kyrgyzstan covers an area of just over 199,000 km². For comparison, this is about 4 times the area of the Moscow region.
- There are only 3 cities with population more than 100 thousand people in the whole country. These are Bishkek (1 million), Osh (320,000) and Jalal-Abad (110,000). Most of the population lives in small towns and settlements.
- The territory of modern Kyrgyzstan was once the route of Alexander the Great, who organized a conquest to the east.
- In Soviet times, Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, was called “Frunze. But there is no “f” sound in the Kyrgyz language, so the name was pronounced here as “Prunze.
- The Russian language in Kyrgyzstan has official status along with the Kyrgyz language.
Most Kyrgyz practice Sunni Islam, but Kyrgyzstan is a secular state.
- Lake Issyk-Kul, located here, is the second largest salt lake in the world, and the sixth deepest of all salt lakes. In terms of size, it could even be called the first, but, as we know, the Caspian Sea is technically a huge salt lake.
- In Kyrgyzstan, in the valley of the Arslanbob River, there are the largest natural fruit and nut forests in the world, covering an area of over 6,000 km².
- The total population of Kyrgyzstan is 6.4 million people. This is about half as much as in Moscow.
- There is a unique lake Mertsbaher, located between two mountain ranges, which appears and disappears. This happens every year as a result of the melting of ice, which forms a natural dam here.
- The population in Kyrgyzstan is quite diverse, mainly representatives of the titular nation. About 15% of the population here are Uzbeks, and about 5% are Russians.
Read also: 25 interesting facts about Bishkek
- In the Soviet Union, it was here, at Lake Issyk-Kul, that the country’s most high-altitude fleet was constantly operating.
- Every year Kyrgyzstan is visited by 5-7 million tourists, roughly equal to the population of this country. The vast majority of them come here for the lakes and mountains.
- More than 4,000 species of higher plants grow on the territory of this country.
- The Kyrgyz Kumtor gold mine, which is about 4 kilometers above sea level, is the second highest in the world.
- Kyrgyzstan does not have its own mint, so paper money for this country is printed by France and Malta, and coins are minted by Kazakhstan.
Horses are the most important animals for most Kyrgyz.
- Contrary to popular belief, Kyrgyzstan has no border with Russia. It borders Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China and Kazakhstan.
- The highest point of Kyrgyzstan is also the northernmost “seven-thousandth peak” on Earth. This is the Pobeda Peak with the height of 7,439 meters.
- On the whole territory of this country there is not a single point that would lie below the mark of 394 meters above sea level.
- Scientists estimate that 97.8% of all settlements on the territory of Kyrgyzstan are located in areas of high and very high seismic activity, 8-9 points.
- The lowest temperature ever recorded here was -53.6 °C, and the heat record reaches 44 °C.
Such landscapes are the reason why eco-tourism lovers come to Kyrgyzstan
- The western shore of Issyk-Kul is an incredibly dry place, with less than 100mm of rainfall per year. By comparison, in the Sahara Desert the average rainfall is 76 mm.
- Kyrgyzstan is one of the highest altitude countries in the world, along with Bolivia, Lesotho, Bhutan and Nepal. The average height above sea level here is 2,750 meters.
- About 90% of Kyrgyzstan is covered by mountains. This is more than the vast majority of the rest of the world.
- There are more than 2,000 lakes with a total area of 6,836 km² (about 3.4% of the country).
- Kyrgyz Issyk-Kul is one of the cleanest lakes in the world, in terms of water transparency it is second only to Lake Baikal.
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- Here, as in Mongolia, part of the population still leads a traditional nomadic lifestyle.
- About 4% of Kyrgyzstan’s territory is covered by perpetual glaciers, and together with perpetual snow, they occupy more than 40%.
- One of the most popular dairy products here is the drink koumiss, which is made from horse milk. In the Russian Empire, koumiss was considered a powerful remedy for many diseases, including tuberculosis, and our country even had special koumiss clinics.
- Some scientists believe that Kyrgyzstan is the birthplace of walnuts.
- Through this country flows about 30,000 rivers with a total length of over 150,000 km, which is 3.7 times more than the length of the Earth’s equator.
Traditional Kyrgyz yurts
- Kyrgyzstan is the seventh largest country in the CIS.
- It is one of the most forestless countries in the world. Forests account for only 3.5% of the country’s area.
- There are about 3000 different species of insects in Kyrgyzstan.
- The custom of bride kidnapping for marriage is still practiced here. De jure it is kidnapping, which is a criminal offence, but de facto such kidnappings are simply ignored and the police do not intervene by mutual consent of the parties.
- The territory of present-day Kyrgyzstan occupied an important position on the Great Silk Road, the famous trade route between the West and the East.
The Burana Tower, an ancient minaret built in the 11th century, is one of the main historical sites of Kyrgyzstan.