Cities and towns
Bishkek is a city of wide boulevards and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks surrounding interior courtyards. Mostly outside the city center, there are also thousands of smaller privately built houses. It is laid out on a grid pattern, with most streets flanked on both sides by narrow irrigation channels that water the innumerable trees that provide shade in the hot summers.
The capital city lies in the Chui valley, on a plain 800 meters above sea level, at the foot of the Kyrgyz range. The mountains are only 30 km from the city, famous National Park Ala-Archa and Alamedin have peaks till 5000 meters. Bishkek is a large city, most of the important sights are in the city center, not far from hotels/guesthouses, many parks are available to relax. The population is around 900,000 and includes many nationalities: Kyrgyz, Russians, Dungan Chinese, Tartars, Ukrainians, Uighurs, Uzbeks, and Germans.
Bishkek is not an old city, like other cities in Central Asia, was established in 1878. Statue of Lenin is still there, although the statues of Manas, KurmandjanDatka and many Kyrgyz musicians, poets, writers are more important.
The city grew up around the Kokhand fort of Pishpek, built to guard the caravan tours from Tashkent to Kashgar, the trade along the Silk Road. In 1826 the Russians captured it, and set up a garrison of their own, and in 1926 re-named it Frunze. In 1991 the city was named Bishkek, the Kyrgyz form of its old Kazak name. A 'bishkek or pishpek' is a churn for kymyz.
Bishkek is the seat of the government and a manufacturing center, it's factories produce about half of Kyrgyzstan's output. The climate of Bishkek is continental, with hot summers and cold winters, generally dry atmosphere, rainfall mostly in April.
The city is said to be the greenest in Central Asia with more trees and flowers than any other.
Osh is a lively place with the largest and most crowded outdoor market in Central Asia which was a major market along the Silk Road and is now named the Great Silk Road Bazar in reference to its historical importance. The city's industrial base, established during the Soviet period, largely collapsed after the break-up of the Soviet Union and has recently only started to revive. The proximity of the Uzbekistan border, which cuts through historically linked territories and settlements, deprives Osh of much of its former hinterland and presents a serious obstacle to trade and economic development. Daily flights from Osh Airport link Osh - and hence the southern part of Kyrgyzstan - to Bishkek and the north. Osh has two railway stations and a railway connection to Andijan in neighbouring Uzbekistan, but no passenger traffic and only sporadic freight traffic. Most transport is by road. The recent upgrading of the long and arduous road through the mountains to Bishkek has greatly improved communications.
Osh is Kyrgyzstan's second-biggest city and the oldest one. In 2000 it celebrated it's 3,000th year anniversary, it's population is around 300,000. Osh is an important regional center, only a few kilometers from the Uzbek border, the famous Osh bazaar has apparently occupied the same spot on the Akburariver for 2,000 years. Osh is situated around 1,000 meters above sea level and is a green city, with many flowers and trees.
Osh was an important crossroad on the Silk Routes, the age of the city can be also judged from the rock drawings and inscriptions found on the slopes of the Suleiman Mountain. Many ancient settlements around this mountain were discovered that prove that Osh has existed for 3000 years.
Osh was a safe place for the camel caravans who survived the journey over the high passes of the Pamir Alay to the south and of the Central Tien Shan to the east. Legends tell that all sorts of people came to Osh, from King Solomon (Sueleyman) to Alexander the Great.
The centerpiece of Osh is Suleiman' s Throne, a rocky mountain which shape resembles a pregnant woman.
Osh is a transit point for those traveling to or from Uzbekistan, Nature Reserve SaryChelek, the valleys north of Osh (Uzgen and Arslanbob) and for trekking and mountaineering in the Pamir Alay.
Karakol , formerly Przhevalsk, is the fourth largest city in Kyrgyzstan, near the eastern tip of Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan, about 150 kilometres from the Kyrgyzstan-China border and 380 kilometres (240 mi) from the capital Bishkek. It is the administrative capital of Issyk-Kul Region. Its area is 44 square kilometres , and its resident population was 66,294 in 2009 (both including Pristan'-Przheval'sk). To the
north, on highway A363, is Tyup and to the southwest Jeti-Ögüz resort.
Karakolis situated between the Lake Issyk Kul and the mighty and tall mountainranges of the Tien Shan. It is a peaceful, green, low-build town shaded by rows of huge white poplars and Tien Shan spruce. This is the administrative center of Issyk-Kul province, and the best to start to explore the lake area, the TerskeyAlatau and the central Tien Shan. It also has a very good Sunday market.
Karakolwas founded on 1 July 1869, because of its mild climate the Russians decided to locate the garrison at this spot. It was first namedPrzhevalsky after the Russian explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky, whose last expedition ended here. His grave, memorial and museum are situated close to Karakol on the lakeshore. Karakolis situated 1,770 meters above sea level and today has a population of 75,000 people. The name means like 'black hand/wrist', possibly a reference to the hands of immigrant Russian peasants, black from the valley's rich soil (coal).
It is the mountains that make Karakol special, just outside the town the mountains offer all type of tourism (biking, climbing, horse-riding, skiing and hiking).
Narynis known as the coldest town in Kyrgyzstan. Temperatures in winter can be minus 40 and the average annual temperature is minus 6. In summer it's hot and dusty. It used to be the garrison town for the Russian army, since 1868, but after independence, in 1991, 99% of the Russians left.
It is long town, between red sandstone cliffs on one side and rolling green hills on the other, spreading about 15 kilometers along the Narynriver at about 2,000 meters above sea level. Population is about 45,000.
In Naryn the Lenin statue is still in the square, in the Lenin street.
Naryn is about the right place for an overnight stop on the Bishkek-Torugart road and it is 175 km from Kyrgyz-Chinese border crossing.
From Naryn, the main road (one of the branches of the ancient Silk Road) runs south through the sparsely settled central Kyrgyz highlands to the Torugart Pass and China. At present, this is the main transport link from Kyrgyzstan to China. Naryn hosts one of three campuses of the University of Central Asia (UCA). The Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, and His Highness the Aga Khan. It is the world’s first internationally chartered institution of higher education. The UCA currently operates a School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE), with a School of Undergraduate Studies and a Graduate School of Development in the process of being established. Undergraduate classes at the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic campus commenced on 5 September 2016.
Talas is a region of Kyrgyzstan. Its capital is Talas. It is bordered on the west and north by Jambyl Region of Kazakhstan, on the east by Chuy Region, on the south by Jalal-Abad Region and on the southwest by a finger of Uzbekistan. The northern border is defined by the Kyrgyz Ala-Too, which also form the southern border of Chuy Region. At the eastern end, the TalasAla-Too Range splits off and marks the southern border. The Talas River flows through the center of the valley. The main highway (A361) enters from the east over the Ötmök and goes down the valley to Taraz in Kazakhstan. Near the mouth of the valley at Kyzyl-Adyr, one road goes north toward Taraz and the other south over the Kara-Buura Pass to Jalal-Abad Province.
In the history-books the "Battle of Talas" in 751 was described the turning point of the Chinese expansion in the area, defeated by the Arabs, this heralded the start of the Islamization of the region. Talas is also the hometown of the legendary folk hero, the Khan (king) Manas. In the Kyrgyz National Epic, Manas, an oral epic, written down and still performed today, the performers "manaschi", tell about the battles of the Khan Manas and his armies and of the construction of the land of the Kyrgyz.
Talas was an insignificant village when the Russians occupied it in 1864, now the town is the regional center of the province and looks more attractive today. South-east of Talas, stands ManasGumbez, the mausoleum where Manas is said to have been buried.
From Talas possible to walk up the attractive valleys in the TalasAlatau, in particular the BeshTash valley which has a picturesque lake on the top.
Kochkor was once named after the Tsarist prime ministerStolypin, the promoter of the Russian colonization in Central Asia and he fought against the October Revolution. After the revolution the Bolsheviks renamed the town Kochkor.
Kochkor' s location just off the busy Bishkek to Naryn road, small town and a nice and practical place to stop, if you travel onwards, or to the Suusamyr valley, the jailoo' s, Bishkek or Naryn.
In Kochkor it is worth to visit the small museum because of its enormous yurt, where 50 people are able to have a place, and because of the interesting display of handicrafts, tributes to local heroes. There is also a home of JumagalAkhmadov, he has the special room for the local women's co-operative, AltynKol (Golden Hands). It is possible to buy a good handicraft there as there is a good and wide choice of shyrdaks and cushion covers. It is said that they produce the best shyrdaks because the high mountain pastures of Kochkor and Jumgal are good for the sheep's semi-fine wool.
The town is a base for excursions into the high country and tourist infrastructure is fairly well developed. Not far from this town about 50 km there situated Chong-Tuz (Salt mountain ) to this mountain come that people who is ill with asthma from foreign countries. And it is really helps them.
Jalalabad oblast covers 33,647 square kilometres (12,991 sq mi) square kilometers (16.9% of total country's area) in central-western Kyrgyzstan.
The southern edge of the region is part of the Ferghana Valley. The rest of the region is mountainous. M41, the main north-south highway from Bishkek to Osh, takes a very crooked route down the center of the region. Another road follows the south border almost to the western tip and then turns northeast up the Chatkal valley to Kyzyl-Adyr in Talas Region. Another road (closed in winter and requiring a jeep from the Ferghana range to Kazarman) goes east to Kazarman and Naryn. An integral part of the country's power system is Toktogul hydroelectric power station, which supplies electricity and water to both Kyrgyzstan and neighboring countries.
Jalal-Abad is the small town with broad streets and chaikhanas (teahouses). It is the starting point for trips into the walnut forests nearby and the Uzbek mountain village of Arslanbob. Jalal-Abad lies at the foot of the Ayubtaumountains, where the rivers Kok Art and Kara Darya meet together, and it is also the capital of the region with the same name.
This is the town with a long history of travelers and traders who passed it through on the Silk Routes. In 1878 the Russians built there a garrison and a military hospital. Jalal-Abad was later developed as an agro-industrial center and produced cotton, wheat, tobacco, walnuts, fruit, vegetables, maize and silk worms, exporting products from the Fergana Valley to Russia.
It is a resort town, with the peaceful and curable Jalal-Abad Sanatorium, baths with mud and mineral water baths, massage, sauna and all the mineral water you can drink.
Like in many towns in the South of Kyrgyzstan two thirds of the population are Uzbek, other Kyrgyz, Tartar, Russian, German and Dungan Chinese.
The town is mentioned in Chinese annals of the second century BC. It was one of the capitals of the Karakhanids, who called it Mavarannahr and left three well-preserved mausolea. Uzgend became the abode of Muhammad b. Nasr during the Kara-Khanid split into two branches. Accounts of Uzgendwere found in the works of Arab writers like Al-Muqaddasi and Ibn Hawqal in the 10th century
Uzgen is the small town situated on the right bank of the river Kara-Darya. It is also an ancient settlement, which was found in the 8th and 9th centuries in the Turkic Khaganat on the Silk Road. Some data tell that once there was a mighty fortress in the 10th -12th centuries, but in the 13th century it was destroyed by Genghis Khan. Now you can find there only three mausoleums and the Minaret (10th-12th centuries). At the moment 85% of the population is Uzbek.