RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Visit  >  KARAKOL. WHAT IS WORTH TO KNOW

KARAKOL. WHAT IS WORTH TO KNOW

Author: 30.01.2016 | nature
Nature and heritage are above and beyond temporary drawbacks in infrastructure and services of Kyrgyzstan, which in terms of tourism is approaching to Georgia and Armenia. Let's consider this through the example of the cosy city of Karakol.

One of the largest cities of Kyrgyzstan, Karakol has a population of 80 thousand inhabitants, it is located 12 kilometres away from the grand creation of nature, the majestic Issyk Kul Lake. The city was founded by Russian merchants and the militaries in the late 19th century, used both as a garrison for the control of the south-eastern borders, and as a commercial area featuring important trade routes. In addition, local gorges, animals, plants, mountain ridges and valleys attracted scientists, among whom was the famous ethnographer Nikolai Przewalski. During one of his expeditions to the area, he came down with typhus and died in Karakol. A few years after this, the tsar decided to rename the city after him, changing the name to Przewalsk. It was just a beginning, then in the last hundred years, local residents were forced five times to get used to renaming "Karakol-Przewalsk- Karakol" - each new government decided on its own, so the older generation today does not really know what the name of their city is. Officially, it is Karakol since 1992. The name is translated as a "black hand" which origins from the name of the local river.

Karakol Historical Museum commemorates Przewalski. Although the place does not store any exclusive and unique exhibits connected to Nikolai Mikhailovich, the ethnographer with a bad temper, still, there are enough artefacts to get familiar with the most known facts of his biography.

Karakol is a very pleasant place, especially its central part: ancient cobbled streets, merchants' houses, shopping areas, the smell of spices and traditional bazaars, among which green market and animal market stand out. The first is famous for its endless selection of vegetables and fruits, and the second market is at the same time a place of trade and exhibition. People from all over the country come there to bring various cattle, they make deals, drive hard bargains. At least one of the bazaars is worthy attention to understand what the eastern trade is.

In the centre of Karakol there are two differently amazing religious object. Dungan Mosque was built without a single nail by the Chinese-Dungan, who in the 1860s fled their native country for fear of persecution because of the Islamic religion. As historians say, more than 300 thousand of them reached Kyrgyzstan, however, over time many of them returned home. Those who stayed, were pleasantly surprised by the hospitality of the local population, so knowing that no one was hostile to their buildings, they went down to business. The project was headed by the legendary architect and builder Chzhou-Su, specially invited from China. It took him three years to prepare the wooden beams. Though when the work was completed, the mosque was assembled as if a construction toy for a couple of days. So, it has been decorated the city since 1910, and the Chinese still play an important role of the city life.

Another famous religious site is the Holy Trinity Cathedral, which, by the way, is also made of wood. For more than one hundred years of its existence, it has survived at all the "trappings" of the Soviet attitude to places of worship, when being used as a recreation centre, a gym, and a museum. After independence, in 1992, the church, or rather what was left of it - rotten and looted building, has been finally returned to church community. It took them three years to recover it, and this work was rewarded - today the Holy Trinity Cathedral with its appearance and atmosphere encourages even unbelievers to thinking about eternity.

Another important attraction of Karakol, namely the city speciality, is ashlyamfu – a dish of Dungan cuisine. Local recipe is famous all over Kyrgyzstan, that’s why it is a must to try it. Experts recommend to sample it not in a cafe, but at the markets and bazaars where they cook it properly. The dish includes: noodle, which shall be eaten with hands, sauce, garlic, vinegar and corn starch. Ashlyamfu shall be consumed cold, so it is perfect for the summer heat. On the top of it, a huge pasty is served to make sure that a person eating this dish will not be hungry, and if you order a "meat edition", you won’t be able to eat anything for half-day, but in the evening you may have the same dish again, as it is hearty and delicious.

After that it's time to travel outside the city, because that is where nature has created such landmarks which people, with all due respect, will never be able to create in spite of all the efforts. Where to go is a rhetorical question: there is more than eyes can take in, and the choice is really huge. The guests are offered a modern ski resort, trekking trails, hot springs, mud baths, refreshing waters of Issyk Kul Lake, and dozens of breath-taking gorges and mountain routes.

One of the most beautiful valleys of Kyrgyzstan is Altyn Arashan, it has been long renowned for its therapeutic hot springs. Healing water is mountainous and located at an altitude of 2600 meters above sea level. A rare combination of hydrogen sulphide and radon hot springs located in close proximity to each other, adds a uniqueness to this place. Thus, for instance, the radon springs with water temperature to 50 degrees, are good for swimming all year round.

The road from Karakol to the resort takes from 5 to 6 hours by car and is a steep slope on the mountain serpentines along the Arashan River, in the narrow, rocky canyon. Directly from Karakol to the resort there is only about 35km, but this distance is impressively beautiful! This place is also special by the fact that a large part of the Arashan valley, including hot springs resort Altyn Arashan is a protected area.

Neighbourhoods of Karakol attract a significant portion of tourists visiting Kyrgyzstan. Despite the fact that their number reaches several millions, each visitor is able to escape from the city, and to be alone. Local conditions are perfect for relaxation and therapeutic procedures, and fans of adrenaline certainly will not be bored spending their time everywhere: on land, in the water and in the sky.

The great thing is that the natural beauty operates throughout the year, so there is no concept of "season" here. Skis and snowboards are replaced by bicycles and quads, and the coolness of the Issyk-Kul Lake is taken over by hot springs and geysers. Everything is located against the backdrop of spectacular scenery that are not worse than the Alpine sites, but have a low marketing recognisability. Let's hope this is a temporary shortage and just a incentive for the development of tourist industry, because the most important thing is that the nature of Kyrgyzstan is eternal, and therefore everything will be developed to the best advantage.

It will be interesting:
Iguazu Falls - Niagara Has Room for Improvement!
5 tons of water fall off into the ravine every single moment, roaring, raising steam and disseminating spatter in all directions. ‘Liquid wall’ of Iguazu Falls extends its crescent on the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Brand history: Discovery Channel
Today Outlook tells about another inspiring example of how a dream can become a lifetime project. Creation of one of the most successful channels in history of television – Discovery Channel, followed by a huge media empire Discovery Communications, simply cannot but motivate to own great engagements.
Issyk-Kul: Main Treasure of Kyrgyzstan
Good tourist is not just someone who is always quick off the mark and ready to embark on a journey any minute. It is the one who is also known for an ability to carefully plan holidays six months in advance. If you are one of them and already think where to go in summer - our next story about gigantic Issyk-Kul Lake and kinds of recreation there is for you.
The Embassy of Japan will plant more than one thousand sakura in twenty cities of Ukraine
This year it will have been 25 years since the moment of establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ukraine. The events in the course of celebration of ‘Japan’s year in Ukraine’ have already been organized actively. As the sakura is the symbol of Japan, the Embassy starts campaign on the tree-planting of sakura along all the territory of Ukraine so as to give to majority of Ukrainians the possibility to savor its beauty.
MOST STUNNING FLOWER FIELDS IN THE WORLD
Flower fields and valleys are impressive and attract attention of the most discerning connoisseurs of beauty. Multi-coloured deposits of fragrant plants adorn vast valleys of almost every country! We offer several floral destinations to suit every taste.
LAKES CHANGING IDEA OF THE POWER OF NATURE
At the bare mention of the word lake, our imagination pictures soothing, nostalgia-laden images of quite pond cosily embraced by the grassy hills. OUTLOOK prepared a selection of the most spectacular lakes, which will change your understanding of this work of nature. Each of them has something to surprise, whether it is unusual water shade, or frightening ability to petrify living creatures.
NATIONAL WINGED SYMBOLS
Each state has its own official symbols: flag, coat of arms and anthem. But in addition to the traditional "identification mark" there are symbols chosen by people, for instance, a favourite bird. It is about them OUTLOOK expands below.
ART OF TOPIARY
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
VIDEO: Conquer nature. The most impressive viaducts
Very often nature tests people. From time to time we have to conquer and subjugate the elements. When men mastered construction of bridges, water obstacles have ceased to be a problem for humanity. However, what to do if a town is behind a pit, flatland or gorge? All-too-common "bridge" on pillars cannot be constructed everywhere. In such cases people resort to erecting viaducts, some of which are true works of art.
SUPER-CHILLED: BEST FESTIVALS OF ICE AND SNOW ART
Ice and snow has long been used by artists to create different figures and objects, and only 1960, this age-old skill became a new trend of a land art! The largest number of winter artworks is created during special festivals about which we will tell our readers.
SNOW-COVERED PEAKS
The cold season brings not only such important things as wrapping into a reindeer sweater, drinking hot chocolate and once again reviewing Christmas comedies. Thus, sport has not been canceled yet, so OUTLLOK compiled top five ski resort bucket list for you to cheer up and get out of your winter sleep.
LIFE ON WATER: 7 LITTLE-KNOWN VENICE COMPETITORS
When we hear about "water city", Venice immediately comes to mind, doesn’t it? Tranquil gondolas, narrow waterways, gentle light of the evening sun and ancient architecture create that heady romantic cocktail which attracts tourists from all over the world to the Italian city.
Between Heaven And... Water: World’s 5 Smallest Inhabited Islands
Each of us wants to escape rush of a city from time to time and lie low somewhere far from everything and anything. And it better be a place where one can listen to whisper of waves, feel light breeze and forever make friends with inimitably loud silence that muffles every disturbing thought…
Living Water of Dead Sea
Already on the way to the water, the strong smell of salt and sulphur hit my nose. Shore were dotted with bizarre-shaped yellow-white boulders, and the whole expanse of the sea was enveloped in mysterious, whitish haze. This strange place was very quiet: no birds, on holidaymakers on sun loungers, the sea looked like a huge pot with hot thick jelly that barely reacted with light rips in response to rather strong wind.
TOP 5 OF THE WORLD MOST BEAUTIFUL LIGHTHOUSES
Lighthouse - this word evokes beautiful associations: sea adventures, storms, huge ships. And we do not want to dispel these thoughts, but rather to add fuel to the fire.Today we are sharing with you the quintet of amazing lighthouses!
Embraced by Autumn: Where to Go on Mellow Season?
Autumn promises that heat would gradually fade away and immediately presents with a choice: either to clutch at stewing days in warm countries or taste cool evenings and admire architecture without being distracted by sultriness.
TURKEY: THREE NATURAL WONDERS
A jewel-case of Turkey is full of pure wonders provoking an inspiration for fairy tale writer. When people first see blindingly white mountains in the midst of warm country, they experience various desires: someone wants to fall into white drifts and make a snow angel, as some people imagine that white cliffs taste sweet just like cotton candy...
Animals in the City – When People Sing in Tune with Nature
Many city dwellers are irritated by cats, dogs or even pigeons in the streets. Attempts of zoo-advocates to save them from attacks of people and from starvation are mainly ineffective. But there are wonderful cities in this world where people perfectly coexist with deer, peacocks and cattle…
They need warmith. Where birds stay for winter
As a child I could spend hours gazing at the sky and spying majestic flocks of birds winging their way south. For a kid this movement was a real magic. Today my bookshelf hosts almost no books about magic, though I am still excited about feathered tribes travelling in hope to land on their winter grounds.
In Vino Veritas: World’s 5 Most Unusual Vineyards
It has been known since olden times that wine-making process is a true art that is within the power only of the ones sincerely in love with their trade. Let alone beauty of masterpieces created by skillful hands – grape gardens, scattered in various nooks of the world, that impress with grandeur and adorn this planet, ornamenting it with bright juicy colors.
Close
Outlook facebook page