World Heritage CIS

The Issyk-Kul Hollow

The Issyk-Kul Hollow  The Issyk-Kul Hollow  The Issyk-Kul Hollow

The Issyk-Kul Hollow  The Issyk-Kul Hollow  The Issyk-Kul Hollow


The Issyk-Kul hollow is a inimitable natural formation, which unique landscapes have been formed within the giant hollow (22 000 closed by high mountain ranges (4 800-5 200 m) from all sides, with a large non-freezing lake Issyk-Kul in the middle located at 1 608 m above the sea level. The hollow's high level of isolation from direct intrusions of air masses creates conditions for forming the peculiar climate system which influences all other components of the natural complex.

The hollow is stretched from the east to the west for 275 km with its width of 65 km. Heights amplitude within the hollow reaches 3 600 km, which causes rich landscape types composition, from deserts in the western plain areas to alpine meadows and glacial lakes in the highlands of the east. Petrophyte and psammophyte communities of the western part and typical boreal biocoenosis of the forest-meadow-steppe mountain altitude zone with Schrenk spruce massifs are unique for the whole Central Asian Region.

Coastal and nival fauna of the Issyk-Kul lake also are of special significance. Lake aquatory serves a resting place for migratory birds and 33 waterfowl species. In 1967 the Issyk-Kul lake has been acknowlegded as the wintering place of international importance within the Ramsar Convention. 21 fish species dwell in the lake, 7 of them are endemic.

Significant feature of the hollow is the abundance of natural formations with high recreational and healing potential. There are over 100 mineral waters occurences, 7 healing mud deposits, more than 30 picturesque flumes, tens of waterfalls.