Issyk Kul - second largest alpine lake in the world
Issyk-Kul (Isyk-Kul,Issyk Kul, Isik-Kul, Issuk-Kyl) is the biggest lake in Kyrgistan. Like title indicates it is the second biggest alpine lake in the world. First one is Titikaka in South America. During the Soviet Union this was the second biggest reservior of clean water after Baikal lake in Russia. By the way 0 ground of earth altitude or sea level is in Baikal Lake.
Issyk Kul Climate
Issyk Kul is famous for its very good climate (it never freezes over winter and water is salty), it is also similar to Dead Sea has over 60 rivers flowing in and not a single flowing out. But there are grounds to believe that lake has some underground rivers flowing out. Otherwise level of saltiness in the lake would not fall. Also, it snows only in several places around the lake - Gregorevka, Kara Kol and other parts of north shore. Or it is better to say snow stays long. However, Karakol has some winter ski resorts
Issyk Kul statistics
In terms of statistics Issyk Kul lake is about 180 km long and 70 km wide, its deepest point is about 668 meters, and about 40 meters is how deep you can see through the water.
Name of Issyk Kul and Silk Road Travel
Issyk-Kul literally means warm water, one of the theories renders lakes name as Isa-Gul, which means flower of Jesus and is probably the name nestorians had for the lake. Whatever it is Issyk-Kul with its season starting in May and finishing in September is the best place to go around during your Silk road travel. By the way lake has two silk routes touching it. One going from Barskoon and touching mostly Southern shore of the lake, another one going from what is now Torugart Pass (Kyrgyz - Chinese border) and touching only Western side of Issyk Kul.
Ysyk lake - Britannica
Here is the quote from Britannica Encyclopedia on Issyk Kyl Lake.
a drainless lake in northeastern Kyrgyzstan. Situated in the northern Tien Shan (“Celestial Mountains”), it is one of the largest high-mountain lakes in the world and is famous for its magnificent scenery and unique scientific interest. It is situated within the bottom edges of the Lake Ysyk basin, which is bordered to the north by the Kungöy Ala Range and to the south by the Teskey Ala Range. The lake has a length of 113 miles (182 km), a width up to 38 miles (61 km), and a surface area of 2,425 square...
Issyk Kul Video
Enjoy the video below that offers good pictures of Issyk Kul lake.