Son-Kul is a mountain lake of Tien Shan. One version of the translation of the name sounds like “Last Lake”.
Son-Kul is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, located at an altitude of 3016 meters above sea level, 29 km long and 18 km wide. The maximum depth of the lake is 13.2 meters. The average water temperature is -3.5 ° C, and in summer the water warms up to 11 ° C. The temperature of the lake in winter drops to -20 ° C. 200 days a year the lake is covered with snow and in winter it is almost impossible to climb it. Unlike Issyk-Kul, Son-Kul freezes and is covered with ice from September to June. The lake lies on a mountain plain surrounded by meadows (jailoo). Meadows are used as pasture for animals from the most ancient times, as evidenced by the rock paintings found on the shore of the lake. Shepherds bring livestock to the lake for the summer and live in yurts (traditional dwelling of the Kyrgyz from felt) by their families. Four roads lead to the lake. One through Sary-Bulak in the northeast, the second lies through the serpentine road in the southeast, the third passes through Ak-Tal in the south-west and the fourth passes by the coal mines of Kara-Keche in the north-west.
About 520 km from Bishkek, 125 km (1.5 hours) from Naryn, 17 km from the end of the asphalt road (immediately after the take-off runway) 90 km (1.5 hours) to the border at Torugart and at an altitude of about 3500m above sea level, ancient caravanserai Tash-Rabat. According to one of the sources, it is perhaps the best preserved, which can be found, the place of the Silk Road, and “no other place has its original atmosphere”.
This is a carefully restored stone building, which was once an inn on the Silk Road. The date of its appearance is not precisely established, but archaeological facts suggest that this place was already occupied in the 10th century. At 15 km above the foot of the Tien Shan is a beautiful valley, perched on the side of a mountain. There is evidence that this was both a place of rest and worship, and it was used to protect caravans going to China and back from the raging weather and bandits even before the times of Tamerlane and Genghis Khan.
According to legend, the name of the city of Naryn means “horse meat soup.” Other sources say that the word “Naryn” comes from the Mongolian word, which translated into Russian means “sunny.”
Naryn is picturesque passes, deep gorges, turbulent mountain rivers, magnificent lakes and waterfalls, eternal snows and glaciers, as well as ancient original culture – and all this makes the area a unique place, visiting of which will not leave indifferent any tourist, perhaps already used to such the species and who know firsthand what true nature can really be.