shape of Issyk Kul lake resembles a blue lens that has been stretched
wide. The top of the lens or northern shore of the lake is for some
reason more populated than the southern one. Many villages, rest homes,
pensions, tourist centers and modern recreation and entertainment
centers are to be found here and in the neighboring mountains, most
dating from the second half of the last century. The tourism services
provided here today are many and varied.
The southern shore on the other hand is only
partially developed with a handful of small pensions and rest homes.
Strange when you consider it was the first choice for the location of
the early settlements at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th
century. Kyzyl-Suu (formerly Slivkino or Pokrovka) and Bokonbaevo
(formerly Koltsovka) were built there and Koi-Sary was one of the first
rest homes to be built. There is historical evidence to show that
people dwelt on the southern shore a thousand years ago and that the
area prospered between the 8th and 12th centuries.
The southern shore is not short of natural
advantages such as pure water and excellent beaches as well as
geographical and historical places of interest. The area surrounding
the villages of Tamga and Tosor is typical.
is a Turkic word meaning "front post" or "outpost" as confirmed by the
ruins of the small (100m x 100m) fortress, Tosor I, situated on the
western outskirts of the village. Historic monuments abound in the
surrounding area and on the flood plains of the River Tosor. One of the
most interesting is the palaeolithic settlement also known as Tosor.
The settlement is located on the flood plain to the right of the River
Tosor and 5 km from the Balykchi-Karakol road. The settlement is
thought to be between 100 and 40 thousand years old.
Tamga is from the Turkic for "letter", "patterned
stone", "brand" or "stamp". The village and the surrounding area are
named after four famous stones located about 2 km from the village
which bear Tibetan inscriptions: 'Oh, you, a treasure on the
Between the villages of Tosor and Tamga the
coastline curves round, forming the Ak-Chiy creek. In Soviet times the
Still Bay (Tikhaya Bukhta) tourist center stood here but now only the
foundations remain. Nearby, on the sandspit a yurt camp has been set up
and next to the Still Bay site, a new sports and health camp/hotel is
being built. It is hoped that this will be a recreational and training
center for sports activities and and tourism (mountain tours, riding,
diving…). The Terskey Ala-Too mountain range, crowned with
snowy peaks, rises up from the lake. At the foot of the mountains are
unique forests of ancient fir trees and in the mountain gorges are
waterfalls and hot mineral springs.
It is not possible to list all the advantages of
the southern shore of Issyk Kul in this article but hopefully this
brief overview will show the huge potential for development of
recreational tourism on the southern shore of the lake. The future of
the region is here.