More books...


Member of Kyrgyzstan Association of Tour Operators      Member of Silk Road Tour Operators Association

Printer friendly version Bookmark this page


  This peaceful Russian town was founded on 1st of July in 1869 as Russian Military fortification on the Shore of Issyk-Kul Lake. By this time the town had a high proportion of military officers, explorers of Russian Geographical society, merchants and professionals. The town’s Soviet name was Prjevalsk after the Great Russian Explorer of Central Asia and China Nikolai Prjevalskyi whose last expedition ended here and who is buried on the lakeshore near Karakol.

  Until our days Karakol preserved old russian style houses with window-shutters built in the end of 19th - begining of 20th ceturies. Go backstreets!

  Karakol named after river Kalakol flowing thru the town and means black hand or black wrist.

  A number of trekking routes starts from Karakol. Please refer to our trekking tour offers.

Things to see here include:

Holy Trinity Cathederal. Click to enlarge!

  Holy Trinity Cathederal, built in 1872, a fine stone church fell down in 1890 after an earthquake. Present wooden building was built in 1895 and partly destroyed by Bolsheviks in 1930. Services are again being held, since the reconstruction in 1991. This Russian Orthodox church contains unique icon of Tikhvinian Virgin Mary that is believed to cure people from almost any disease. It survived in the ages when Bolsheviks pursued monks and destroyed churches by being left floating in the waters of the Issyk-Kul lake. You can still see three bullets that stuck in the icon proving it's holy qualities.

Dungan Mosque
   One of the most beautiful Karakol’s architecture. It was built by local dungans, without any nails in 1911 after 4years work by Chinese architect and 30 artisans. The mosque was closed by Bolsheviks from 1933 to 1943, but since then has again been a place of worship. While it was built by Dungans it serves all muslims of Karakol despite their ethnic background. The building impresses with an amount of perfect wood carving. You can find some items of chinese mythology in the patterns if you stay patient.

  Very exciting place! Looks like it's a small city that lives it's own life. You can find nearly anything here: carpets, traditional hats, nails, bycycle parts, ham, honey, sour cream, berries and fruit that people grew in own orchards and brought here to sell, etc. You have to try Ash-Liam-Fu - spicy noodle and starch dish served cold. It is a part of dungan national food that became popular among russians and kyrgyz. Good selection of kyrgyz national drinks like: kumys, dzharma, bozo, maksym, etc. However, as production of this drinks involves some fermentation, we recommend you to try one drink at a time to avoid getting upset stomaich. Bazaar runs every day while most crowded on sundays.

Sunday Animal market 
   A must visit place is a Sunday animal market. With lot’s of people selling and buying horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and other creatures. Only on Sundays, early in the morning.

Jety-Oguz valley
  Located 40 km away from Karakol. A beautifull mountain best served with legends by professional guide. Jety-Oguz is a great place for hiking or to start trekking to Altyn-Arashan. It impresses travellers with colorfull rocks, woods, flowers, rushing river and yurts.

Museum of Przhevalsky
  State Memorial Museum of the great russian traveller Nikolai Mikhailovich Przhevalsky located 12 km from Karakol, on the shore of Issyk-Kul lake. It includes beautiful monument, travelers grave, chapel and indoor museum that contains a number of documents, deeds and diplomas of Przhevalsky, collection of stuffed birds and animals and personal belongings of the scientist. Discovery of wild horses that named after him is only one of the number of usefull contributions that he made to the world science during his life.

Aliases: Karakol, Prjevalsk, Przhevalsk

Copyright © 2003-2011 by Fantastic Asia Ltd.