Karakol (Kyrgyz: Каракол), umwhile Przhevalsk, is a ceety o aboot 75,000, near the eastren tip o Issyk Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan, aboot 150 kilometres (93 mi) frae the Kyrgyzstan-Cheenae border an 380 kilometres (240 mi) frae the caipital Bishkek. It is the administrative caipital o Issyk Kul Province. Tae the north, on hieway A363, is Tyup an tae the soothwast Jeti-Ögüz resort.
A Roushie military ootpost foondit on Julie 1, 1869, Karakol grew in the 19t century efter splorers came tae map the peaks an valleys separatin Kyrgyzstan frae Cheenae. In the 1880s Karakol's population surged wi an influx o Dungans, Cheenese Muslims fleein warfare in Cheenae.
In 1888, the Roushie explorer Nicholay Przhevalsky dee'd in Karakol o typhoid, while preparin for an expedition tae Tibet, the ceety wis renamed Przhevalsk in his honor. Efter local protests, the toun wis given its oreeginal name back in 1921—a decision reversed in 1939 bi Stalin tae celebrate the centenary o the splorer's birth. Karakol then remained Przhevalsk till the demise o the Soviet Union in 1991. Housomeivver the name haes been retained bi nearbi Pristan'-Przheval'sk.
Nearby Issyk Kul Lake wis uised by the Soviet military as a testing site for torpedo propulsion and guidance systems, and Karakol was thus home to a sizable population of military personnel and their families. Karakol continues to be a major hub for visitors of Issyk Kul Lake.
Karakol is ane o Kyrgyzstan's major tourist destinations, servin as a guid stairtin point for the excellent hikin, trekkin, skiin an muntaineerin in the hie central Tian Shan tae the sooth an east.
The toun itsel boasts a number o places that woud be o interest tae tourists, such as a vera pretty wooden mosque built bi Cheenese artisans for the local Dungans atween 1907 an 1910 entirely athoot metal nails an a similarly appealin wooden Roushie Orthodox kirk, the Holy Trinity Cathedral, completit in 1895, uised as an officer's club durin Soviet times, but nou restored an in uise again. The Regional Museum, follaein some sponsorship frae the nearby Canadian gold minin concern, haes exhibits on the Issyk Kul Lake petroglyphs, Scythian bronze artifacts, an a short history o the geology an mineral exploitation in the region. There an aa is a sma section o Roushie colonial "gingerbread" style residential biggins. The Sunday livestock mercatt is a guid place tae see remnants o the traditional nomadic rural life.
Przhevalsky's grave, a memorial pairk an a sma museum dedicatit tae his an ither Roushie explorations in Central Asie are some 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) north o Karakol at Pristan Przhevalsky, owerleukin the Mikhailovka inlet o Issyk Kul Lake whaur the umwhile Soviet torpedo testin facilities wur located. Facilities themsels are still a closed, military aurie.
Karakol is famous amang skiers an snawboarders frae umwhile USSR for its ski resort. Situatit juist 20 minutes frae the toun, the Karakol Ski Base provides services significantly better than those available at Shymbulak, a resort ootside Almaty, an haes cheaper prices. Unlike Shymbulak resort, the ridin at Karakol includes forest auries as well as cleared trails.
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