SEMIRYECHENSK, a province of Russian Turkestan, including the steppes south of Lake Balkash and parts of the Tian-shan Mountains around Lake Issyk-kul.
The Trans-Ili Ala-tau and the Kunghei Ala-tau, stretch along the north shore of Lake Issyk-kul, both ranging from io,000 to 15,000 ft.
Southwards from the last-named, however, at the foot of the mountains and at the entrance to the valleys, there are rich areas of fertile land, which are being rapidly colonized by Russian immigrants, who have also penetrated into the Tian-shan, to the east of Lake Issyk-kul.
Lake Balkash, or Denghiz, Lake Ala-kul (which was connected with Balkash in the post-Pliocene period, but now stands some hundred feet higher, and is connected by a chain of smaller lakes with Sissyk-kul), Lake Issyk-kul and the alpine lakes of Son-kul and Chatyr-kul are the principal sheets of water.
It forms the barrier between the Issyk-kul and Balkash lakes, the elevation of which is about 5000 ft.
Of Lake Issyk-kul, at the northern foot of the Trans-Ili Ala-tau Mountains, at an altitude of 2440 ft.
After great suffering Hsiian Tsang reached Igu, the seat of a Turkish principality, and pursued his way along the southern foot of the T'ian-shan, which he crossed by a glacier pass (vividly described) in the longitude of Lake Issyk-kul.
Three of these are in the government of Semiryechensk in Central Asia, all belonging to the Tianshan system: - (r) the Terskei Ala-tau, south of and parallel to the lake of Issyk-kul; (2) the Kunghei Ala-tau, and (3) the Trans-Ili Ala-tau, both N.
In September 1888 he started on a fifth expedition, intending 4 to reach Lhasa, but on the 1st of November he died at Karakol on Lake Issyk-kul.