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.
In the Ala-kul steppes the winds blow away the snow.
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.
On arrival at the supreme Mongol court - either that on the Imyl river (near Lake Ala-kul and the present Russo-Chinese frontier in the Altai), or more probably at or near Karakorum itself, south-west of Lake Baikal - Andrew found Kuyuk Khan dead, poisoned, as the envoy supposed, by Batu's agents.
BAIKAL (known to the Mongols as Dalai-nor, and to the Turkish tribes as Bai-kul), a lake of East Siberia, the sixth in size of all the lakes of the world and the largest fresh-water basin of Eurasia.
The dress of the men is well shown upon the Kul Oba and Chertomlyk vases, and upon other Greek works of art made for Scythic use.
Others occur in the flat northern half of the Crimea, and even close to Kerch, where the famous Kul Oba seems to have held a Scythic chieftain who had adopted a veneer of Greek tastes, but remained a barbarian at heart.
In the Kul Oba tomb mentioned above the chamber was of stone and the contents, with one or two exceptions, of purely Greek workmanship, but the ideas underlying are the same - the king has his wife, his servant and his horse, his amphorae with wine, his cauldron with mutton-bones, his drinking vessels and his weapons, the latter being almost the only objects of barbarian style.
Similar movements from the same regions appear also to have penetrated Iran itself; hence the resemblance between the dress and daggers of certain classes of warriors on the sculptures of Persepolis and those shown on the Kul Oba vase.
From a little ice-bound lake called Gaz Kul, or Karambar, which lies on the crest of the Hindu Kush near its northern origin at the head of the Taghdumbash Pamir, two very important river systems (those of Chitral and Hunza) are believed to originate.
Of Lake Issyk-kul, at the northern foot of the Trans-Ili Ala-tau Mountains, at an altitude of 2440 ft.
During the forty-five years after the death of Omar (he died in 1822) the khanate of Khokand was the seat of continuous wars between the settled Sarts and the nomad Kipchaks, the two parties securing the upper hand in turns, Khokand falling under the dominion or the suzerainty of Bokhara, which supported Khudayar-khan, the representative of the Kipchak party, in 1858-1866; while Alim-kul, the representative of the Sarts, put himself at the head of the gazawat (Holy War) proclaimed in 1860, and fought bravely against the Russians until killed at Tashkent in 1865.
From Lake Victoria (Sor-Kul) in the Pamirs, which was originally reckoned as the true source of the river, to Khamiab, on the edge of the Andkhui district of Afghan Turkestan, for a distance of about 680 m., the Oxus forms the boundary between Afghanistan and Russia.
The south-east shore, on the contrary, is low, and bears traces of having extended formerly as far as the Sasyk-kul and the Ala-kul.
From Astara eastwards the boundary is formed by the shore of the Caspian until it touches the Bay of Hassan Kul north of As arabad.
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.
On the east and south-east this range is flanked [by the great plateau of Mongolia, the transition being effected gradually by means of several minor plateaus, such as Ukok (7800 ft.), Chuya (6000 ft.), Kendykty (8200 ft.), Kak (8270 ft.), Suok (850o ft.), and Juvlu-kul (7900 ft.).
In 1885 Ney Elias made his famous journey across the Pamirs from east to west, identifying the Rang Kul as the Dragon Lake of Chinese geographers - a distinction which has also been claimed by some geographers for Lake Victoria.
On the west the following are generally recognized as distinct Pamirs: (1) the Great Pamir, of which the dominant feature is Lake Victoria; (2) the Little Pamir, separated from the Great Pamir on the north by what is now known as the Nicolas range; (3) the Pamir-i-Wakhan, which is the narrow trough of the Wakhan tributary of the Oxus, the term Pamir applying to its upper reaches only; (4) the Alichur - the Pamir of the Yeshil Kul and Ghund - immediately to the north of the Great Pamir; (5) the Sarez Pamir, which forms the valley of the Murghab river, which has here found its way round the east of the Great Pamir and the Alichur from the Little Pamir, and now makes westwards for the Oxus.
To the north-east of the Alichur are the Rang Kul and the Kara Kul (or Kargosh) Pamirs.
Rang Kul Lake occupies a central basin or depression; but the Kara Kul drains away north-eastwards through the Sarikol (as the latter, bending westwards, merges into the Trans-Alai) to Kashgar and the Turkestan plains.
The Alichur, Rang Kul, Kargosh (Kara Kul) and Sarez are Russian Pamirs.
And Rang Kul, from Chinese Turkestan to the khanates R north of the Oxus; but the route via Tashkurghan and Lake Victoria to Badakshan was also well trodden.
Its southern limits, on the Pamirs, were fixed by an Anglo-Russian commission in 1885, from Zor-kul (Victoria Lake) to the Chinese frontier; and Shignan, Roshan and Wakhan were assigned to Bokhara in exchange for part of Darvaz (on the left bank of the Panj), which was given to Afghanistan.
In the Kul-oba, or Mound of Cinders (opened in 1830-1831), was a similar tomb, in which were found what would appear to be the remains of one of the kings of Bosporus, of his queen, his horse and his groom.
Dzungaria, Kulja, Issyk-kul, Ferghana) for a considerable distance towards the east, greatly facilitate access to the loftier plateau lands of Central Asia, and have from time immemorial been the highways of human intercourse between East and West.
Some geographers divide them into two sections - the higher plains of the Balkash (the Ala-kul and Balkash drainage areas) and the Aral-Caspian depression, which occupies nearly two-thirds of the whole and has been ably described by I.
It is virtually composed of the Yarkand-darya, the Kashgar-darya, and the Ak-su-darya, with constant augmentation from the Koncheh-darya, which drains Lake Bagrash-kul (at the south foot of the eastern Tian-shan), and intermittent augmentation from the Khotan-darya and the Cherchendarya from the south.
From it three routes start for West Turkestan; the one principally used climbs over the Bedel pass (13,000 ft.) in the Kokshal-tau and makes a detour round the east and along the north side of the Issyk-kul, while the others cross over the Muz-art pass (12,000 ft.), on the northeast shoulder of Khan-tengri, and the Terek pass (12,730 ft.) respectively, the latter into Ferghana.
In the 17th century a powerful Kalmuck confederation arose in Dzungaria, and extended its sway over the Ili and Issyk-kul basins, having its capital on the Ili.
In the east, where the system is narrowest, the predominant feature, at least as far west as 87° E., the longitude of the Bagrash-kul, is the Pe-shan swelling, with its flanking ranges, the Chol-tagh on the north and the Kuruk-tagh on the south.
The last bifurcates into the Trans-Ili Ala-tau and the Kunghei Ala-tau, skirting the north shore of Lake Issyk-kul.'
South of Lake Issyk-kul, which appears to be a hollow of tectonic origin, runs the Terskei Ala-tau, separating the lake from the high valley of the Naryn.
Closely connected with the Khan-tengri knot are the Khalyk-tau on the east, and on the west three diverging lines of elevation, namely the Terskei Ala-tau or Kirghiz Ala-tau, overhanging the south shore of Issyk-kul; the Kokshal-tau, stretching away southwest as far as the Terez Mountains between Kashgar and Ferghana; and, intermediate between these two, the successive ranges of the Sary-jas, Kulu-tau, and Ak-shiryak.
From Issyk-kul there is a sharp rise of6000-9000ft.
Mushketov it is continued westwards in the Son-kul (alt.
Above the Issyk-kul and lifts its summits higher than 13,000 ft.
This last is continued without a break past the western end of Issyk-kul, being directly prolonged by the Alexander Mountains, although parted from them by the gorge of Buam or Bom, through which the Issyk-kul probably once drained.
Indeed, the evidences, so far as they have been examined, appear to warrant the conclusion that the region of the western Tian-shan, from Lake Issyk-kul southwards, was in great part the scene of probably five successive glacial periods, each being less severe than the period which immediately preceded it.
Again, while the Ili (Kulja) valle y lies at 1300 ft., the Issyk-kul has an altitude of 5300 ft., the Koshkar basin, in which the river Chu has its source, reaches 6070 ft., the Son-kul valley 9430 ft., the Ak-sai valley, farther east, 10,000 to 11,150 ft., and the Chatyr-kul on the north side of the Terek Mountains 11,200 ft.