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Sary-Chelek is actually in the Western Tian Shan Mountains, in the Chatkal Range west of Kyrgyzstan. But because it’s so far remote from the usual corner of where one would place the Tian Shan mountains, it’s easy to forget that it’s part of the same mountain range in Kyrgyzstan.

Some called the Sary-Chelek Nature Reserve, other time the Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve.

Surrounded by mountain ridges, the Sari-Chelek lake sits at about 5,900 feet (1,800 meters), covering almost 500 hectares. The depth varies across the lake, but its deepest point lies at around 755 feet (230 meters). Swimming is forbidden.

Though Sary-Chelek lake is the major one, there are seven lakes in total in the area, including Kyla-Kol, Iyri-Kol, Aram-Kol, Churek-Kol, and Bakay-Kol.

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