Cholpon-Ata: The small resort city on the Issyk-Kul coast
The small city of Cholpon-Ata in Kyrgyzstan is located in the northern Issyk-Kul lakeside, 265 km from Bishkek. This small resort city is famous for its underground sources and mineral waters. Many children’s camps and healthful boards out are located in its territory.
The city’s history begins from the I millennium BC and is connected with the development of the Great Silk Road. Cholpon-Ata is advantageously located between two large waterways, that is why trade caravans often used to stop over there. In course of time the city’s territory was increased by erection of caravanserais.
Cholpon-Ata, the city’s name and that of the neighboring mountains is translated as “Father of Stars”. The Issyk-Kul State Historical-Cultural Museum has been operating from 1979 in Cholpon-Ata. The Museum collection is dedicated to the history of the locality from ancient time till the beginning of the XX century; many of the exhibits represent the legacy of ancient nomads. Besides, the Museum holds the exhibits weighted up from the Issyk-Kul lake bottom. Many of these finds are quite unique, for example, an ancient stone table for sacrificial offering, massive legs of which are made in a form of female figures. Such finds give us an idea of the appearance and religious beliefs of the ancient people of Issyk-Kul. The Museum exhibits include written cultural monuments of the Kyrgyz, many of which belong to the Epic of Manas.
The city also features museums dedicated to the local history. In addition, another city’s feature is a stud farm, well-known for a new breed of the Kyrgyz horses considered as of right one of the country’s best. The stud farm was founded in 1926 by the trooper budennovets Leonid Rapport. In his favorem a famous poplar alley, planted by L. Rapport‘s initiative located 5 kilometers from Cholpon-Ata was named after him. There exists a unique Cultural Center “Rukh Ordo” built in 2007 which territory includes 5 holy abodes of the world’s religions: Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic, Hebrew and Buddhist ones.
Not far from Cholpon-Ata there is a place with ancient petroglyphs aged several millenniums. These ancient pictures are carved on 42 stones, that is why this place is sometimes called as the “Stone Garden”. Every inscription is unique and represents an image of animals or scenes depicting hunting, ancient festivity or war.
Cholpon-Ata is not only a historical place. The city surrounded with alpine meadows is located on the Issyk-Kul lakeside. This place becomes a real paradise for holiday making in summer seasons. Its moderate climate creates every condition to exercise an active tourism.