A mountainous, landlocked state in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is surrounded by the countries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and China. The country attained sovereignty in 1991 after the downfall of the Soviet Union.
The country has a population of about 5.6 million as of 2013. The majority of the population of the country live in rural areas. Only one-third of Kyrgyzstan’s population live in urban areas. Bishkek is the most populous city in the country and also the seat of government. The country has a population density of about 25 people per square km.
The Five Biggest Cities In Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek is the largest and capital city of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Chuy Province’s administrative province. Bishkek is located at an elevation of about 2,600 get with a spectacular backdrop of the Tian Shan mountain ranges. The area in and around Bishkek is drain by the Chui River. The city is famous for its wide boulevards, Soviet-style apartment blocks, marble-faced public buildings, and more. Pollution levels are highest among all Kyrgyz cities in Bishkek. The city has an agriculture-based economy and barter system of exchange is practiced along the outlying regions of the city. Downtown Bishkek has stores, banks, malls, and markets. Tourists visiting this city can shop for traditional hand-crafted items like carvings, paintings, statues, and more.
Kyrgyzstan’s second biggest city, Osh is situated to the south of the country in the Fergana Valley. Also known as the "capital of the south,” Osh is the country’s oldest city and is estimated to be as old as 3,000 years. Since 1939, Osh has served as the administrative center of the Osh Region. It has a mixed population of Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Russians, and several smaller ethnic groups.
Jalal-Abad is Jalal-Abad Region’s economic and administrative center. Located in the Fergana Valley’s north-eastern end, along the valley of the Kögart River, the city is close to Kyrgyzstan’s border with Uzbekistan. Jalal-Abad is known for its mineral springs, and several Soviet-era sanatoriums offer mineral water cure programs to patients of various chronic diseases. The city also is a popular tourist spot for its beautiful scenery and walnuts.
Karakol is the fourth biggest city in Kyrgyzstan and is located near the Lake Issyk-Kul’s eastern tip. The city is about 150 km from country’s border with China and 380 km off from Bishkek. Karakol serves as the Issyk-Kul Province’s administrative center. The city is one of the major tourist destinations of the country and tourists visit the city for skiing, mountaineering, and trekking. Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Dungan mosque, Prjevalski Museum, Karakol Historical Museum, Bugu-Ene Zoo, Jeti-Ögüz are some of the tourist attractions in Karakol.
Tokmok is Kyrgyzstan’s fifth biggest city and lies at an altitude of 816 meters above sea level. It had served as the Chui Province’s administrative center between 2004 and 2006. The Chu River and the Kazakhstan border lies close to Tokmok.
Kara-Balta is a city located in the Chuy Province of Kyrgyzstan and is the Jaiyl District’s capital. The city is located on the Kyrgyz Ala-Too’s northern slopes, 62 km to the west of Bishkek.