Chatyr-Kul (also Chatyr Köl, Chatyrkol, Kyrgyz: Чатыркөл) is an endorheic alpine lake in the Tian Shan mountains in At-Bashi District of Naryn Province, Kyrgyzstan; it lies in the lower part of Chatyr-Kul Depression near the Torugart Pass border crossing into China. The name of the lake means “Celestial Lake” in Kyrgyz (literally "Roof Lake"). The lake and 2 km buffer zone around it is part of the Karatal-Japyryk State Nature Reserve. The lake is a Ramsar site of globally significant biodiversity (Ramsar Site RDB Code 2KG002).

Lake Chatyr-Kul
Chatyr kul lake.JPG
LocationTian Shan mountains, Naryn Province
Coordinates40°37′N 75°18′E / 40.617°N 75.300°E / 40.617; 75.300Coordinates: 40°37′N 75°18′E / 40.617°N 75.300°E / 40.617; 75.300
Mountain lake
Primary inflowsGlaciers
Primary outflowsEvaporation
Catchment area1,050 km2 (410 sq mi)
Basin countriesKyrgyzstan
DesignationRamsar site
Max. length23 km (14 mi)
Max. width10 km (6.2 mi)
Surface area181 km2 (70 sq mi)
Max. depth16.5 m (54 ft)
Water volume0.62 km3 (0.15 cu mi)
Shore length158 km (36 mi)
Surface elevation3,530 m (11,580 ft)
Official nameChatyr Kul
Designated8 November 2005
Reference no.1588[1]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.


The mean annual temperature in the lake basin is −5.6 °C (21.9 °F), with mean temperature of −22 °C (−8 °F) in January, and 7.1 °C (44.8 °F) in July. The maximum temperature in summer is 24 °C (75 °F), and the minimum one in winter is −50 °C (−58 °F). Some 88-90% of the lake basin's 208–269 mm of annual precipitation falls in summer. From October to end of April the lake surface freezes, the ice becoming as much as 0.25-1.5 m thick.[2][3]


The water of Chatyr Kul Lake is yellowish-green with water transparency of up to 4 metres (13 ft). The mineralization of the lake ranges from 0.5 to 1.0 milligrams per liter (chloride, hydrocarbonate, sodium and magnesium type of mineralization). The salinity of the lake is 2 ppt. Mineral sources in the south part of the lake have mineralization of from 5 to 7 grams (0.18 to 0.25 oz) per liter and pH = 5,8-6,0. Flow rate is 1,866 m3 (65,900 cu ft) in winter and 3,629 cubic metres (128,200 cu ft) during summer.[4]

Negative water balance of the lake over the last decades causes the decline in the lake level.


  1. ^ "Chatyr Kul". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ Атлас Кыргызской Республики [Atlas of Kyrgyz Republic] (in Russian). Bishkek: Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyz SSR. 1987. p. 156.
  3. ^ Иссык-Куль. Нарын:Энциклопедия [Encyclopedia of Issyk-Kul and Naryn Oblasts] (in Russian). Bishkek: Chief Editorial Board of Kyrgyz Soviet Encyclopedia. 1994. p. 512. ISBN 5-89750-009-6.
  4. ^ "Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands" (PDF). Retrieved October 30, 2012.[permanent dead link]