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"Lake Victoria, Great Pamir, May 2nd, 1874", watercolor by Thomas Edward Gordon[1]
Location Pamir Mountains, Hindu Kush
Coordinates 37°27′N 73°42′E / 37.45°N 73.7°E / 37.45; 73.7Coordinates: 37°27′N 73°42′E / 37.45°N 73.7°E / 37.45; 73.7
Primary outflows Pamir River
Basin countries Afghanistan, Tajikistan
Surface area 38.9 km²
Surface elevation 4,130 m
Settlements Qarabolaq

Zorkul (or Sir-i-kol) is a lake in the Pamir Mountains. It extends east to west for about 25 km. The Afghan-Tajik border runs along the lake from east to west, turning south towards Concord Peak (5,469 m), about 15 km south of the lake. The lake's northern half lies in Tajikistan. Out of the lake, towards the west, flows the Pamir River, tracing the Afghan-Tajik border. It is therefore a source of the Amu Darya or Oxus River.

The lake was once in the territory of the emir of Wakhan, but the lake and river were established as the border between Russia and Afghanistan by agreement between the Russians and the British in 1895.[2] At the eastern end of the lake is a small settlement, Qarabolaq.

Although there is a probable reference to the lake in Marco Polo's account,[3] the first European known to have visited the lake was the British naval officer John Wood in 1838.[4] Sir-i-kol became known to the British as Lake Victoria, although Wood declined to name it so.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Lake Victoria, Great Pamir, May 2nd, 1874"
  2. ^ Shahrani, M. Nazif. (1979) The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan: Adaptation to Closed Frontiers and War University of Washington Press, Seattle, ISBN 0-295-95669-0; 1st paperback edition with new preface and epilogue (2002), ISBN 0-295-98262-4 p.37
  3. ^ The Travels of Marco Polo, Book 1, Chapter 32: "Of the Great River of Badahshan; and the Plain of Pamier" ( find a great lake between two mountains, and out of it a fine river running through a plain). Retrieved on 6 May 2009
  4. ^ Keay, J. (1983) When Men and Mountains Meet ISBN 0 7126 0196 1 Chapter 9
  5. ^ H.C. Rawlinson, "Monograph of the Oxus", Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Vol. 42 (1872), pp. 482-513. Retrieved from JSTOR on 6 May 2009

External links



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