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Karakul Lake in B&W

Karakul Lake (Kirgiz: "black lake") is located approximately 200km from Kashgar, Xinjiang province, China, in Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture on the Karakoram Highway, before reaching Tashkurgan, the Khunjerab Pass on the China - Pakistan border and Sost in Pakistan. At an altitude of 3600m (though a height of nearer 3,900 m has been quoted), it is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau, near the junction of the Pamirs, Tian Shan and Kunlun Shan mountain ranges. Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake are the Muztagata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7649m) and Kongur Tiube (7530m). The lake is popular among travellers for its unreal scenery and the clarity of its reflection in the water, whose color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue. There are two Kirgiz settlements along the shore of Karakul lake, a small number of yurts about 1km east of the bus drop-off point and a village with stone houses located at the Western shores.

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Taken on May 1, 2007