Zorkul (or Sir-i-kol) is a lake in the
Pamir Mountains that runs along
the border between
Afghanistan and Tajikistan. 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 where it is protected as part of the
Zorkul Nature Reserve.
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
Great Pamir extends to the south of the lake.
The lake is on the path of the Silk Road. It was referred to as "Great
Dragon Pool" (Chinese: 大龙池) in Chinese historical records.
The lake was once in the territory of the mir 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
Although there is a probable reference to the lake in Marco Polo's
account, the first European known to have visited the lake was the
British naval officer John Wood in 1838. Sir-i-kol became known to
the British as
Lake Victoria, after the British queen, although Wood
declined to name it so. It was also known as "
Lake Victoria in the
Pamirs" to distinguish it from the much larger
Lake Victoria in
Lake Victoria, Great Pamir, May 2nd, 1874"
^ 孙燕 (2013-09-05). ""世界屋顶"的中国痕迹 -".
中国民族宗教网 (mzb.com.cn) (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-02-02.
^ 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
^ The Travels of Marco Polo, Book 1, Chapter 32: "Of the Great River
of Badahshan; and the Plain of Pamier" (...you find a great lake
between two mountains, and out of it a fine river running through a
plain). Retrieved on 6 May 2009
^ Keay, J. (1983) When Men and Mountains Meet ISBN 0-7126-0196-1
^ H.C. Rawlinson, "Monograph of the Oxus", Journal of the Royal
Geographical Society of London, Vol. 42 (1872), pp. 482-513. Retrieved