Nikolay Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky was a legendary Russian explorer and geographer who shaped the western ideas about central Asia, and large areas of Tibet and Mongolia, 150 years ago.
To us, Przhevalsky is a name of great curiosity as there are a few large mammals named after him, especially the famous Przhevalsky's Horse.
He was known as the discoverer of Black-necked Crane!
When I first heard the name, mainly because of the horse in National Geographic, I found it rather difficult to pronounce it, and was wondering what kind of explorer - who roamed in the unknown wilderness and discovered so many animals - he was.
Last September, while visiting Kyrgyzstan, we wanted to visit the largest lake of the country, the famous Issyk Kul, and a small mountainous town called Karakol was our residence there for a few days.
Though small, Karakol has been one of the most popular travel destinations in that area for centuries for its scenic beauty and historical past associated with the Silk Route, especially the animal market.
Karakol is also known to the world as the last resting place of Nikolay Przhevalsky, as he drank water from the Chu River which was polluted and caused his typhoid.
Przhevalsky died at the age of 49 in 1888, just before the beginning of his fifth expedition.
The Tsar immediately changed the town's name to Przhevalsk, and set up a museum dedicated to the explorer's life near his grave.
Our main attraction was the Nikolay Przhevalsky Museum in Karakol.
It was a lovely colourful autumn day. The museum and grave were a few miles from the Snow Leopard guest house, where we stayed in Karakol. It was a picturesque location.
You could see the snow-covered mountain and the sleepy blue lake together.
While buying the ticket, they offered us a guidebook on the life of the great explorer.
The museum was a classical Russian architecture with a golden eagle on the top.
Just after entrance, you will see a life-size painting of Przhevalsky, and then a big globe on which the places he had visited were marked.
Hanging on the wall, there are photos of many members of his fourth expedition in various parts of Central Asia, China, Mongolia and Tibet.
His dream was to reach Lhasa, the forbidden city of Tibet, which he could not fulfill.
I was really excited to see a lot of stuffed bird and animal bodies in the museum collected by Przhevalsky's team. They were in pretty good shape and colour.
Astonishingly, we saw the first-ever Przhevalsky's Horse known to science, which he had collected from Mongolia and described it as a completely separate species.
Unfortunately, there was no Black-necked Crane, the last of the 16 existing species discovered and identified by Przhevalsky in 1876.
There were beautiful sketches of several events of their sojourns, especially of animals, plants, and local inhabitants.
In a big glass box, the rifle used by Przhevalsky was displayed. There were detailed maps, their books and invaluable mementos.
Anyone interested in history, exploration, animal or simply travel will get lost in the beautifully decorated museum which focuses on Przhevalsky.
Visitors can imagine that era of journey into the unknown, the excitement that has gone away with time and technology now.
Later, we went out to see his monument and grave. Quite many people think that Przhevalsky was a Russian spy as he was working for the Imperial Russian Army.
Many still think he was the original father of Joseph Stalin. Thus, the legacy of the courageous man continues, whose journey stopped here ill-fatedly.
It was already afternoon when we reached his grave.
From there, you could get a clearer view of the turquoise lake, and may think that Przhevalsky's ever-adventure hungry soul is still happy because people from distant lands come here to pay tributes to his memories.