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Alay or Alai (both: älĪˈ) [key], mountain range, SW Kyrgyzstan. A western branch of the Tian Shan system, it extends c.200 mi (320 km) W from the Chinese border and rises to c.19,280 ft (5,880 m) in its western portion. The Alay valley, south of the range, is a fertile elevated (c.9,800 ft/2,990 m) grassland used for grazing; there is irrigated grain cultivation in the west.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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