The city has a population of 157,400 (1999 Census). It historically developed around the Syr Darya River and the site of a Kokand fortress. Population: 188,682 (2009 Census results); 157,364 (1999 Census results).
Seljuk, the founder of the Seljuk dynasty, got his start near here. The city had its beginnings in 1820 as the site of a Kokand fortress known as Ak-Mechet, or white mosque. The later-famous Yaqub Beg was once the fort's commander, but he was apparently not in command during the final battle. In 1853, during the Russian conquest of Turkestan, the fort was taken by Russian troops under General Vasily Perovsky. The Russians established a new fort and called it Fort-Perovsky (Форт-Перо́вский), after the general.
The town of Perovsk (Перо́вск) in Russian Turkestan later developed around the fort. In 1925, the city was renamed Kzyl-Orda (Кзыл-Орда) and was designated as the capital of the Kazak ASSR. The name literally means a red city, from the Turkic "кзыл" (red; used here in the common Soviet ideological connotation) and the Turkic Mongolian "орда" (city). In 1929 the capital was relocated to the southeastern region and Almaty.
"Kyzylorda", the Kazakh-based romanized spelling, has been used since the late 20th century after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Kazakhstan's independence in 1991.
Kyzylorda has a cold desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWk) with hot summers and cold winters. Precipitation is low throughout the year, particularly in the summer months. Snow is common, though light, in winter. The lowest temperature on record is −33.9 °C (−29.0 °F), recorded in February 1969, and the highest temperature is 46.0 °C (114.8 °F), recorded in July 1975.
Kyzylorda is known for its rice production. Many hundreds of hectares are devoted to rice production. Two rice mills operate in the city.
There are 285 comprehensive schools in the region, where 150,472 students are taught. In addition there are 17 secondary professional schools and 13 professional technical schools. There are 11 higher educational institutions, among them one state institute, 5 branches associated with it, and 5 independent High Education Institutes. In the region there are 67 children's preschool establishments, where 4476 children are taught.
Kyzylorda State University (KSU) after Korkyt ata is the leading center of education, a science and culture center in the Aral region of the Republic Kazakhstan. Established in 1950, the university trains highly skilled specialists in 54 specialties, at 11 faculties, 48 chairs, on 20 specialties of a bachelor of degree and 7 specialties of magistracy (master's degree).
Kyzylorda has one airport. It has developed as the supply center of the important oilfields in the nearby Turgay Basin.
For regular employment of the population of region by physical training and sport there are 7 stadiums, 6 sports complexes, 1 swimming pool, 1 track and field athletics arena, 1 hippodrome, 113 shooting galleries,4 tennis courts, 687 sports-ground, 136 playgrounds, 15 sports nucleus, 1 bowling center, 168 adapted gymnasiums (gyms).
In May 2005 Ilya Ilin won the world championship among youthful sportsmen in Pusan (S.Korea), Rusjianovsky Roman became the bronze prize-winner. A victory of 17-year-old sportsman of heavy athletics, Ilya Ilin in the world championship in Qatar was the triumph of the year. He improved a personal record, established two records of the world among youthful sportsmen.
In December cyclists finished the participation of regional sportsmen in the international competitions. In December, 15-18, 2005 they took part in the championship of Asia on a bicycle track. Berik Kupeshov(recently rider of the Astana Cycling Team) and Kilibayev Alexander became champions of the Asian contingent.
Within one year players of handball club "Seihun-KАМ" were success; they won the first place in the republic championship. In 2006 the republic won a championship in the Greco-Roman wrestling in weight categories of 55 and 74 kg (121 and 163 lb). Kuketov Ermek and Zhusipov Dastan won a gold, medal and Bakhyt Sagaev became a bronze prize-winner.
The city participated in the open Kazakh Cup in bandy 2009.
Kyzylorda region is one of the historical centers of the Silk Road, which connected China and Southeast Asia to western Asia and Europe. The tourist centers organize tourist trips on this route, which includes historical places in the cities of Sauran and Shyganak, and the archeological monuments and mausoleums of Sunak Ata, Aikozha Ishan, Karasopy, Okshy Ata, Dosball be, and Esabyz; the Aktas mosque, the memorial complex of Korkyt Ata, and the well-known Baikonur cosmodrome.
There are 543 monuments in Kyzylorda region; 495 are deemed to be of great value as historical and religious monuments. These include architectural and archeological monuments and mausoleums of prominent people.
The regional management of tourism and sport and other tourist companies took part in the Berlin International Tourist Stock Exchange and the International Tourist Fair in Almaty.Asim Thahit Abdullah Al Khalaqi (1968-2015), Yemeni formerly held in Guantanamo, given asylum by Kazakhstan in 2015.
Vladimir Hotineanu (born 1950), former Health Minister of Moldova
Eliezer Kulas (born 1944), Israeli politician
Oleg Tozoni (1927-2012), engineer and inventor
Marina Volnova (born 1989), Olympic boxer
Ilya Ilyin (born 1988), Olympic heavylifter
Batyrkhan Shukenov (1962-2015), Soviet, Kazakh-Russian singer
Kyzylorda is twinned with: Bursa, Turkey
Arvada, Colorado, United States