Buryatia is a land of unique nature reserves, Buddhist datsans and flowering mountain valleys. It is within the borders of this region that most of the coastline of Lake Baikal is located - the world's deepest lake and the largest source of fresh water.
What else is the region interested in? In our article you will find information about the most significant sights of Buryatia with photos and detailed descriptions.
A brief essay on Buryatia
The Republic of Buryatia is the 15th largest subject of the Russian Federation, which was formed in 1923. Today, about 980 thousand people live within it. The capital of the region is the city of Ulan-Ude.
The republic is located in the southern part of Eastern Siberia, southeast of Lake Baikal. The distance from Moscow to the city of Ulan-Ude is 5500 km. The climate in the region is sharply continental, with warm short summers and very cold winters. No more than 250 mm of atmospheric precipitation falls here per year.
The economy of Buryatia is based on mechanical engineering, metalworking, gold mining, non-ferrous metallurgy and forestry. In addition, in the near future, the republic has all the prerequisites to become the world leader in the so-called hydrogen energy. In Buryatia, today, there are six cities, 29 urban villages and 615 villages. Administratively, the region is divided into 23 municipal districts.
The sights of Buryatia are unique nature reserves, and ancient Orthodox monasteries, and datsans (spiritual and educational Buddhist centers) that are exotic for Russian people. In the capital of the region there are several museums with incredibly interesting and fascinating exhibits.
The best sights of the Republic of Buryatia (list)
In 2011, 586.5 thousand tourists visited Buryatia, which brought the regional budget over 100 million rubles. Not only Russian citizens come here, but also travelers from China, Mongolia, South Korea, Germany, France. The flow of tourists to the republic increases every year by about 10-20%.
The region is developing ecological, health-improving and cultural tourism. Below we have compiled for you a list of the ten most interesting sights of Buryatia that are worth a visit. It:
- Ivolginsky datsan.
- Barguzin Valley.
- Tarbagatay village.
- Sretensky monastery (female).
- Selenginsky monastery (male).
- the sacred mountain of Burin Khan.
- Valley of volcanoes.
- Mysterious Tagley Lake.
- Chivyrkuisky Bay of Baikal.
- Museum of the History of Buryatia in Ulan-Ude.
Another unique attraction of Buryatia, which is certainly worth mentioning, is the Trans-Baikal Old Believers. This is a distinctive old Russian culture inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List. Its center is the village of Tarbagatai, located in the same region of the republic.
Buddhist monasteries-universities are called datsans, less often - individual faculties. The architecture of these structures is special: outwardly they resemble multi-tiered step pyramids, tapering upward.
Ivolginsky datsan is one of the main attractions of Buryatia, the official center of Buddhism in Russia. It is located in the village of Upper Oriole, which is 35 kilometers from Ulan-Ude. The colorful and unusual roofs of this temple complex are visible from afar.
The datsan in the Upper Oriole was built in 1945, which is surprising for two reasons: firstly, the exhausting World War II just ended, and secondly, the attitude towards religion in Stalin's times was, to put it mildly, negative. The colorful feature of the Ivolginsky datsan is that almost all of its buildings are built of wood.
If you plan to visit this place, then you should learn about some of the rules of Buddhist etiquette. So, within the temple complex, you can’t talk loudly, turn your back on the statues of Buddha or point your finger at them.
Tarbagatay is a small village 50 km south of the city of Ulan-Ude. This is the place where each yard is permeated with the culture of the Old Believers. Residents of the village are open, welcoming and good-natured. And this hospitality in combination with brightly decorated facades of wooden huts is the true essence of Tarbagatai!
The village was founded in the middle of the XIX century by immigrants from Poland, Belarus and Western Ukraine. It was then that the Old Believers were declared heretics and were subjected to severe persecution. By decree of Catherine the Second, their families were resettled thousands of kilometers into the land of harsh climate and scarce soil. However, the Old Believers settled down here, having managed to preserve all their rituals and cultural traditions. Now absolutely any tourist can get to know them.
Along with historical and cultural sites, numerous natural sights of Buryatia are also noteworthy. On the territory of the republic there are two national parks, three nature reserves and a huge number of amazing natural monuments. Among them are the mysterious Tagley lake with healing properties, Ushkany islands with Baikal seal rookeries on the shores, Chivyrkuisky Bay - one of the most picturesque corners on the coast of Lake Baikal.
The Barguzinsky Valley, located near the village of the same name, is truly unique in the beauty of its landscapes and the variety of natural complexes. It is extremely popular for hiking, water, and in the winter - skiing. Going on a hike along the Barguzin Valley, you will see lush colorful meadows, and grassy steppes, and pine forests, and even real sand dunes!
It is located along the Kuytunke River (the right tributary of the Selenga) at the confluence of the Tarbagataika River (from Bur. Tarbagata - tarbagany), 65 km southwest of Ulan-Ude on the P258 Baikal federal highway, which runs from north to south. The regional highway Ulan-Ude - Tarbagatay - Okino-Klyuchi also runs through the village from west to east.
History edit |Photo and description
Tarbagatay is a village in Buryatia, located 52 km southeast of Ulan-Ude, on the Kuytunka river. About 5.3 thousand people live in the village. Tarbagatai was founded at the beginning of the first half of the XVIII century. Initially, the village was called the settlement of Pargabentei, but a little later, local residents decided to give it another name - Tarbagatai. In 1744, the Orthodox Zosimo-Savvatievskaya Church was built in the village.
Since the middle of the XVIII century. Old Believers - Semey, immigrants from Belarus began to live in Transbaikalia. Semeysky not only succeeded in successfully farming on barren land, but also brought with them their Old Believer customs. There were no priests here, instead of churches they built prayer houses and "bespopovskie" chapels. In 1810, the Old Believer chapel was erected. Baron A. Rosen in his "Notes" left a small description of Tarbagatai of that time.
In 1982, the village hosted the grand opening of the Tarbagatai Folk Museum "Elements of Family Antiquity", a building was preserved in which the headquarters of the partisans of the Tarbagatai Front, the mansion of S. Chebunin, where the Bolshevik organization conducted revolutionary work and a safe house, was located in the volost government.
Today the village of Tarbagatai is a tourist destination. Throughout the village there are a large number of Old Believer houses, painted in the brightest colors, with painted shutters and patterned fences. Residents of Tarbagatai village are happy to treat guests with delicious local pies and perform traditional songs.
Monument to Lenin in Ulan-Ude
We begin the review with a little unusual sights, namely the monument to Lenin in the center of the Buryat capital.
A unique monument in the form of a huge head of the leader of the Soviet proletariat was inaugurated in November 1971. Today it is the largest sculptural composition of the head of Lenin in the world.
An unusual monument is associated with many urban legends and funny stories. The height of the sculpture is 7.7 m, and the leader’s head cast from bronze weighs 42 tons.
Opera and Ballet Theatre
The capital of Buryatia can rightfully be proud of its theater, as it is the only opera house in Eastern Siberia and the entire Far East.
The first troupe of the Buryat theater was formed in 1939, and the theater moved to the beautiful modern building in 1952. The original architecture of the theater building, made in the traditional national style, is striking, and a beautiful musical fountain functions in front of the building.
The troupe of the theater constantly tours throughout Europe and Asia, and also actively participates in various theater and opera festivals.
Kyakhta itself is a unique attraction. Located on the Russian-Chinese border, it was considered the richest city in the Russian Empire.
The first datsan in the Transbaikal Territory was erected in this city in 1741, which became the cultural and religious center of a vast region. All the famous people who visited the religious building of Buddhism, noted the high skill of the architects who erected a magnificent temple.
Near the beautiful datsan there is a cafe Poznaya, where tourists can enjoy exotic dishes of Buryat national cuisine.
Baikal State Reserve
The unique biosphere reserve was founded in 1969, and today more than 2 thousand species of rare plants grow on its vast territory, and the animal world is represented by 49 species of mammals and 250 species of birds.
The reserve covers the beautiful mountain range Khamar-Daban, and its natural boundaries are the Mishikha and Vydrinnaya rivers, as well as the Temnik river. The highest point of protected areas is Mount Sokhor with picturesque slopes and a height of 2,316 m.
Most of the plants growing in the reserve, as well as many representatives of the fauna, are listed in the Red Book.
One of the oldest religious buildings in Buryatia - a Buddhist temple in the settlement of Atsagat, which means “stone” in Buryat language, was erected in 1825.
It has an interesting history, and one of the significant events was the transfer of the temple in 1875 from the valley, where it was constantly flooded, to a new place.
It is built in the traditions of Buddhist architecture, which is based on a square, and the main entrance of the temple is oriented to the south. Llamas of the temple at all times conducted active educational work, and during the years of epidemics, the infirmary worked under the datsan.
Ininsky rock garden
At the crossing of the Inna River, on its right and left banks, over an area of more than 10 km², there is an amazing rock garden.
Stone boulders fanned by the winds, the diameter of some of them reaches 4 m, were on the banks of the river as a result of a landslide. Over time, the pristine geological monument was changed by economic activity, but continues to act as a geological and aesthetic value.
Among the majestic boulders, there are two sanctuaries of Evenki, the most ancient people of Siberia.
State Reserve "Dzherginsky"
Not far from the village with the beautiful name Maisky there is an amazing reserve "Dzherginsky". The place is unique in that the three largest mountain ranges of the Baikal region meet here.
The status of the reserve was assigned in 1992, and before that it was a reserve founded in 1974. Deciduous forests predominate here, and among centuries-old trees moose, wild boars, Siberian roe deer and many other animals and birds live.
The reserve is famous for its mineral springs, beautiful alpine lakes and rivers, in which rare omul, grayling, river minnow are found.
Suva Saxon Castle
The majestic, and perhaps the main attraction of the Barguzin Valley is comfortably located on the rocky slopes of the Ikat Range.
The picturesque cliffs resemble the outlines of an ancient castle with their graceful forms, which is why the Saxon Castle was nicknamed. High rock formations resemble formidable towers, and at the foot of smaller cliffs, a fortress wall formed.
Locals believe that the keepers of the mountains live in the “castle”, and in ancient times there were sanctuaries examined by Russian archaeologists.
If you want to know more about real castles, then on our site most-beauty.ru there is an interesting article with illustrations about the most beautiful castles in the world.
Today, the main shrine of the Buddhists of Buryatia is located 50 km from the village of Barguzin. And the thing is that in 2005 miraculously appeared on the rock image of the goddess Yanzhima especially revered by Buddhists.
The height, frozen in the dance of the goddess is just over 1 m, and the face was discovered quite by accident. During one of the expeditions led by Lama Damba Ayushev, they stumbled upon a stone, where they saw the face of the goddess.
According to legend, Yanzhimi was a simple girl who pleased people with her soulful singing and incendiary dances, and eventually, ascending to heaven, became a princess.
The sacred majestic mountain of Buryatia, 2,554 m high, is mentioned in ancient myths and legends. Locals still believe that its slopes and a snow-capped peak protect the Buddhist world from the harsh northern winds.
The Teptaehei Plateau stretches just below the peak, from which beautiful views of mountain ranges and valleys, buried in verdure.
Until today, this is considered a sacred place for every Buddhist, and in ancient times, various rites were performed at the top and at the foot, and shamans, falling into a trance, communicated with spirits.
During a study of the vast expanses of Siberia, clergymen followed the pioneers. It was they who founded the monastery in the 17th century near the Selengir River, which over time became the stronghold of Orthodoxy in the Trans-Baikal Territory.
It was erected by personal order of Tsar Fedor Alekseevich, at the intersection of the Moscow highway and the roads leading to mysterious China and Mongolia.
After the advent of Soviet power, the monastery, in a beautiful river valley, was closed, and again began to function only in 2006.
Another stronghold of Orthodoxy on the shores of Lake Baikal dazzles with the snow-white color of its walls, which are crowned with emerald domes.
The first church was erected at the very beginning of the XIX century, and today it is the only Orthodox women's monastery in Buryatia.
The temple, built according to the architectural traditions of the Russian North, perfectly fits into the picturesque forest landscape, and has become a real cultural and educational center.
Buddhist complex "Many doors of happiness"
In the summer of 2004, on the initiative of the dagmo Lama L. Domshivaev, an amazing complex appeared, in the center of which stands Dasha Gama, which is translated from Tibetan as “many doors of happiness”.
A stone staircase leads from the road to the temple complex, buried in thickets of young larch trees, and the entrance is guarded by majestic and formidable stone lions.
The stupa was erected by analogy with a similar shrine of India, and consecrated in October 2004. Next, according to tradition, they placed a late one where you can eat buuzy - a rather popular local national dish.
The real pearl of the natural wealth of Buryatia, the Tunkinsky Valley is located within the Pribaikalsky Depression at an altitude of 1.5-2 thousand meters above sea level.
Only here you can meet the rarest representatives of the animal world, as well as enjoy the grandeur of mountain ranges covered with centuries-old trees.
Surround the valley, where Genghis Khan, the picturesque Sayan Mountains, once passed with his army.
In the valley itself there are many historical places and beautiful corners of pristine nature with unique mineral springs.
The Arshan settlement within the Tunkinskaya Valley is a unique Balneological and mountain-climatic resort, offering its visitors a wide variety of healing services and entertainment.
The resort is located at an altitude of 893 m at the foot of the Tunkinsky Goltsy mountain range, in the place where the Kyngarga River originates. Arshan dates back to the end of the 19th century, and now two ultramodern and comfortable sanatoriums function on its territory.
Mineral water is used for bathing, as well as for drinking. Hiking trails are laid around, one of which leads to a beautiful waterfall.
Sacred lakes Amut and Balan-Tamur
In the heart of the taiga of the Djerginsky Reserve, the most beautiful mirrors of cold lakes are located, which from ancient times the Evenki considered sacred.
No one remembers when the tradition was established, according to which elders come to the shores of the lake every spring and ask the spirits to give the people health, prosperity and bestow a rich harvest.
Residents believe that the famous shaman Balan-Tamu lived on the shore, and in the driest years Evenks came to him, brought gifts and asked the shaman to pour rain on the ground.
At most-beauty.ru you can also find interesting material about the most beautiful lakes on the planet.
Cliff City Cave
On the picturesque right bank of the Chikoy River, a beautiful cave was formed many millennia ago, and it got its name due to the fact that it is located at the foot of the high mountain of City Cliff.
The unusual arched entrance to the amazing cave, created by nature architect herself, is located at a level of 200 m from the surface of the river, and next to the cave there are two slightly smaller ones. A mountain with a cave appeared on the map of the Russian Empire in the 19th century, and got its name because of the Cossack watch on it.
On the walls, ceiling and arches at the entrance to the cave were found cave paintings made by red ocher by ancient artists of the Bronze Age.
As you can see, various types of attractions are represented in Buryatia, from the most beautiful nature reserves to unique man-made architectural monuments. The most beautiful sights of Buryatia are rightfully considered a national treasure not only of the republic, but also of Russia, and have long become the pride of the Buryat people.
In conclusion, we note that the Buryat region, comfortably spread along the eastern coast of Lake Baikal, has a huge tourist and recreational potential, and you just need to use this wealth wisely.