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Добро пожаловать в бурятию - Dobro pozhalovat' v buryatiyu

Buryatia is located at eastern Siberia – six hours flight from Moscow. You should definitely come here to see the lands, where the foot of Genghis Khan stepped, to get to know Buryatia’s rich and diverse culture and cuisine, meet most hospitable people and to take a swim in the sacred lake Baikal.

 The deepest lake in the world is located at the east coast of Buryatia and is included in the world’s nature heritage list of UNESCO. People come here to get a nice tan as well as relax by fishing and maybe even catch a pike, which could weight up to 10 kg in these waters! You can also plunge in warm healing springs which will leave you refreshed and energized as well as take a picture of sun loving seals, see the endlessly transparent ice and have some fun ice-skating on the world’s biggest rink!    

In Buryatia you can meet people of many cultural descents as well as different faiths: Orthodoxy, Buddhism, Shamanism and old believers. In peace and prosperity leave 167 nationalities! The climate is pretty interesting here – most years you can enjoy bright sun for more than 300 days, even though the winter is pretty cold here and temperature could go as low as -35 degrees. There are many forests in our beautiful republic, so the air is clean and curative.

Here are 10 more reasons why you simply have to visit Buryatia if you’re curious to learn about cultures and love nature:

1. To sense the national hospitality.

You’ll be able to experience our great hospitality not only in our capital city, Ulan-Ude, but all over Buryatia; in small villages. There you’ll be able to ride a horse, treat yourself to national dishes like Buuzi, Khushur, some unusual dishes, soups and many more. After lunch, enjoy the melodies of ancient two-string instrument “morin khuur” and gather in circle with your new friends for “yokhor” – a dance, which brings the feeling of unity and kinship between people! 

2. To improve your health

To this day, it is unclear which will be the consequences of this pandemic situation, but the nature of Buryatia is the perfect environment to assist those, who happened to get ill. Those who have suffered from any kind of lung disease, including pneumonia, will be needing rehabilitation services, including in health resort conditions. Our resorts like Arshan have calean air, healing springs, recovery programs as well as comfortable rooms, modern equipment; everything you need to relax and recover.

3. To learn about culture of old believers

“Semeiskie” – are the people who were forcefully sent to Siberia in the XVII century due to their devotion to their traditions and ancient Orthodox. They were scattered around 30 different villages: some were already occupied by Russian peasants, other had to be built from the ground up. To this day, Semeiskie still live in Buryatia and they are as devoted to their culture as they were a in XVII century. The great place to visit – is the Tarbagatai village, which is 40 km from the Capital of Buryatia. This is not just a village but the center of culture of the old believers of Buryatia. Its inhabitants have managed to preserve their original culture and gladly share it with their dear guests. Everyone is welcome here and the villagers greet from their heart: in national costumes, with dances and songs. Guests can try cedar moonshine, tea and cherry pie. You can come to visit them for some simple yet filling dishes and take part in various rituals.  

4. Try Buryat cuisine

The infamous buzza – the most favorite dish of the locals. It got so popular not in vain and have already conquered the hearts of foodies well beyond the borders of Buryatia. There is even a monument erected on the outskirts of Ulan-Ude. However, there are many more delicious and sometimes strange dishes, that its not possible to include them all in this list. But you can come here to try them for yourself!

5. The great “Tea Horse Road”

The city of Kyakhta, which used to be called “the capital of the Russian tea” or “Sandy Venice” for the beaty of its churches and rich interior designs of houses, is the beginning of the famous great tea road in Russia, which connected China and went all the way through Russia to Moscow and then went further. You get the idea; it is a very long way… Now you can come to Kyakhta to enjoy the ancient architecture, nature, which borders with Mongolia and visit the museum of Kyakhta to learn more about the past of this fascinating city   

6. To visit a datsan and get a blessing of Khambo-lama

Ivolginsky Datsan, which is located 36km from Ulan-Ude at a picturesque place, is the center of Buddhism of Russia since 1945. The main place of interest is the palace of Khambo-lama Itigilov, where his imperishable body is located. In 1927 Itigilov sat in the lotus pose and fell into nirvana and instructed to raise his body after 30 years. Since then, exhumation happened twice: in 1955 and 1973; both times the body hasn’t rotted away. The same thing was discovered in 2002, 75 years after his death.  Lama still is sitting in lotus pose, he has soft joints, hair and nails are still growing, the temperature of his body is changing. For scientists it is a big mystery. This is not just the first case in Buddhism, but in the history of mankind. Pilgrims from all over the world come here to literally touch the miracle. For that purpose, a separate residence has been built – “The Blessed Palace”. At certain days, the body of lama is carried out, so that people can see him, ask him for help, get a blessing. They say, if you touch him, illnesses will perish as well as wishes will come true.

7. To take a picture with the monument of Lenin.

The Soviet’s square used to be called “Nagornaya”. Now it is the administrative center of the city where government buildings are located and blue fir trees grow. In the center of the square –  the biggest monument of Lenin’s head, which is almost as tall as a 5-story building. It was cast from Bronze in Moscow region in the form of two separate halves and was transported here by railroad. The monument was erected in the honor of 100 years since the day of birth of Lenin, in 1971. Since then, it became the symbol of our city, and there are so many pictures have been taken with some creative camera angles.

8. Visit the famous opera and ballet theatre

Across the road from the Soviet’s square, another heritage of soviet architecture is located – Buryat Academic theatre of opera and ballet, the oldest one on the Far East. It was built in 1952 in Stalin’s ampere style with use of national decorative elements. The repertoire consists of worlds and Buryat classical music. After watching a great performance, you can come outside on one of the most favorite places for rest in the city – a theatre square with a musical fountain.  Listening to the sounds of classical music, people bask in the sun, eat ice-cream, skate and ride scooters.

9. Take a walk in the Ethnographic museum.

Ethnographic museum of the peoples of Baikal region is the biggest open-air museum on the far east with the area of 37ha. It is located at the picturesque suburban area of Ulan-Ude. Here you can find historical and architectural monuments of different age and culture. Among expositional sections of the museum, the traditional culture and everyday life of local people is shown (Evenks, Soyot people, Buryat people, Russians and Kazakhs). You can see so many things here: from housing of Xiongnu to the compound of historic buildings “old Verkhneudinsk” (The name of Ulan-Ude before 1934) as well as wildlife corner with a big variety of animals: Yak, Camel, Lynx, Deer and many more; this is the perfect place to bring children, this variety of cool and strange animals just never fails to amaze them.

10.  Experience Buryatia

Come visit Buryatia to discover planet’s uninhabited places, energize from the sun and feel the power of Baikal! Take part in the festival of ethnic music and learn the national dance – yokhor, taste smoked omul and delicious, juicy Buuzy. See different fairy tale characters come alive on the Buddhist new year and experience the fairytale yourself! Discover that Buryatia is much more than just Baikal.

Author: Maria Badmatsyrenova, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Buryatia, Russian Federation.
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