Discover the Republic of Buryatia
The Republic of Buryatia is a federal division of the Russian Federation located in Siberia and covering 60% of the lake Baikal shoreline. Its capital is the city of Ulan-Ude.
Buryat people are the descendants of Mongolian tribes, that have been inhabiting the area for over a millennium. Many of local traditions came from Mongolians: vertical writing script, nomadic lifestyle, economy based on cattle breeding, hunting and fishing, and also spiritual culture. Buryats' religious systems were traditionally based on the deification of nature, belief in spirits and possibility of their magic influence, and were led by shamans. From the second half of the 17th century, cults in the shamanic form were absorbed by Buddhism, which became widespread in ethnic Buryatia. A synthesis of Buddhism and traditional beliefs is a major feature of Buryat culture.
Also the area was colonized in the 17th century by Russians in search of wealth, furs and gold. This had a significant influence on the way of life and led to the formation of the Buryat ethnos which consolidated separate tribal groups. The Soviet ideology had serious impact to the traditional culture, language and religion of the Buryat people. Cyrillic script was adopted as Buryat literary language but Buryat as a language is still in use. Buryatia is a unique place, a real symbol of Eurasia representing the crossroad of European and Asian cultures, history and mentality
In 1923, the Buryat-Mongolian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Buryat ASSR) was created, the name "Mongol" was removed from the name of the republic in 1958. The Buryat ASSR declared its sovereignty in 1990 and adopted the name Republic of Buryatia in 1992 remaining an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation.
We invite you to visit Buryatia - the homeland of unique cultures, the wonderland of breathtaking sceneries, the treasury of pristine nature with glorious Lake Baikal as its precious jewel. Buryatia’s beneficial geographical position on the crossroads between Russia, Mongolia and China, rich historical, cultural and natural resources and traditional Siberian hospitality – all this is far from being a complete list of what makes Buryatia an attractive tourist destination.
This ancient and amazing place has it all – striking beauty of the world-greatest freshwater lake Baikal, vast expanses of the Siberian taiga, crystal-clear rivers and waterfalls, magnificent snow-covered peaks of the Sayan Mountains, giant rocks of the Barguzin mountain range wrapped into haze, balmy air filled with the scent of steppe herbs and wild flowers, healing mineral springs, and a lot more to make your visit here unforgettable…
If you are looking for outdoor adventure – there is no better place for trekking, walking, horse-riding, rafting down mountain rivers, swimming and boating on Baikal, or downhill skiing. Experienced mountaineers come here to attempt conquering Munku-Sardyk - the highest (3491 m) peak of Eastern Siberia. If you are a lover of history or a lover of culture, Buryatia – the true cradle of Central Asian nomadic civilization – will offer you a fabulous experience. Our history can be counted in the millions of years, and you can trace our legacy by exploring the local museums that have quite a selection on their display – from remnants of prehistoric animals to artifacts of the ancient Hun state, Genghis Khan’s empire and on to the times when Russian Cossacks came to Siberia to make it part of the Russian state.
Buryatia is also the place where so different religions and cultures have flourished side by side for centuries - Buddhism, Shamanism, Russian Orthodoxy, and Old-Believer Christianity. A true miracle in the Buddhist world is the phenomenon of Pandito Khambo-Lama Dashi Dorzho Itigelov, whose imperishable body has remained intact for over 80 years. You can pay homage to this great teacher and see his precious imperishable body in the main Buddhist temple of Buryatia – the Ivolginsky Datsan.
Buryats value their national heritage and carefully pass from generation to generation ancient traditions and customs. A visit to an ethnic Buryat village and a Russian Old-believers’ village is a must for all guests to Buryatia. Don’t miss the chance to get an insight into the unique culture, character, and lifestyle of the local peoples, to try delicious organic food cooked according to traditional recipes, to hear traditional Buryat music filled with sounds of the steppe wind, or polyphonic singing of a Russian Old-believers’ choir recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage, and of course – to meet new friends... Once you are here you’ll find quite a range of accommodations, from first-class hotels to democratic hostels or furnished suites, located both in Ulan-Ude, the capital city of Buryatia, and away from it all - on the shores of Lake Baikal.
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