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Access to the Forest is Strictly Prohibited In Buryatia
8.08.2017 17:04
Access to the Forest is Strictly Prohibited In Buryatia

Acting head of the Republic of Buryatia Aleksei Tsydenov signed a decree on introducing a regime of emergencies that arose as a result of forest fires, the republican Forestry Agency reports.

      "Access to the forest is strictly prohibited, including for the collection of mushrooms, berries and other wild plants, as well as for recreation outside tourist bases, sanatoria and health institutions," the report said. Penalty for violation of the ban is from four to five hundred thousand rubles. According to the Federal Aviation Security Service at the beginning of Tuesday, there are 17 fires in the territory of the forest fund in the area of ​​923 hectares in Buryatia, as well as three fires on the lands of specially protected natural areas with a total area of ​​173 hectares. Previously, the regime of emergencies was introduced in Buryatia from June 13 to July 24.

      The mountainous Buryatia Republic, spreading around the north and east of Lake Baikal, has a number peculiarities that distinguish the region from other parts of Russia. First of all, for most of its history the region has been under Asiatic influence, something clearly visible in the facial features of indigenous Buryats. Secondly, Buddhism used to be the officially recognised religion in pre -revolutionary Russia. Presently, the Buddhist temples (datsan) are under reconstruction and may present exhaustive information concerning the history of Buddhism in Russia. And, lastly, Buryatia is also the home to Old Believers, the descendants of conservative 17th century Russian Orthodox breakaways who fled into precipitation in northern Russia. The region is famous for its unique location and natural reserves. Many mammals live in the Taiga including the brown bears, elks, mooses and deers. Brown bears, the world’s largest flesh-eating land mammal and the "Lords of the Taiga," are found throughout the region, and can be spotted along the shoreline. Elk and deer can be seen more readily, and during the winter, country people set up feeding troughs, almost treating them like domestic pets. If you are eager to see a piece of Buryats native art and culture, to enjoy picturesque views of taiga and Lake Baikal, to feel the atmosphere of the mysterios Siberia from which foreign travelers used to be banned, the Republic of Buryatia is an ideal place.

      Buryatia has a population of about 1,059,000 people (1992 estimate), among which there are 249,500 Buryats (23%), and 726,200 Russians (68%). The population density is 2-3 persons per sq km (while average figures for Russia is 8,7 persons per sq km). At present, some 390,000 people live in Ulan-Ude, the republic’s capital. Different religions coexist in the city: Buddhism and shamanism, Orthodox Christianity and Old Belief. The center of Buddhism in Russia is situated here. Every year the monastery becomes a place for special religious festivals. In February, according to the Eastern Calendar, the New Year celebration is taken place. The most notable among the summer festivals is the Maitreya holiday. It is believed that Maitreya was chosen by the Buddha as his successor, and that he will come to the Earth as the future Cod. The celebration lasts for several days and culminates with the procession around the temple to the sounds of drums, horns and bronze bells. The procession is headed by the Maitreya’s chariot and his statue, which symbolizes love, compassion and expectations for the better future.

      Tamchinski dazan is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Russia and it is famous for its religious festivals. Annual religious and theater performance take place here, which attracts a lot of visitors and believers. Altan-Segre dazan is notable for a legendary archaeological monument – “the deer stone” (“Altan-Segre” means “the golden tether”). According to the archeologists this stone is 3,5 thousand years old. Images of deer cover the stone. The legend has it, that the stone stele in the front of the main temple of the monastery served as a tether for the sacred horses of the celestials, who came down for the festivals.

      Buryatia enjoys unique nature and extended recreation facilities. There are up to 360 curative springs in the republic. The most well known resorts are “Arshan” and “Goryachinsk”. For the 1st of January of 1999 there were counted 3 reserves, 2 national parks, 21 preserves and 286 natural objects of note. For those, who are interested in unique cultures, excursions to the Old Believers villages are organized. In the 18th century about 20,000 Russian families of the Old Believers were exiled to Siberia. These people founded their settlements in Buryatia, where they managed to preserve their religion, traditional ceremonies and a distinctive dialect. At present, guests in such villages are welcomed with traditional hospitality and can enjoy local food specialties and different aspects of folk culture. 


Author: Anna Dorozhkina


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