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The Kingdom of Permafrost
December 30, 2015 02:09


Yakutsk is surrounded by numerous hills. During the Soviet era a day-drift of one of them, near to the Chochur-Muran Mountain, was used as a huge cellar for food storage. In November 2008 a tourist centre – “The Kingdom of Permafrost” - was opened in this cave.

Visitors are given warm coats and boots at the entrance to the “Kingdom”. This is a necessity: in summer the temperature in the cave does not rise above -4 degrees Celsius. But it also does not fall below -10 in winter, so you can get warm after the Yakut frost of – 50 degrees.

If you look at the walls, you will see what permafrost is with your own eyes: all the moisture in the soil is frozen, and the land is literally penetrated with icy veins. Ice forms crystals that shine in the light of colored lamps. The tunnel is divided into several rooms inside. The visitors are welcomed in the first room by the Lord of the Cold Chyskhaan - his residence is located here.

There is a ritual hall for traditional Yakut ritual ceremonies. You can ride ice slides and stare at the ice sculptures in one more room. It is allowed to touch sculptures - for happiness, for fulfillment of wishes. There once was one more attraction in the form of an ice bath with sloping walls, but it had to be closed: it proved to be too traumatic.

The organizers arranged a small paleontological museum in a separate grotto. The exhibition shows the bones of prehistoric animals preserved in the local permafrost. The exhibits have no special value, but it is still interesting to see them. There are an “ice office” and an “ice bar” with traditional frozen treats. The halls have artfully arranged lights. Multicolored rays are refracted in the transparent ice sculptures, are reflected from the walls and floor. It looks impressive.

The prices are moderate: an adult ticket costs 250 roubles, children’s - 150 roubles.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Yakutia Yakutsk    

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