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BAIKAL - BURYATIA: tourism and recreation

official website of the Republic of Buryatia in the field of tourism development



The territory adjoining from the east to Lake Baikal is an integral part of the Central Asian historical and cultural areasince ancient times. Transbaikaliawas included to the orbit of grandiose historical events that took place on the Eurasian continent for thousands years. People started to inhabit this territory during the Middle Paleolithic period (150 thousand years ago) from two areas: one stream came from the southeast of Asia, the second from the south-west. By the end of the Middle Paleolithic process of formation of races has come to the end here.

The geographical landscape, flora and fauna of the territory acquired a modern look in the Neolithic Age. The Stone Age changed with Bronze Age, and then the Iron Age. Archaeologists unearth a large number of findings here, including burials left by tribes known to science as the culture of tile graves. The culture of the Khereksur and olenny-stones (deer-stones) has its roots in Transbaikalia, as well as the Scythian-Siberian culture. It also was a part of jade path, along which products from jade were transported from east to west, at that times.

Huns State

One of the turning points in the history of Eurasia was the 3rd century BC, when the first nomadic state of Hunnu was established in Central Asia with the center in Mongolia. Since that time, Central Asia has turned into a kind of crucible for many centuries, in which a nomadic civilization was formed in wars, and waves of invasions of nomads spread far west and east. The wars with China led to the weakening of the Huns and their displacement from Central Asia.

The Great steppe

After the resettlement of Huns to Europe during the era of the great migration of peoples, numerous tribal associations and new state formations of nomads were formed and destroyed throughout millennium. The largest of them were the state of Xianbi, the RouranKhaganate, the Great Turkic Khaganate, the Uighur Khanate, the Kyrgyz Khaganate, sought to seize the vast expanses of Eurasia and subjugate neighboring tribes. Then a new geographical and political formation arose-at the Great Steppe.

Mongol Empire

In 1206 Genghis Khan united all the main Mongolian tribes under his rule. The book of prohibitions ("Yasa-name") was published, which was a kind of nation-wide code of lawsof the steppe people.

Lake Baikal and the territory of modern Buryatia belonged to the legendary country Bargudzhin-Tokum, which was part of the indigenous ulus of the nomadic state of the Mongols. Bargujin-tokum was declared by Genghis Khan as a sacredland of ancestors, "IkhHorig" was published. Here, he made his first military campaigns against the Merkit, after which the era of great Mongol conquestsbegan, which culminated in the creation of the largest in the history of mankind's empire. The nomads created a civilization that not only waged wars, but also transferred from people to people the achievements of their cultures, united them within common borders, eventually becoming the creator of a single Eurasian civilization.

After the collapse of the empire, the Mongolian state, riven by feudal strife, continued to exist until the 16th century. The tribes who roamed in Transbaikalia and the Baikal region always remained in its composition. By the time of the Mongolian state, the first information about the people, the name of which later was called this part of the territory of Transbaikalia. These people were called Buryats, and the territory was called Buryatia. At the same time, information about the people of the Kurykans, descendants of which are modern Evenks, appears.

Tea Road

In the 16th century, the Russian empire began to intensively expand its borders to the east and establish diplomatic and trade relations with Mongolia and China. These events radically affected the fate of the peoples who lived on the territory of Buryatia. The first burgs were founded by Russian Cossacks; one of the great trade routes of mankind, the Tea Road, passedthrough the territory of Buryatia.


History of Buryatia

The establishment of the Russian-Mongolian border led to a certain isolation of the Buryat tribes from the Mongolian world. In the 17th century, the Buryat people, who did not have their own statehood, voluntarily joined Russia. But this isolation did not lead to the destruction of established spiritual, religious, cultural, tribal, and trade and economic ties between Buryatia and Mongolia. The tsarist government of Russia, pursuing a flexible policy towards the local nobility, established an administrative system of internal self-government operated in Buryatia (the Buryat steppe Duma). Great influence on the economic development of Buryatia was provided by the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the process of integration of Transbaikalia and the Far East within Russia was very intensive. The Far Eastern Republic was created in 1920 with the capital in Verkhneudinsk . In 1923 the Buryat-Mongolian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was established, and in 1958 Mongolia became an independent state. In connection with the reorganization of the administrative structure of the East Siberian territory in 1937, a number of districts were separated from the Republic, and two Buryat autonomous regions were established: the Aginsky national district in the Chita region and Ust- OrdynskyNational District in the Irkutsk Region. The republic was renamed to the Buryat Autonomous Socialist Republic the same year.

A rather developed agro-industrial sector was created in the republic during the Soviet period of history. Large enterprises of almost 60 branches of the national economy were built there, including aircraft construction, engineering, energy, coal, mining, woodworking and other industries that were connected with all economic regions of the USSR. Large plants at the territory of Buryatia belonged to the military-industrial complex mostly. That is why until the 80s of the 20th century, the republic was closed for visits by foreign citizens.

The systems of education, health and science were formed at this period. The Buryat Scientific Center of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences with its scientific research departments, four higher educational institutions, more than 20 technical schools and special secondary educational institutions were organized in Buryatia.