BAIKAL - BURYATIA: tourism and recreation

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Mukhorshibirskiy district

Mukhorshibirsky district is located in the southern part of Buryatia;it borders with the Chita region, Bichursky, Tarbagataysky and Zaigraevsky districts of Buryatia.
Mukhorshibirsky district was founded in 1927. Its population is 27,700 people. The population density is 6.2 per sq. km. The administrative center of the district is s. Mukhorshibir (Buriat: “muhar” - "dead end", "end", "edge", and “sheber” - "thicket"), located 118 km to the south of Ulan-Ude. Mostly Russians, Buryats and Tatars live here. The district borders with the Chita region, Bichursky, Tarbagataysky andZaigraevsky districts of Buryatia. There are 22 archeological monuments, 5 monuments of architecture and 31 historical monuments in the district. Archeological sites are located in the valley of the Khilokriver, in the Tugnui Valley, along the Galtay, Sutai, and Kapcheranga rivers.
It is located in the southern part of Buryatia, occupies the Tugnui and Sulkhara steppes, which are separated by the Tugnui ridge. There is the Zaganskiy Range in the south of the district, in the north of the Tsagan-Daban ridge. The Khilok, Tugnui and Sukhara rivers flow along the territory; their tributaries are the mountain rivers of Barca, Kapcheranga, Kusota, Hon-kholoika and others. In winter, all these rivers freeze to the bottom. Lakes: Sagaan-Nur, Ehe-Nur. The climate here is distinctly continental, with a cold long winter and a short hot summer. The area is especially attractive for tourists-photographers, thanks to the diverse natural landscape.
The historical heritage of the region includes caves, stone barrows, rock carvings, legends and traditions. Rumor has it that the leader of the Merkit tribe stole from Temujin his beloved wife Borte. The future Genghis Khan could not endure that, and in 1177 he went to the Merkiton "the shortest way": the first detachment was along theChicoyu river, the second one wason the Selenga river. Crossing the Khilokriver, Mongols attacked the Merkits in the area of Buura-keere. In 1197, there was another battle with Merkits in the same steppe of Buurakeere, and in 1205 the Merkits were completely defeated.
The Tugnui valley was inhabited in the 12th-13th centuries by the Merkits’ tribes, which bred livestock, farmed and built defensive fortresses. The mountains around the valley were used as a signal of the enemy’s approach, for which the signal lights were lit. The ancient name of the valley is Buurakeere. The new name Tugnuiwas given to the valley after the destruction of the Merkits by Genghis Khan, who, as a sign of his victory, set there his banner - a tug. The historical monuments of the Tugnui Valley belong to that period.
The area of Khailasyn. Time has destroyed the weak stones of the ridge, turning them into the coarse-grained sand, grabbed by grass;the trees have risen on the slopes, and the bloomy bush-relic – Siberian apricot – was adapted for the lower tier.
One can compare the flowering apricot grove with the beauty of cherry blossoms, for which people come to Japan to admire them. Locals call the apricot as the "Deben nut". Fruits resemble a real apricot, but they do not have time to ripen during the short Siberian summer. Small and bitter to the taste, it is almost impossible to eat them. Many people tried to dig out the seedlings of the apricots, but everything in vain - they do not get accustomed to the soil. The apricots’ flowering period is very brief - only one week - from fifth to twelfth of May, and - once you see this beauty - you will keep it in your memory forever.
The steep-sided stones, licked by time, are scattered all over the steppe. In some places, they form the stone walls-fortresses. Today, only these stones and ancient burial places among the mountains and steppes are illustrative of the past battles of Merkitswith the Genghis Khan army.
Not far from the mountain’s foot, where the Merkits’ fortress is located, the spring beats. This is a holy place, which means that the water here has a healing nature. If you wash yourself here and take a few sips, you will recover - the main thing is just to believe in it.
There is a meadow on the approach to the ridge, and here the ascent to the top and the fortress begins – it is cozy and wonderful. The sun always shines here brightly. The pine grows here directly from the stones (it is included in the list of the natural monuments), in front of which is a blooming apricot, a sea of primroses. Ancient tile graves nearby are perceived as a part of nature. By the end of May the glade will be covered with a carpet of Siberian globeflowers. Then, as usual, chamomile and French willows go - and so on, in its own life rhythm –the meadow is always bright and joyful.
Next is the rise. After walking several meters along the stony path, we will get to the site where small pyramids are built of stones. The tourists, which are following the belief, lay these stones: one who ascends to the top carries a stone with him; you need to put the stone on the pyramid - and there will be for you, traveler, health, happiness, luck.
The harder your stone is, the more successful will be your life – that is how it is.
The approximate length of the ascent to the fortress’ site is one and a half km. The closer to the sign place, the more impassible the path is. However, the excitement and desire to look at the Tugnui valley from a height capture you, and any obstacles become surmountable.
The place here is special: in a few minutes a strong wind can rise, blizzard will sweep. It is believed, that Spirits do not let people uphill. From the top of the mountain in all magnificencethe steppe opens - with smoothed hills, residual traces of the violent volcanic activity.
It is better not to descend to the caves–no reason to disturb the peace of the warlike ancestors; after all, according to tradition, in the caves the treasuresare hidden, and here also the remains of Genghis Khan were buried. To believe it or not - everyone decides for himself. By the way, the Japanese documentalists shot here the footage of themultipart film "The Empire of Genghis Khan".
The early nomads left here multiple traces of their stay - in the form of rock carvings and tile graves.Some of such places: Bain-Khan Mountain, three kilometers from Narsutai. In 500 meters from the cave with carvings, the ritual masonry is located: khereksur (Mongolian "nest"), graves with masonry. Narsatui is a burial ground (the Bronze Age - the Middle Ages); along the bank of the Sutaykariver there are a lot of tile graves, mounds and khereksurs. The Mount Gershelun - at the foot of this mountain is a sanctuary of various burials.
Here, the petroglyph of the flying bird was found; thearshan is flowing; five kilometers to the east of the Sagan-Nur, there are many tile graves and inextricably linked rock carvings made with red ocher.
The subjects of these compositions are drawings of the birds, spread in flight, which are personifying the upper world. In the opinion of the archaeologist academic A.P. Okladnikov, their age is the second half of the II millennium BC.
On the deep ravines of the Mukhorshibir and the Tarbagatai regions, after heavy rains or spring snow melting, many petrified bones of ancient animalsare found: buffalo, woolly rhinoceroses, teeth and mammoth bones.
All these fossils belong to the pre-glacial period, when magnolia bloomed on theTransbaikal territory, ferns grew in human growth, and the average air temperature was higher than in the subtropics.
The state natural reserve Altacheyskyis located on the southern slope of the Zaganskiy range, with a height of 1000-1250 meters. The northern part is located in the valley of the Tugnuiriver. Here cereals, mixed herbs, rhododendron Daurian grow.Animal world: red deer, roe deer, wild boar, musk deer, sable, lynx, squirrel, korsak, daurian hedgehog, black stork, bustard.
TugnuyskyBustard-Crane Reserve is located in the Tugnui Valley, the Selenga basin. There are rare representatives of the fauna inside the Reserve:manul, korsak, black stork, bustard, and black crane. The main objects of protection are the crane, bustard, black stork, ogar, mallard, steppe eagle, fox, solongoi, korsak, Siberian jerboa.
“Soldatsky meadow”: convenient and picturesque, on the bank of a stream near the Bar village. It is also calledas "Kolina Meadow". Here are constructed the small different forms for the tourists’ rest: tables, benches, sports constructions, swing sets.
“TabanKhurgan” (Buryat: “Five Fingers”) is a nature monument, a residual hill, like an open palm. A series of faults led to the formation of a coarse remnant. Wind and water erosion completed the natural pattern, resulting in a natural monument. People of the Tugnui Valley worshiped to the residual hill from ancient times. Every year, shamans conduct a veneration ritual of this sacred place. Shamans are sure that it is not just a stone statue, but the right hand of a man, grown from the earth and asking happiness, prosperity and luck from the Father-Sky. Rumor has it that those born in the Tugnui Valley are rich. The cattle here are always well fed, and there are still many children in families. It is said that during the Great Patriotic War, before leaving for the front, people came here, prayed, and left here some objects, and when they returned, they took the objects away as their guard.
TheBain-KhanMountainis a special ornament of the Tugnui valley, one of the sacred mountains of Asia; it is located three kilometers away from the village of Narsatui. People talk about this mountain with songs and legends. One of them is about Bain-Khan, a black rider on a black horse guarding the district. Therefore, the herds on its slopes are obese, life-giving keys beat at the mountain’s foot. Moreover, people here are kind and hospitable; they live in friendship and harmony, and singin honor of the greatness and wealth of Bain-Khan.
The village of Sharalday is the birthplace of the writer Isaiah Kalistratovich Kalashnikov. A writer's house-museum was created in this village. Every year, on August the 9th, the Kalashnikov Readings are held in honor of the Buryatian National writer. Here in the region, there is the literary and music association of amateur authors named after Isaiah Kalashnikov.
The family village of Nikolskoe (1765). At the local school, there is a museum of the writer IlyaChernev, where are collected the exhibits on the preservation of family culture and history.