SIBERIA  •  TUVA REPUBLIC 

01: Buddhist temple “Ustuu-Khuree” is located in Tuva, 7 km to South-East from Chadan town, 1.5 km from the main road.

In translation from Tuvan language Ustuu-Khuree means an Upper Temple.

02: Ustuu Khuree Temple is the only monument of Tibetan architecture in Russia, was the crowning of Buddhist construction in Tuva. And it was unique not only in Tuva, but also in like the former Soviet Union. It was built in 1905. The temple was build not only by Tuvan people, but also by Chinese masters and a Tibetan lama Kuntan Rimpoche. Sloping bottom is typical to Tibetan monastery buildings and light wooden pavilion of the second level – for the Chinese style.

03: In 1930, after the adoption of a special resolution Ustuu-Khuree was closed, and in 1937 – destroyed. However, to completely destroy failed, the temple remained high mud walls, which kept as well nowadays. Lama, who served in Ustuu-Khuree, were repressed and often shot. Until 1956 only a prayer yurt was working there.

04: In 1999, the Russian government, recognizing the historic and architectural value of the unique temple Ustuu-Khuree, decided to restore it. In July 2012 during the open-air music festival taking place every year there the new temple Ustuu-Khuree was officially re-opened.

05: At this very temple it was decided to join a protectorate of the Russian Empire. This is a significant event for Tuva, thanks to Hun Noyon Buyan Badyrgy – a former pupil of the temple and the future head government of People’s Republic of Tuva proclaimed the first time in the history as independent one inside Russia. On the temple territory the Tuvan alphabet appeared, the first coin of the People’s Republic of Tuva was minted.

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