Federal district: Siberian • Capital: Kyzyl • Population: 307,930 inhabitants • Area: 170,500 km2(65,800 sq mi)
If you dream of being in one of the most fantastic places on our planet, where there is nearly no indication of civilization to be found, you should absolutely visit Tuva. Here in the geographic center of Asia, the ruggedly beautiful and whimsical highland steppe was the birthplace of shamanism; the hundreds of kilometers of open unearthly landscape, steppe broken by the sharp peaks of high disintegrating mountains, reminds you of the primary act of creation.
In Tuva flows together the tributaries of the Big and Small Yenissey River – one of the greatest rivers on our planet. Everything here is primordial, everything inspires with the traditional culture of Tuvan people. There are heathen idols and stone monuments over two thousand years old that are the silent witnesses of the past in the Tuvan steppe. You will find here centuries-old cultural traditions preserved nowadays, including the small plastic arts-stone carving which made Tuvan masters famous, khoomei – throat singing, shamanism, and indigenous cuisine. You will visit an actual nomads camp, where people lead the same life their ancestors did.
There are several protected natural zones such as the State natural biosphere reserve “Uvs Nuur basin”, the State natural reserve “Azas”, the objects of cultural inheritance Por-Bajyn fortress, Arjaan I and Arjaan II burial mounds in Turan-Uyyukskaya basin and many others.
In Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva, you will get acquainted with the culture and history of this land through the remarkable collection of ancient cultural and historical artifacts in the National Museum of Tuva, and witness the modern practice of the religious traditions of shamanism and Buddhism, which are still very strong in Tuva.
Under the camps open sky, in the exact way the ancients did, you will enjoy a shaman performance and touch the mystic force of the shamans medicine. A Tuvan folk group performance will let you enjoy throat-singing, one of the most famous arts of the Tuvan people, in its native environment. Only in Tuva you can feel the harmony of the fantastic guttural throat sounds, which so naturally evoke the endless space of the steppe, the movement of water, and the mountainous rhythms of the snow-covered peaks of the Sayan highlands.
In order to understand and experience the natural way of life of the native people, one has to view it from the inside-out, so to speak. The tour to Tuva will give you the opportunity to stay in comfortable Tuvan yurts on the bank of the Yenissey River. Their circular thick felt walls will insulate you from the elements, but will not be an obstacle for you to sense the elemental spirit of traditional Tuvan life.
- Krasnoyarsk region
- Republic of Khakassia
- Republic of Tuva