Baikal

Lake Baikal is the largest lake in the world ... But people who live on this lake never call it "lake", they always say with reverence: "The sea ...".

It is interesting to see how they respect their lake. The lake, which has a rather uneasy character. The lake that feeds them and their families, which often tests them for strength and which gives incredible power with its huge energy.

The nearest cities, to get to Baikal,  are  Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude.

The sights around the lake are incredible.It’s  nearly impossible to see all of them for one trip ...

The Baikal is also varied at different times of the year ... .. It is vividly blooming in spring, although the weather is very cold and often there are big waves.

The summer on Lake Baikal is very short, bright and active. This is the most flourishing tourist season. A lot of tourist routes allow you to see many fascinating, beautiful, historical and archaeological sites.

In autumn, the Baikal is transformed, because the taiga around it "blooms" in various colours. It becomes so bright and beautiful that photographers and artists  adore this time. And the local people arrange a luxurious sailing regatta on yachts at this time.

But the most unusual Baikal is in winter! So transparent ice, that you can read through  it and see the 40-meter depth, it  bewitches. The strongest ice in February and early March. At this time, tourists come to look at the ice caves, their entrance  is open only in winter ... ..

What can you see on Lake Baikal?

Many people go to Baikal to visit the largest island of this lake - Olkhon. For the local, this Island is sacred. Shamans have performed rituals on it for ages. Now tourists are attracted by not only legends about it, but also by the natural beauty of these places. Also you may not be afraid to spend a night in tents here, since there are no bears on the island).

Baikal seals. Scientists still can not explain how a typical marine animal, like a seal (Baikal seal), entered an absolutely freshwater lake. But this fact attracts thousands of tourists to look at them. You can see the seals in the wild, they like to bask on the rocks. The seals are typically dark in color, but their young have a very beautiful white color.

The open-air museum "Taltsy". If you go from Irkutsk to the favourite tourits’ village Listvyanka (located on the shore of Lake Baikal), then on the way you can see this interesting place. Here you can find a variety of Russian architectural monuments of 18-19 centuries. The museum often has colourful national holidays. Some buildings are built without a single nail.

Shaman stone. Many rivers and streams flow into Baikal, but only one flows out- the beautiful Angara. According to legend, Angara was the daughter of Baikal and fled from him to her beloved. Baikal became angry and threw after her a large stone, which lies in the source of the Angara now ... .. People who live in Baikal have always worshiped this stone, because they were sure that it was the Great Spirit. The shamans performed rituals on it. And also the criminals were brought to this stone and left for the night to confess their crimes ....

Now it  rises majestically from the water, keeping its secrets.

Shamanka Rock. The rock is on the island of Olkhon and it is sacred. In addition, it is very picturesque, especially at sunset. There is a very convenient road to it, as it is very close to the largest village on the island - Khuzhir.

The Circum-Baikal Railway. The most interesting thing is that this is an operating railway, it’s just a part of the route from Irkutsk to Ulan-Ude. But it  is such an amazing architectural structure and such a breathtaking view from this trip that it was made an attraction for tourists. Tunnels and retaining bridges produce genuine admiration. The most picturesque time for visiting it is autumn, but at this time it's already cold, so most people visit it in  summer.

The road was built in 1905 and it was the most difficult to build it  in Russia. It is a part of the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest highway in the world.

The mortar of Enlightenment on the island of Ogoy. Near the island Olkhon there is a small island Ogoi. This island was always uninhabited, so it was considered very clean by the shamans. The most interesting thing is that it repeats the contours of Olkhon Island. The Buddhist’s mortar of Enlightenment was erected on Ogoi Island in summer  2005. The mortar  was erected at the highest point of the Ogoi Island - 512 m, at a height of 60 m above the level of Lake Baikal. Various Buddhist relics are put in the mortar, such as  relics of Buddhist saints, objects they used, sacred texts, and, most importantly, a bronze statue of the Dakini Tromah Nagmo, considered  as the mother of all Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism.

Petroglyphs of Baikal. On the western coast of Lake Baikal there is a cliff  Zagan-Baba. It stands out among the rest of the mountains with its white colour. It is the largest gallery of rock paintings of an ancient man on Lake Baikal. But the most interesting is that all the people painted  on them are horned. Scientists can not explain this thing and say that they are suits of shamans or aliens.

Petroglyphs with the image of hunting are also found in the bay of Aya, on Mount Sahurte. They can be seen in summer from water or ground, and in winter from  ice.

 

The Baikal caves . For fans and  speleologists of caves , Baikal  and nearby caves are of great interest. Many of the caves were discovered recently, in the 21st century, and some are still being  opened, as the harsh climate, the protected area and many impassable places reliably protect these places.

The  cave “Okhotnichya” was accidentally opened in 2006. Opening of new moves and transitions is done in it until now. Its depth is about 77 meters, the temperature  is constant there +4 degrees. It has a large 2-meter entrance, so light penetrates very well into it and creates romantic lighting.

 Tangeran dungeons. There are lots of caves here, many of them are open to visitors. A lot of caves also have traces of the ancient men’s presence (the Iron Age) and Tibetan inscriptions (18th century). Some caves were inhabited until the 12th and 13th centuries. In these caves scientists have discovered new minerals, which exist only here.

Hot Springs. Hot springs of Lake Baikal are hot mineral springs. The local population always knew the benefit of swimming in them and actively used this. Now in these places there are recreation centers, sanatoriums. They are interesting to visit in summer and winter.

Hakusa Source

Kotelnikovsky Source

Zmeiniy Source

People of Baikal. Baikal is home to the Buryats. They say that they came here from Mongolia. Their main religions are shamanism and Buddhism. In this regard, they have a very quivering attitude towards nature. This manifests itself in everything, but especially in relation to Baikal. They always talk very respectfully about it ,as it is a deity. 

 

Welcome to Russia!

 

Welcome to Baikal!