Travel in Siberia

Tunkin valley

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You can visit this sight on tour:

  • Excursion-ethnographical tour - "The Gaeser Land"
  • Tunkin National Park is one of the most picturesque places on nature and one of the biggest national parks of Russia.

    Tunkin valley lies between the mountain chains of Sayans and ancient mountains of Khamar-Daban. They extend on 200 km, gradually rising from 550 to 1200 m above the sea level with width from 20 to 30 km. Tunkn valley is inhabited for a long time, beautiful nature and relatively warm climate, fertile soils, fine pastures for cattles.

    The history of Tunkin valley is closely concerned with Mongolian world history. Long time ago all inhabitants of the valley were under the Great Mongolian Empire’s control.

    According to the legend, Chingiskhan liked to make ceremonies here, dedicated to the mountain spirits. The Mongols brought with them shamanism, which for a long time became the Buryats’ religion, but at the same time the ancient pagan beliefs never disappeared. Their elements came into the religious practice of shamanism, and later – of Buddhism, when the buddhistic missioners came here.

    Tunkin valley got its name after the river Tunka, flowing into the full-flowing Irkut. It seems unfair that large valley of Irkut took the name after its small confluent. As it was adopted the name of the stockade town received after the name of the tributary.

    According the geology data, several millions years ago the Tunkin valley was the bed of the giant lake, but as the result of the great catastrophe the water of the lake torn the straight arch and flew into Baikal. 9 tops of extinct volcanos are still rise above the flat country.

    In 1647 the Kozack detachment with Stepan Kostylev in the head came here from Irkutsk and in 1676 in the Tunka’s outfall the 1st stockade town was set to protect Pribaykalje from Mongol khan’s attacks. The detechments of Mongols can’t get the stockade town and leave it unsubdued and go to Irkutsk they can’t, because in this case they ought to wait the blow in the back all the time.

    The Tunkin advanced post carried out its appointment in the time of “Siberia growing”. Now Tunka is a snall village, a lot smaller than the district center Hyren or the resort Arshan. And the earliest explorers – Kozacks were buried on the hill of the former stockade town. Now there is a small old cemetery situated.

    Scientists project that a few million years the valley has turned into the ocean floor, and the waters of Lake Baikal and Lake Hubsugul (Mongolia) - merge. This happens when the Eurasian continent will be divided by tectonic fault line formed at the time of Baikal.

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