Tourist Routes of the 5th Children of Asia International Sports Games
|The order of receiving applications for tourist excursion (Russian)|
Yakutia, or Sakha Republic is a vast unexplored region of Siberia in the northeast of Russia. Territory of Yakutia is one fifth part of Russia, excelling the area of Khonsyu island more than 13 times; it is 3,103,200 sq. km. At this, the population of the republic (about 1 million) can easily be be placed in one district of Tokyo city.
Peculiarity of tourism in Yakutia can be described by four «Es»:
Any trip to Yakutia, whatever tour you choose, will carry brightly expressed ecological orientation. Yakutia is one of rare places on Earth, where spaces of wild nature - mountains, rivers, lakes, forests (taiga), northern steppes (tundra) were saved untouched by civilization. Centenary larches, millennial rocks (Lena Pillars, Kysylyakh), flora and fauna of ice-age (pleistocene), were saved here. Scientists consider the unique horses of Yakuts, which can easily stand fifty degrees frost and find forage from under snow by themselves, contemporary to mammoths. There are 1,850 species of higher plants in Yakutia, over a hundred of which are considered medicinal and used in official and traditional folk medicine.
Lakes in Yakutia are so many that there is at least a lake per each habitant. There are a lot of big and rivers and small rivers, and major one is Lena river where Yakutsk city stands. It is the fourth in the world by length and the second largest in the world by river mouth area. Ice drift on Lena river is an unforgettable and majestic sight and one of the most meaningful annual events in the life of local habitants.
There are 50 species of fishes from 18 families in river basins: lampreys, sturgeons, herrings, salmons, whitefish, graylings, carps and others.
There are two natural reserves on territory of Yakutia, 4 national nature parks and over 100 resource reserves. The general area of especially protected natural territories is 64,6108.9 sq. km, or 21% of the territoriy of Yakutia.
Wild beasts and birds here can be observed in their natural environment. 64 species of mammals and 280 species of birds live in Yakutia, and many of them are rare or vanishing. Today there are 15 species of cranes in the world, six of which in Yakutia. These birds fly for thousands of kilometres to give birth to their posterity here in the north. Siberian white crane — sterkh - kytalyk — has long be thought by Sakha people to be a sacred bird. There is a popular belief that one who saw a white crane at least once will always be happy. One who saw white cranes dancing will be happy three times.
The second name of Yakutia is Sakha Republic. Urankhay-Sakha is the self-name of Yakuts. People of Sakha are the most northern and probably the most ancient of all in the numerous family of Turk cattle breedings peoples. The end of June is mark ed by Yakutian national holiday of Ysyakh. It is the meeting of Sun, summer, the beginning of another new life cycle. Besides that, Ysyakh was also an universal birthday - to add itself a year with a complete right only those could who outlived a long severe winter.
There are white nights in Yakutsk at this time - when a sun sets over the horizon only for an hour or half an hour (And beyond Polar Circle, where two fifth of the territory of Yakutia lies, Sun does not set in summer at all4 that is called a «Polar day»). The holiday is celebrated necessarily in the open air, in weekend - nomad’s tents, marquees are put, whole families, organizations, and institutions arrive. In the day-time there are sports competitions like horse races, wrestling, national sports contests. Universal unity of people is symbolized by round dance with singing of osuokhay, meaning existential circle. Dancers sing and move slowly with the motion of the Sun, as if following constant flow of life in time and space and giving the contribution of gratitude to heavenly bodies for their light and warmth given to people of Earth. The dance proceeds continuously till morning; in past osuokhay has been sung for three days and nights. It is considered that everybody in a circle is charged with energy for the whole year. Climax of the holiday is a ceremony of sprinkling fire, grass and trees with traditional drink made of mare’s milk - kumiss. The ritual symbolizes the birth of Universe and Man.
Ysyakh finishes with common meeting of the Sun.
Besides Yakuts-Sakha, representatives of other nations of Russia and CIS countried live in Yakutia, as well as northern minorities: Evenks (hunters and reindeer breeders), Evens (reindeer breeders), Yukagirs (hunters and fishemen), and old Russian residents (fishermen and hunters) with traditional way of life practically unchanged since the 17th century.
Capital of Yakutia, city of Yakutsk, one of the oldest cities of Siberia, was founded in 1632. About a quarter of the total population of the republic live in Yalutsk. Here, as in any Russian city, there are hotels, restaurants (including those with Japanese cuisine as well as Russian, Italian, and Sakha traditional), nightclubs, tourist complexes, theatres, cinemas, museums, the circus, shops and supermarkets, Web cafes, mobile phone companies. However, out of Yakutsk civilization usually ends with asphalted roads. Prepare to pass the night in tents or farmhouses (as guests of the local residential), to move by car along impassable road, fly by helicopter, sail by canoes and amsll boats, ride horses or reindeer. Be ready to eat canned food, packed lunch, fresh fish soup boiled on fire or simple dishes from meat, gamebirds, fish, cereals, potato, flour. If you want, you can try and drive reindeer or dog sledge, kayak, horses, or catch some fish on fishing-rod in an ice-hole, to drive an off-road vehicle, to put up a tent, to milk a cow or a mare, to saddle a horse, to cook dinner on fire. Most of the tours are planned for strong, young-spirited people not afraid of difficulties while discovering Planet Yakutia. Those used to constant comfort will better choose one of the river cruises on a motor ship.
One thing is for certain — the place is exotic enough. The total area of Yakutia is located in permafrost zone. In summer it is almost unnoticeable, not taking into account that all multistoried buildings stand on piles and heat pipelines pass above ground. In conditions of sharply continental climate, in July in Yakutsk it is as hot as in Tokyo with temperatures reaching forty degrees Centigrade, while in winter lowers to minus fifty. It is Yakutia where there is the Cold Pole, the coldest place in the northern hemisphere, where in 1924 Academician Sergei Obruchev fixed the lowest temperature for our hemisphere — minus 71.2 degrees Centigrade. Here one can see such a unique natural phenomena as Aurora Borealis, norhern lights. Here, beyond the Polar Circle, the night lasts all winter, and the day all summer, and in tundra mushrooms can grow higher than trees (as the latter are brachytic, dwarfish).
In Yakutia, walking along the river bank, you can find a trilobite (ancient mollusc) imprint or mammoth or woolly rhinoceros boneы. In Yakutia there are ancient cave drawings and the archaeological site of ancient people. In Yakutia one can see competitions in frozen fish pulling or catching deer by the lasso, watch people offering up prayers to spirits of nature.
In Yakutia there are many mysterious and enigmatic places with inimitable energy. Among those are such unique natural phenomena as Kisilyakh rocks or Lena Pillars, lakes with undefined depth, sand formations looking like miniature deserts… Almost every place is covered by folk tales and legends agina from hundreds to dozenz years.
Yakutia is one of few sites on Earth where it is clearly felt that our planet is a living thing.