The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is the largest administrative and territorial subdivision part of the Russian Federation. It occupies one-fifth of the territory of Russia.The Republic of Sakha is not only the biggest but also the coldest land. Over 40% of its territory is beyond the Arctic Circle. It’s the country of contrasts.
Yakutia is a land of dense taiga wilderness and immense tundra zones, hundreds of thousands of large and small rivers and lakes, harsh mountain ranges and ice arctic regions, primeval nature, original culture and warm open people.
Yakutsk is the capital city of the Sakha Republic.
It is situated on the Lena River.Just an hour flight from Irkutsk and you are here to enjoy the most beautiful nature and permafrost.
The city is famous for its unique mammoth research institute. Every day the remains of mammoth are found on the vast territories of the region.
The establishment of the World Mammoth Museum in 1991 as a scientific and cultural center for the study of the mammoth fauna and its habitat and the promotion of scientific knowledge was initiated by the first Yakut paleontologist Petr Alekseyevich Lazarev. Since 2007, the museum staff began to make the collection of the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North (all paleontological materials, collected as part of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic Sakha (Yakutia), has been transferred to the Ministry of Property Relations of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The large collection of fossil remains of the mammoth fauna animals of almost all the representatives of the mammoth fauna of the North-Eastern Siberia and unique mammal fossils with soft tissues was gathered in a short time. Now there are 1450 objects in an osteological collection of the Mammoth Museum.
Buluus is a unique natural object. Few places in the world can find a place with so many contrasts. Buluus is the unique source of the underground water which shapes the ice fields of clean fresh water which do not melt even in the warmest days.
The word “Buluss” is translated from Yakut language as “glacier” or “cellar”. This place is admitted as the landscape and hydrological nature Reserve of republican significance.
In some places the thickness of the ice field reaches 3 meters.
The fresh water of Buluus is the cleanest one. During summer time the glacier partially begins to melt and forms the cavities which resemble tunnels. When the temperature in summer over the glacier is +30°C and higher, inside it is twice lower.
The temperature of the water inside the glacier is permanent throughout a year (0,1 – 0,2оС). The water of Buluus has a high quality and contains necessary microelements for human organism.
The Lena Pillars
The geological formations known as the Lena Pillars have fascinated travellers here since the 17th century. About 140km upriver from Yakutsk, the rock of the cliffs alongside the river has been eroded away into delicate shapes of a reddish brown colour.
The extremely steep column are made of kimbery limestone with the surrounding softer rock being eroded over the millennium.The rocks are 150-300 meters high and become more and more beautiful and mysterious by the means of local climatic conditions. The temperature here varies from lower than -40 °C in winter to almost +40°C in summer period.
Since July, 2012 Lena Pillars are inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage as one of the most amazing places on the planet with perfect natural ecosystem.
The Kingdom of Permafrost
Yakutsk is surrounded by many hills. In the Soviet era the tunnel in one of them, located near the mountain Chochur Muran, was used as a huge cellar for food storage. In November 2008, tourist center “The Kingdom of Permafrost” was opened here.
At the entrance to the “Kingdom” visitors receive warm coats and boots. It is necessary because in summer the temperature in the tunnel is minus 4 degrees Celsius. But in winter the temperature does not fall below minus 10 degrees C, so after minus 50 degrees C outside it is a good place to get warm. If you look at the walls, you will see what permafrost is with your own eyes: all the moisture in the soil is frozen, and the land is literally penetrated with icy veins. Ice forms crystals that shine in the light of colored lamps. The tunnel is divided into several rooms inside. The visitors are welcomed in the first room by the Lord of the Cold Chyskhaan – his residence is located here.
There is a ritual hall for traditional Yakut ritual ceremonies. You can ride ice slides and stare at the ice sculptures in one more room. It is allowed to touch sculptures – for happiness, for fulfillment of wishes. Do not forget to have your vodka at ice bar from an glass made of ice.
Treasury of the Republic of Sakha
While going on the city tour, you will visit the Treasury of the Republic of Sakha in Yakutsk, where glittering samples of diamonds, gold and silver are on display. The exhibition introduces visitors to the history of the development of jewelry and jewelry industry from the past to the present day, a unique collection of nuggets of gold, platinum, silver, large natural diamonds, an excellent collection of works by Yakut craftsmen – jewelers, cutters, bone and stone carvers.