Yakutia- is a territory in the extreme North of Asia whose cultural history pushes its boundaries as far West as Central Asia but whose cultural legacy reaches as far East as Greenland. Centered in Yakutsk, three quarters of the population makes its home scattered across Yakutia's vast, varied, and extreme landscape. There are countless possibilities for decisive travelers to explore this romantic wilderness.
The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) occupies most of the Northeastern part of the Asian continent. It extends 2000 kilometers from north to south and 2500 kilometers from east to west. It occupies an area of 3 103 200 square kilometers forming 1/5 of the territory of Russia. The territory of Yakutia is larger then the territories of France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden, UK, Finland, and Greece put together.
The Novosibirskie Ostrova and some other Arctic islands are part of the territory of the Republic. More then 40 per cent of the territory is above the Arctic Circle. There are three time zones - six, seven, and eight hours ahead of Moscow. The capital of the Republic - Yakutsk - is 6875 kilometers from Moscow and 1814 kilometers from Vladivostok. The difference between Yakutsk and Greenwich time is 8 hours.
Yakutia is rich in natural contrasts. The climate is sharply continental with a range in temperature of 100(C from +40(C in the summer to -60(C in the winter. The Pole of Cold (the absolute coldest point of the Northern Hemisphere) is situated in Oimyakonsky uluss where a record negative temperature of -71.2(C was recorded in 1926. Winter in Yakutia is continuously cold but with little snow accumulation, while the summer is short and dry with high temperatures prevailing through most of the territory during this time. Also the Air is fresh and clean.
During winter, the low altitude of the Sun determines a short day over most of the territory of Yakutia. The Polar Nights begin on the territory which is above the Arctic Circle. The Sun seems to forget about that area. Darkness and twilight take charge for several months. Some nights are lit up by the Aurora Borealis, the natural phenomenon that can only be observed along the latitudes occupied by this territory. Due to the comparatively high altitude of the Sun, and the dryness and clarity of the air, summers are mostly sunny; the Polar Days begin. A day can last up to 20 hours along the latitude of Yakutsk, while farther North, the Sun never drops below the horizon.
The Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea wash the Northern shores of Yakutia. Nine to ten months a year the seas are covered with a 1.5 to 2 meter-thick ice crust. There are vast numbers of lakes and rivers of which the Lena river is the most beautiful. It is one of the ten greatest rivers on the planet. Besides the Lena river, the Indigirka, Yana, and Kolyma rivers are some of the largest in Yakutia. There are hundreds of glaciers and ice crusts. The largest ice crust in the world is located in Yakutia. Its name is Ulakhan Taryn. The potency of the ice and its dimensions concede only to the Fedchenko glacier on the Pamirs.
Almost the entire territory of Yakutia is located in the continuous permafrost zone. During the summer the upper layer of soil thaws to a depth of about 3.5 meters. Numerous well-preserved remnants of pre-historic giant animals have been found in Yakutia. The Berelekh burial site is unique; the remnants of 150 mammoths have been found here. The largest permafrost area in the world of 1500 meters lies in the Western part of Yakutia. The phenomenon of permafrost is studied at the Permafrost Institute and its sub-terrain laboratory, here in Yakutsk.
72 per cent of the territory is covered with taiga. The rest is forest-tundra, tundra, and arctic semi-desert. Two thirds of the territory is mountainous with a typical Alpine landscape. Large mountain systems prevail in the Eastern part of Yakutia. These are the Verkhoyansky range and the Chersky range, where Peak Pobeda is location, the highest mountain of Yakutia, at 3147 meters.
Flora and fauna
Yakutia is on of the rare places on Earth where the purity of nature and a correspondingly amazing variety of flora and fauna are left untouched. The northern tundra is covered with moss and reindeer moss. It is a region of tundra birch that can easily fit in the palm of one's hand. In the taiga, there are pine, spruce, larch, cedar, aspen, and birch trees. The northern flowers are bright and intensely colored. The northern berries are rich in taste. Lilium pensylvanicum is a favorite flower of the people of Yakutia. It is called sardaana and grows only in Yakutia. Rhodiola rosea, Aconogonom amgense, Krascheninnikovia lenensis, Redowskia sophiifolia, Oxytropis scheludjakovae, are also endemic.
The inhabitants of the vast lands of Yakutia - moos, fox, sable, wolverine, brown bear, polar bear, walrus, Manchurian deer, northern deer, musk deer, and bighorn sheep - live freely. Numerous rivers and lakes are rich with fish, omul (coregonus autumnalis), chir (coregonus nasus), muksun (c. muksun), white salmon nelma (stenodus lencichthys nelma), sturgeon (acipenser baeri), taimen (hucho taimen), and karas (c. carassius) to name but a few.
There are about 250 avian species in Yakutia. The tundra is a habitat for rare birds, sterkh (Siberian white crane), sandhill crane, loon, Ross's goose, golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, etc. The Arctic shore is famous for the noisy and spectacular seashore bird colonies. Yakutia is the only place on the planet with Siberian black crane and Ross's gull habitats.
Specially protected nature territories of Yakutia
The Ytyk Kere Sirder network of specially protected nature territories has been under development since 1994. At present 26 unique lakes have become the common property of the people. There are 4 national nature parks, 38 resource reserves, 38 reserved territories forming a total area of 53427 acres. This is 17.1 percent of the entire territory of the republic.
The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Is the biggest administrative resgion in the Russian Federation. The total area of Yakutia is more than 3 million sq. km. In spite of its enormous territory Yakutia has always been sparsely populated.
The population is estimated less than 1 million citizens. Indigenous peoples are the Yakuts, Evens, Evenks, Yukagirs and Chukchis.
The biggest range of temperature: from -70C in winter till +40 C in summer. The climate is sharply continental.
The coldest inhabited place in the world the Pole of Cold.
The oldest and the most famous in the world Institute of Permafrost.
The world’s biggest city founded on a permafromt area Yakutsk.
The longest river (4400 km) of north-eastern Asia the great Siberian Lena with the most expansive delta in Russia (its has an area of more than 32 thousand sq. km). There are 36 species of fish including the largest river taimen,”the tiger fish”.
The largest reserve of natural resources in the Russian Federation: diamonds, gold, platinum, coal, gas, oil etc are mined here.
The most numerous finds of Mammoth remains.
The highest point in north-easter Asia Pobeda Peak (3000 meters)
Yakutia is a multinational republic and is rich in traditions and cultures of indigenous peoples. These are the Yakuts, Evens, Evenks, Yukagirs and Chukchis. The Yakuts are the most numerous among them.
The Yakuts practiced horse and cattle breeding. They also practiced shamanism as their religion, worshipped nature, her phenomena and elements. There are villages in all regions of Yakutia where people still lead a traditional way of life. There are also reindeer-breeders who lead a nomad’s life all year round and they will be happy to take tourists with them, also every year the Festival of Reindeer-breeders Meeting the Solstice is celebrated in Tikksi, Bulunsky ulus.
You can visit ethnographic complexes “Bakaldyn”, “Ytyk-Khaya”, “Diamond Park”- a museum in the open sky “Druzhba” whereyou will see traditional housing og the Yakuts, Evens and Evenks. You will be able to observe their wayof life and taste their cuisine. In the village of Elanka, Khangalsky ulus, you will have a chance to see the way of life of couchmen in the ethnographic complex “Couchmen Courtyard”.
Yakutia is extremely attractive for everybody, who is interested in traditions and customs of peoples of the North.
There is still much mysterious and unknown in the world of animals disappeared from the face of the Earth that is why we can understand that big interest provoked be each new archeological evidence of fissil animal. Only in Yakutia it is possible to find well-preserved carcasses of mammoths and wooly rhinoceroses even nowdays.
The Museum of mammoth was established in 1991 as a scientific and cultural center of mammoth fauna and its environment studies. It is situated in Yakutsk in the building of Yakutsk State University and is the only museum of such kind. As it is known the collection has no analogies in the world being not only the most extensive, but also containing unique exhibits.
The most significant discoveries of Mammoth fauna in the world were made in Yakutia, starting with mammoth of Adams(1800), Berezovsky Mammoth (1901) and the most recent one Yukagirsky mammoth (2003).
With the mammoth tour you will experience archeological excavations, will leaar a lot about the world of paleontology and moreover you will have a unique chance to extract mammoth bones from permafrost and will even be able to take priceless bones of extinct animals back home.
The Pole of Cold
The Pole of Cold is a unique place. It is considered to be the coldeset inhabited place on Earth where the average temperature in winter goes down to -60 C. The maximum temperature ever reached was 71,2 Celsius. It is situated in Oymiakon, Yakutia. The place is worth visiting. It is something to do at least once in a life-time. Those people who have been to the place can be called “Ture subjugators of Earth”.
Ever year in March the Tourist Festival “The pole of cold” is traditionally held in Oymiakon. The Pole of Cold festical consists of the following activities: an international auto rally, meeting Santa Claus from Lapland and Russian Ded Morozfrom veliky Ustug with the host of the Pole of Cold Chyskhaan, The Lord of Frost. The holiday also includes various contests and fireworks.
You can get to the Pole of Cold by car. This is an extreme tour called “Auto raly to the Pole of Cold”. The road goes through spectacular mountains. There is museum in the open sky “Druzhab”, a museum of the political exile and the museum of GULAG prisoners.
The pole of Cold also takes place in Verkhoyansky Ulus (region)-another cold place in Yakutia.
Yakutia offers a vast range of regions for travelers and eco-tourists can find a lot of opportunities here. Hiking, rafting, birdwatching, archeology excavation, botany, horseback and reindeer riding there are just a few example of ecotourism that can be performed in Yakutia.
There is an incredible journey for bird watcher in the delta of Lena river. Most birds spend winter in South and South-East Asia, Australia, America, Africa and Eurpoe, but in summer they all fly back to the Lena delta. Bird watching is conducted at the International biological station Lena-Nordenskiold.
There are also a number of national nature parks: Ust-Lensky and Olyokminsky reserves, Momsky park, Lena Pillars park, Siine park, Ust-Viluisky park and Bulus source.
Trips to the northers parts of the republic will give you a chance to see Aurora Borealis. It is indeed a fascinating show, which is created by the nature itself. You will bever forger blazing sky of the North.
The vast history, low density of the population variety of landscape and climate zones, a number of nature, culture and historical sights create perfect conditions of adventure tourism. Yakutia is one of the places where tourists can find territories, which have never been visited by anyone before. It is a wonderful chance for you to become a pioneer, experience the feelings that Columbus had reaching the coasts of America. Hiking, snowmobile safari, cycling, horse riding cross country and mountain skiing there are just a few examples of extreme tourism that you can try.
Among them the most popular is rafting. Numerous mountain rivers provide tourists with unforgettable routs and pictures of nature around. The Lena, Sagandzha, Amga, Buotoma, Momma and many others will welcome you.
The mountains of the trpublic are created for alpinism. The Chersky and Verkhoyansky mountain ranges are one of the most popular places for skiing and climbing.
If there is a pioneer inside you and you are eager to discover new horizons of your soul and body Yakutia is a must in your list of places to visit. Diamond and Golden tours
According to the legend when the God was flying over Yakutia his hands got frost bitten and he dropped all trasures he was carrying. That is why Yakutia is very rich in minerals; more than 90% of diamons and 40% of gold in Russia are mined in Yakutia.
Diamond is a unique creature of nature. It has no equal neither in its perfect structure and hardness, nore in its dazzling shine and beauty. This harden splinter of time is a dream embodiment, a present from the bowels of the Earth, a personification of the connection with nature.
The diamond capital of Yakutia is the city of Mirniy. It is the place where the majority of all Russian diamonds mined. Diamond tours will allow you to eye witnedd the whole process of a stone becoming a shining diamond.
From early ages people believed in magic of gold. It has always been closely connected to good and evil sides of human nature. No wonder it is called “Yello Devil” Yakutia holds a leading place by the amoung of gold mined in Russia. In the gold tours you will have the opportunity to feel the history of gold-diggers, experience the hard labour and visit operating gold mines.
In the Treasuty of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) yo will be able to see unique dimands and gold nuggets. Numerous shops will provide you with a vast variety of jewelry.
Yakutia is a region of a fast developing economy. It has a developed infrastructure and all the possibilities for organizing business tours.
A number of hotels equipped with all the conceivable modern appliances will help you to feel comfortable during your work in Yakutia.
Various conferences, meeting with Yakut, Russian and foreign businessmen will allow you to widen your business geography and will help you to contact new partners.
Yakutsk, a port, a capital of Yakutiya, is located on the left bank of the Lena river. It was founded in 1632 as a Yakutsky burg on the right bank of the Lena river about 70 kilometres downstream of the modern city. In 1642-1643 it was moved to the location of the modern Yakutsk. A city was founded in the eighties of the 17 century westerly of the burg.
The modern Yakutsk with a population of 191400 people is an industrial, scientific and cultural centre of Yakutiya.
The main places of interest are the Yakutsky Drama Theatre, the Russian Drama Theatre, the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Philharmonic Hall, the Museum of Local Lore, the Fine Arts Museum, the Tower of the Yakutsk burg with wood hip-roof (1685), the Stone buildings of the Spassky Monastery (1664), the Nikolskaya Church (1852).