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Ulan-Ude
Express to Russia » Russian Tourist information

Ulan-Ude

Ulan-Ude is the capital city of the Buryat Republic of Russia and is located about 100 km (66 miles) south-east of Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia. One of the main attractions of Ulan-Ude is the mix between the east and west. The city was initially founded in 1666 by Russian Cossacks as a fortress. Due to its favourable geographical position, the city grew rapidly and became a large trade centre which connected Russia with China and Mongolia. The Trans-Siberian Railway reached the city in 1900 causing an explosion in the growth of the city; the population which was 3,500 in 1880 reached 126,000 in 1939. Today the city has a population of about 360,000.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the city is that unlike in most other Russian cities the major religion isn’t Russian Orthodox, but Buddhism. In the tab below you can see the main sties to visit whilst in Ulan-Ude including Buddhist temple. In addition to these places of interest you literally can’t miss the massive statue of the head of Lenin in Ploshchad Sovietov.

The best way to get to Ulan-Ude is on the Trans-Siberian or Trans-Mongolian railway. Alternatively there are overnight flights to Moscow every day or from Ulaanbaatar, a 12 hour bus journey! Ulan-Ude serves as a perfect starting place for any trip to Lake Baikal.

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Atsagatsky Datsan
This Buddhist Monastery is located in a picturesque valley, about 60 km from Ulan Ude. Built in 1991, the temple has been visited and consecrated by Dalai Lama XIV. 13 km from the Atsagatsky Datsan is the village of Khara-Shibir - the birthplace of Agvan Dorzhiev. This man is known as a researcher of Buddhism and Tibetan culture and the teacher of Dalai Lama XIII. His log house has been rebuilt in a beautiful pine and larch forest near a mineral spring 4 km from the Datsan. It was here that Agvan Dorzhiev established the only school of Tibetan Medicine in Russia.
Buryatia History Museum
Founded in 1919, today the museum numbers 100 000 items. The museum has archeological, numismatic and ethnographical collections, as well as a collection of rare books, documents, photos and also a collection of religious art that deserves special attention. Buddhism as the major religion of the region is very well represented here.
Ivolginsky Datsan
The center of Buddhism in Russia, theIvolginsky Datsan was the only Buddhist monastery tolerated by the Communists. It has more around 1,000 Buddha statues, from tiny ones to others as high as 2 meters. The temple is a gleaming three-story building crowned with yellow eaves and guarded by stone tigers, the caretaker of the heart of Buddhism in Russia. There is a Buddhist school Dashy Choihorlin, a library, hotel, a philosophical faculty - Choyra, the Buriat Art museum, sacred tombs-suburgans, and houses for lamas.

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