The Tunkinsky National Park
These picturesque landscapes belong to the Tunkinsky National Park. It is located in Tunkinsky district, in the southwestern part of Buryatia (Siberia). The park was founded May 27, 1991. It covers an area of 11,837 square kilometers.
The Park was created to preserve natural complexes in the Baikal basin, in the Tunka Valley, on the southern slopes of the ridges of Eastern Sayan and Khamar-Daban. Tunka valley stretches from the highest peak in Sayan – Munku-Sardyk in the west to the sacred Lake Baikal in the east. In addition, the goal of the park is to make optimal use of natural resources, to develop national culture and in every possible way to create conditions for tourism.
The park has mountainous and heavily rugged terrain. The separate plains are located in intermountain hollows of the earth’s surface and the spacious river valleys. It occupies the valley of the Irkut, a tributary of the Angara. Absolute altitudes range from 668 m to 3172 m above sea level.
The National Park accounts about 900 species of plants. Here you will find rare plants, including Cotoneaster lucidus, Orchis militaris, Aconitum tanguticum and Fritillaria dagana. The northeast Park is rich in mountain-taiga cedar and subtaiga pine forests. In the west – subtaiga larch forests, cedar-larch and mountain-taiga forests dominate. Forest-steppe landscapes are characterized for the lowlands.
The area of the park includes 11 unique natural monuments and protected plant objects. For example, “Marble bottom” – it is a section of the river bed of Kyngarga where the bottom consists of smoothly polished with water pinkish-yellow marble. Among such interesting sights, here are a mineral spring “Khongor-Uul” and Khobokskoye Lake, which is located at the foot of the Tunka bald mountains and has correct round shape. Here are two drainage basins of two major rivers – the Irkut and the Utulik.
It is worth visiting the Buddhist Datsan “Tushita”, a Buryat village Khoytogol and unique ethnographic History Museum of this village. Such extinct volcanoes as Kovrizhka and Cherskii also attract a large numbers of tourists.
This park is home to more than 40 species of animals – flying squirrel, gopher longtail, sable, steppe polecat, weasel, moose, hare, chipmunk, muskrat, badger, otter, wolf, lynx, brown bear, deer, roe deer, wild boar, musk deer and others. It is also inhabited by more than 200 species of birds – mallard, hazel grouse, pintail, coot, etc.
This is a fabulous place where you will enjoy the mountain peaks touching the blue sky, rapid crystal – clear rivers, lush forests, and a wonderful valley filled with the scent of meadow flowers. Dry sunny climate and healing mineral springs will complement your vacation. Here are many boarding houses and sanatoriums of different profiles. Everything here offers rest and relaxation.