"Altay is not only the pearl of Siberia, but of Asia also. The great future has been intended to this magnificent midpoint".Darashkol lake (photo by Anna Grafova)


In 1926 the Central-Asian expedition, arranged by Roerich, arrived at the Altay. By that time the expedition had covered a great distance from India via the Himalayas, Tibet and China to Russia. In Verkhniy Uymon Roerich stayed at an Old Believer Atama­nov’s house. The old residents still keep in memory those wonderful people who had visited this place and studied Altay culture, history and nature. One can say that Roerich revealed the Altay to the whole world. He predicted a great future to the Altay. On the completion of the Central-Asian Expedition the Roerichs planned to come back to Altay and settle in Verkhniy Uymon. ‘Golden is this locality, in five years I’ll be here,’ said Nicholas Roerich to Uymon dwellers. But his fate decid­ed differently, and Roerich returned to Altai only at the century’s turn.
The village is one of the oldest settlements in the area and was founded by religious group of old-believers more then 300 years ago. There are two museums in Verhniy Uymon village: The Ethnographical museum named after famous artist Roerich and The Museum of old-believers’ religious traditions and culture.


Kucherla lake from ‘Kudyurlu’, in Altaian means 'with salines' is a lake in the Altay Mountains. Located at the foot of the northern slope of Katun ridge in the upper reaches of Kucherla river the lake is one of the largest reservoirs of glacial origin. Turquoise waters, steep rocky cliffs, forested slopes - all this combined with the noise of water falling from the ledges gives Kucherla lake the unique beauty that attracts tourists from all over the world.
On the south-east slope of the mountain range Bish-Iirdu (Altay Mountains) in the head of the river Shavla - the right tributary of the Argut river - there are the most beautiful and remarkable Altay lakes called Shavla or Shavlinskie lakes (region Kosh-Agach). Bright colors of the alpine meadows, cedars' majesty, blueness of the alpine lakes surrounded by sharp peaks that are covered with sparkling snow trully create an unforgettable picture.


Belukha Mountain (region Ust-Koksa) (4506 m) is the highest peak of Altay Mountains and in the whole Siberia. Belukha is a Queen of Altay. No one can remain indifferent when seeing this Beauty. It is fantastic, graceful and ambitious and involves a storm of emotions in everyone's heart.


Plateau Ukok (Kosh-Agach region) is a unique flat-like-table place located at the height of 2500 m above the sea level  and surrounded by the highest mountain ridges. One of its translations sounds like "Listen to the sky". Today this territory is included into UNESCO heritage list. Ukok burial mounds are also considered invaluable. Researchers say that the burials are like an ensemble - people who built them had a highly developed feeling of rhythm and harmony.


Lake Teletskoye is the largest lake in the Altay Mountains and the Altay Republic, Russia. Teletskoye lake or Telesskoye, Telezhskoye recieved its name about 400 year ago because of the Altaian tribes called Teleuty or Telesy who used to live nere the lake. The inhabitants used to know it as Altyn-Kol lake, Gold Lake. Mongolians call it Altyn-Nor lake but in the Chinese geography it is know as Altay or Artay. Lake Teletskoye is included into Altaysky Nature Reserve. That reserve along with the Katun Natural Reserve and the Ukok Plateau Nature Refuge were listed as one of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites under the name "Golden Mountains of Altay".
 Katun river (regions Maima, Chemal, Ongudai, Ust-Koksa) is the main water arteria of the Altay Mountains. It is very popular among those who is fond of white water rafting, river rafting tours as well as recreation holidays in the Altay Mountains. Katun is translated as "woman, mistress" from the Turkic language.  The river is 688  km long.  The Katun  river originates in the southern sloep of the Katun mountain range of the Belukha Mountain near the Gebler glacier.
 Denisova cave
Denisova Cave (also Ayu-Tash) is a cave in the Bashelaksky Range of the Altai mountains, Siberia, Russia. The cave is of paleoarchaeological and paleontological interest. Bone fragments of the Denisova hominin, sometime called the "X-woman" (referring to the maternal descent of mitochondrial DNA) originate from the cave, including artifacts dated to ~40,000 Before Present (BP). The cave is located in a region thought to be inhabited concurrently in the past by Neanderthals and modern humans.


Historical and Ethnical museum of Altaian and Turkic peoples - a place where Ukok Princess and other mummies of Pazyryk culture are kept
One of the most popular museums located in Novosibirsk (the starting point to Altay mountains) as it contains the materials of unique monuments that belong to Scythian era (Pazyryk culture) - “frozen” burials from Altay Mountains. It is in this very place where you will be able to see the mummy of the Ukok Princess – a world-famous discovery of Altay land – Princess Ukok or Ice Maiden - the most famous undisturbed Pazyryk burial, discovered in 1993 in the Plateau Ukok, a rare example of a single woman given a full ceremonial wooden chamber-tomb in the 5th century BC, accompanied by six horses.




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