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Zabaykalsky Krai

Alkhanai National Park

Национальный парк «Алханай»
Национальный парк «Алханай»

Alkhanai is a picturesque mountain range that majestically dominates the vast steppe and forest-steppe landscapes of southern Zabaikalsky Krai, attracting tourists with its beneficial mineral water sources and Buddhist holy relics.

The national park includes first of all the Alkhanai mountain range, the only place in Russia where unique natural monuments and sacred relics of the Buddhist religion coexist in harmony.

Narrow canyon-like ridges; the clearest water of beneficial water sources; beautiful large and small waterfalls; peculiar stone­ «rivers» on the sheer slopes of mountains; residual outcrop cliffs of strange shapes, each bearing its own name; wonderful volcanic mud fountains — all of this is Alkhanai.

Alkhanai is also one of the five holy crests of northern Buddhism. In 1991, the head of the Buddhist clergy, His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV Tenzin Gyatso, made a special trip to the ceremonial places in Alkhanai. Fame has made this holy place popular and respected far beyond the Aghin steppe.

There are many naturally-made stone sculptures here that are objects of worship by Buddhist pilgrims. Worshiping at Demchog Sume, the home of the guardian of Alkhanai (the deity Demchog), is said to bring a person uncountable merits in this life and in future incarnations. The Gate Shrine is a majestic cliff with a hole through the center, ­on which a stupa has been constructed, capable of pacifying and healing people. The Mother's Womb grants women the gift­ of childbearing.  Naro Khazhod is a place of meditation for Buddhist clergy.

Formed at the juncture of the steppe, the forest, and the highlands, Alkhanai is rich in flora and fauna.  More than 340 species of plants have been noted here, of which 180 find use in official as well as in folk medicine, including in Tibet.

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Address: Zabaikalsky Krai, Duldurginsky Region

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