Tuva is a unique region in the south of Siberia, a land of endless steppe and mountains, where the culture of the indigenous population is preserved in its original form. The snowy peaks of the Sayan, Tannu-Ola, Shapshalsky and Senigelen mountains surround the republic like a stone wall, hiding its beauty and riches. This is where the source of the Yenisei River can be found. Shamanic rituals, Buddhism, the unique national cuisine and the uncountable archaeological finds – all make up the region's distinctive character.
Thanks to its relatively isolated geographical location, the contribution of the Republic's indigenous population has remained almost unchanged since ancient times. The traditional home of the Tuvan nomads, the Yurt; the amazing rhythms of the world-famous Tuvan throat singing, Khoomei; the secret shamanic rituals peacefully coexisting with Buddhist traditions; unique national dishes and uncountable archaeological finds – all give this region its distinctive character.
Tuva is the birthplace of the Yenisei River, one of the largest rivers in Russia and the deepest in Eastern Siberia. It originates in the Kara-Balyk mountain lake and carries its powerful waters across rapids and shallows to the Tuva Depression. In the capital of Tuva, on the banks of the Yenisei, stands the Center of Asia obelisk symbolizing the geographical center of the Asian part of the Eurasian continent. The Obelisk includes a globe with the outlines of the continents, above which a 10-meter three-edged spire reaches to the sky. This monument is an integral part and true symbol of the city of Kyzyl and of the whole Tuva Republic.
Tuva is a true paradise for travelers. Those that are willing to sacrifice dull European comfort want to fill their lungs with the air of romance, natural beauty and harmony. Everything here is real and primitive. The republic's main attractions include: the Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Reserve, the Aldyn Bulak ethnocultural center, Genghis-Khan's Road, the Charash-Dash River, Ush-Kozhi stone sculptures and the rejuvenating Ush-Beldir and Tarys hot springs. You could spend eternity in this region discovering its beauty.The national cuisine will delight any food lover. The most important product in Tuva has always been milk (sut). Since ancient times, milk dishes have been called ak-chem (white food). At celebrations, ceremonies or meetings, milk was always brought in first. The yurt's hostess sacrificed it to the spirits of the sky and earth by spraying it with a tos karak – a special nine-eyed offering spoon. As well as milk, meat is very important in Tuvan cuisine. The idea of family prosperity is still connected with the possibility of eating meat every day until completely full. The meat of domestic and wild animals is dried, cured, salted and frozen; all possible ways are used to preserve it for a long time. Mutton is the most popular meat in Tuva. Almost every part of the animal is used after it is butchered. This is the basis for the traditional Tuvan sausage – izin-khan. The national cuisine also uses wild grasses and medicinal plants. Delicious infusions are made from chaga mushroom, nettles, rose root, saran, rose hip, buckthorn, liquorice and currants.