Ulan-Ude last destination in Siberia
Last step before joining the Mongolia, Ulan-Ude. Big city East of Lake Baikal, it already has the colors and the Mongols and Buddhist roots. She gives a taste of the Mongolia and exchange with the character of Russian cities. One of the steps in the road of tea from China to Kyakhta, it remained closed to visit between 1934 and 1980 is a city with secret military plants. The city's plans are still white space.
Arrived on the scene at 8: 00, I drop off my stuff and decided to leave directly for the largest Buddhist datsan in Siberia, the Ivolguinsk datsan. This datsan was built with the approval of Stalin (which is the opposite of his habits, normally he preferred open gulags) in 1946 in honor of the dead Buryats of the great patriotic war (the second world war for the rest of the world). Good after his kindness had its limits, he suggested a field at 35km from Ulan-Ude (instead of renovating one of the ancient temples) still in a swamp. The datsan was one of two places in activity during the Soviet area.
To get there, Center you must take the bus 130 (lots a day) until the terminus of Ivolga. You take either the streets "ul Smolina", or at the bus station Banzarova. When you arrive at the Terminal, you must hang an another mini-bus (which will be at the same stop) with a picture of the temple, the journey will take area 15 min to reach the Ivolga datsan.
The ivolga Datsan
The datsan (temple) is important in Siberia. It brings together a large number of Buddhist temples as well as a strong community of monks. When you arrive on site, it must be remembered that everything must be done in a clockwise sense. The visit began making the rounds of the datsan. On a stone path, you'll find piles of prayers to turn in the same direction.
After the tour, I attended a tour within the monastery. I was able to discover all of the temples and the Buddhist religion (how to enter a temple, to put his hands, philosophy, etc.). We also discovered the largest University of Buddhism of Siberia with more than 150 Buddhist students. For eight years, they will study the practice of Buddhism and then specialize in astronomy, medicine and botany. Everyone is accepted into the University, many people come from throughout Siberia to study in this place. In addition, the monks providing care free to those who ask.
Return to Ulan-Ude
After the visit, I took the bus back to Ulan-Ude. I then visited the city and took a picture in front of the biggest head of Lenin in the world!
In addition, I met a Canadian/German couple in the street (that I had already met at the datsan). We decided to spend the evening together to share our various experiences of the trip and to give addresses in Europe and New Zealand.
This is the end
This concludes my trip to Russia! It was really a beautiful journey that enabled me to discover the people and Russian culture. Apart from the stereotypes that you provided to us via the media, videos, etc… The Russia and its people are people like everyone else. They are friendly, nice and care always to help you. Far from drinking all the time, instead, the Russians will share always what they have with you over tea. In our world, 85% people are good! Of the remaining 15%, 10% are politicians we encounter ever, it then remains only 5% of bad encounters.
Even with the language barrier, I was able to share many experiences in their company during these two weeks. This is a beautiful country that I leave and an adventure lurks on the other side of the border. Tomorrow at 7: 00 I would have finished my commute in Transsiberian in Ulaanbaatar and would start the Mongolia visit.
For more if you want to replay all of my articles on the Russia, here is the link!