28 best sights of Tyva – description and photos

28 Best Sights of Tyva – Description and Photos

The Tyva Republic differs from central Russia in many ways, so the sights here are often unfamiliar. However, this is what makes them appealing.

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On May 13, 1929, the State Museum of the Tuva People’s Republic, TNR was established, with Vladimir Petrovich Yermolaev as its director[2].

On March 26, 1942, the State Museum of the TNR was named Aldan-Maadyr in honor of 60 bogatyrs who rebelled against feudal wrath in 1883-1885. In 1956, the Tuva regional museum was acknowledged as one of the best according to the results of the All-Russian museum competition on the exposition content and was awarded the Diploma of I degree. In 1985, the exposition of “Tuva during World War II” was awarded the Diploma of the 1st degree in the review of museums of the RSFSR[2].

In 1986 a bright page in museum life became the organization of a large exhibition “Where the Yenisei is born” in Leningrad in the State Museum of Ethnography of the USSR, where objects of material and spiritual culture of Tuvan people were shown. In November 1997 in Antwerp (Belgium) an exhibition of our museum “Shamanism of Turkic peoples in Central Asia” was opened and later (in 1998) was exhibited in Vienna (Austria) and Bremen (Germany).

In 2007-2008 the archeological collection “Arjaan-2” from the funds of our museum was exhibited at the International exhibition “Under the sign of the Golden Griffin. Royal Graves of the Scythians” in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich (Germany). On February 7, 2008 the grand opening of the new three-storey museum building took place. On November 2, 2008 there was an opening of the exhibition “Treasures of the Valley of the Tuva Kings. Royal mound Arzhaan-2” which presents unique golden artifacts from sensational archeological excavations in the world famous Valley of the Kings of Tuva. This exhibition is one of the main brands of the Tuva Republic. From May 2010 to February 2011 the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 (Moscow, Poklonnaya Gora) held the exhibition “Tuva National Republic – everything for the common Victory!” dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the Great Victory. Upon the results of the exhibition, the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan was awarded by the Russian organizing committee “Victory” with commemorative medal “65th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945”. Upon the results of 2010 the museum was named the Best cultural institution of the Tuva Republic. In 2011. National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan was the winner of the inter-regional contest “Museum of the Year. South Siberia – 2011” among state museums and received the Grand Prix[3].

On December 20, 2012 the grand opening of our exhibition “Traditional Culture and Life of Tuvinians” took place at the “Museum of Moscow”. Since April 2013, this exhibition has been exhibited at the Mytishchi Historical and Art Museum of the Moscow region. In 2013 the museum successfully implemented 2 joint exhibition projects: “National motifs in the art of Tuva and Khakassia” (together with L.R. Kyzlasov Khakass Museum) and “Traditional culture of peoples of South Siberia” (together with N.M. Martyanov Khakass and Minusinsk museums).

In 2013. The National Museum of the Tyva Republic became a collective member of two major museum societies: International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Union of Museums of Russia.

In 2013 and 2015. The National Museum of the Tyva Republic was included in the National Register “Leading Cultural Institutions of Russia”.

In September 2014, the All-Russian Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art (Moscow) organized the exhibition “Tuva – in the Running of Time” under the aegis of the Russian Geographical Society, together with the Museum of Decorative and Applied Art, the Russian Museum of Ethnography, Kunstkamera and the Institute of History of Material Culture as part of the holidays devoted to the 100th anniversary of Russia and Tuva unity. 2014 г. – Winning in the nominations “Exhibition Project” and “Museum – Treasury of Cultural Heritage” of the interregional contest “Museum of the Year. South Siberia – 2014”.

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In April 2015, in the Central Museum of the Armed Forces of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (Moscow) the exhibition “Tuva to the Front!”, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945, was organized.

In May 2015, for the 60th anniversary of Russian Defense Minister S. K. Shoigu, the Shoigu family house-museum was opened in Chadan.

2015 г. – Victory in the nominations “Victory Museum!” and “Treasure Museum” of the interregional competition “Museum of the Year. South Siberia – 2015”.

2015 г. – Special award in the category “Keepers” of the All-Russian Historical and Literary Award “Alexander Nevsky” for the implementation of the project about the first director of the museum Vladimir Petrovich Yermolaev.

In September 2016 the exhibitions “The World of Scythian-Siberian Animal Style: Dialogue of Cultures” at the National Museum of the Republic of Buryatia (Ulan-Ude) and “Graphics by Nadia Rusheva” at the Ethnographic Museum of the peoples of Transbaikalia (Ulan-Ude) were opened.

Sacred mountain Doge

Sacred Mountain Doge

On the right bank of the Yenisei River in Kyzyl, Mount Doge is proudly towering. It is more than one kilometer high and belongs to the system of the Uyukskiy Range. Before the Soviet regime, on this mountain, the Tuvan people performed sacred rites and prayed. But despite the fleeting history of the Republic of Tyva, the mountain remains one of the main tourist centers of the Republic.

Many visitors flock here to admire the panorama of the city, the beauties of Biy-Khem and Kaa-Khem. Recently, there have been many sporting events, races, and various social activities. It is easy to get to the foot of the mountain, there are regular tourist buses and city transport.

Ubsunur hollow

This natural biosphere reserve is a state preserve and is located in the water basin of the same name in Lake Ubsu-Nur (Southern Siberia). It is considered a UNESCO heritage site. The reserve is transboundary – it is located not only on the territory of Russia, but also on the territory of Mongolia. It was founded at the beginning of 1993.

The area of the reserve is more than 323 thousand hectares. The territory is divided into 9 separate sections from 800 to 122 thousand hectares.

The reserve is attractive because of its mix of complex ecosystems. It includes deserts, steppes, alpine meadows, tundra, taiga and glaciers. On the territory there are about 80 species of mammals, 360 species of birds. Some of the animals are endangered.

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Kadarci Monument.

Kadarchy Monument, Kyzyl

On a small hill is a figure of a shepherd. Cattle breeding is one of the oldest occupations of Tuvinians.

The monument appeared near the highway in 1997. The author of the project is T. Ch. Ondar, a Tuvan sculptor.

Tsechenling Temple

Tsechenling Temple

In Kyzyl, for more than ten years, the main Buddhist temple of Tyva, Hure Tsetsekhenling, has been located. At the entrance to the temple itself you can see a huge poster of the Dalai Lama and his instructions.

In the courtyard of the temple, there is an “eight stupas” building that symbolizes the main events of the Buddha. In Chinese, Tsechenling means “abode of boundless compassion. In terms of area, it is small. The locals honor the tradition: “before entering the room itself, you must go around the structure three times in a clockwise direction and touch all the corners. This belief is carried out with great pleasure and all tourists who necessarily visit the Tuva shrine.

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At the temple you can attend a yoga master class, and locals can take the opportunity, sign up for a circle, as well as courses of the Tibetan language. The building is two-story, with the representatives’ residence on the first floor and the prayer hall on the second floor. A beautiful marble staircase connects the floors.

30 Main Sights of Tyva

The Tyva Republic differs from central Russia in many ways, so the sights here are often unfamiliar. However, this is what makes them appealing. The districts of the region are called kuuns. There are interesting natural sites like lakes, springs, and mountains scattered throughout them. There are also monuments of the past – ruins of fortresses, statues and petroglyphs. They were left by representatives of different peoples and times.

There are many cultural and historical sites in the city of Kyzyl, the capital of Tyva. These are museums, theaters, religious buildings. Buddhist shrines stand out especially against the general background, both built in the past and modern. Travelers can plunge into a world of new experiences on their own or use the services of a guide, of which there are plenty in the area.

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List, pictures with names and descriptions of the best sights of the region!

Por-Bazhyn fortress

The ruins are located on the island of Lake Tere-Khol. The fortress was built in VIII century. Now only insignificant fragments of walls remained. They are notable for regularity of lines and give an idea of the internal planning, which had a clear structure. Excavations and research works were carried out here. The site can be visited by air or by car in dry periods.


Lake Azas (Toja)

Located in the Tojinsky kurun in hard-to-reach places. It is about 20 km long and varies in width from 5 to 7 km. The lake has 7 islands, the largest being Haara, which is 1.5 km long. During the winter and most of the spring surface is covered by ice. The main focus of tourism is fishing. There is a beaver reserve of the same name. Nearby attraction is the Irtigan plateau, where there are no trees, only basalt and stones, covered with moss.


Obelisk “Center of Asia”

An ornament of Kyzyl, it is not the first attempt to make such a sign of the center of Asia. Previous monuments have not survived. In 1964, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the accession of Tuvinians to the USSR, a spire with a pedestal and a globe on it was installed. After the reconstruction of the embankment in 2014, the obelisk was replaced with a new one made of other materials. It is similar to the original, but augmented with a group of fountains, stairs, and more.



A Buddhist monastery built in 1905 a few kilometers from Chadan. The design was developed with the participation of a Tibetan lama and Chinese craftsmen. In the 1930s the systematic destruction of the monastery began. In the 50s the last clergyman left Ustuu-Khure, and religious values were moved to a museum. By 2012, the monastery was restored. An annual music festival is held there.


Ubsunur hollow

The reserve has existed since 1993 and occupies an area of more than 925 thousand hectares. It is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the same name, together with the Mongolian border lands. Location in a bowl of natural origin contributed to the creation of a unique ecosystem. Remarkable natural sites: the fresh-water lake Tore-Khol, the Yamaalyg Mountain – a burial place of the ancient peoples.

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Valley of the Kings

It is located in the Piy-Khemsky kurgan. There are mounds, burial places of noble people, scattered over a vast territory. Excavations in this area have found amazing artifacts, such as weapons, jewelry, and armor made of noble metals, etc. The burials date back to the dawn of the Uyuk culture. They are made before our era and still hold a lot of undiscovered mysteries, so the research continues.



A mountain range in the Mongun-Taiga kuroung. Its maximum height above sea level is 3,976 m, making it the highest peak in Eastern Siberia. Mongun-Taiga was formed at the end of the Ice Age. This became clear after researching glaciations and rock deposits. At the foot lies Hindiktig-Hol, a lake with two mountainous islets in the middle, which is why it is called the “navel lake”.


Choigan .

The springs can be found on the border of Tyva and Buryatia. There are both thermal and cold carbonic waters here. The temperature in the hot ones exceeds +40 ° C. The chemical composition is multifaceted, which makes the springs unique. People come here for treatment of a whole range of diseases. Nearby is the Choygan-Daban Pass. A visit to the springs is part of many tours (walking, horseback riding, auto) and excursions.


Mugur-Sargol tract.

Ancient sanctuary, famous for the petroglyphs left on its walls. The drawings were discovered in the middle of the last century. Images of animals and other paintings are hollowed out on the stones. Since the tract is now flooded because of the construction of the hydroelectric power plant, all the important objects were moved to the Institute of Humanities Research in Kyzyl. They are accessible to tourists in the courtyard of the research center.


Tsechenling Temple

One of the most important Buddhist attractions in Kyzyl. It was built in 1998 and consists of two floors: the first as a residence, the second – for prayer. The corners of the building look more worn, this is due to the tradition of walking around the temple in a circle and touching the corners. Spiritual practices and language classes are held inside, attendance is free and donations are welcome.


Kyzyl Prayer Drum

Officially opened in 2006. It is considered the largest in Russia. Installed on the square in front of the Musical Drama Theater. It came from an Indian monastery where the drum was worked on for several years. Inside are millions of scrolls with mantras. On the outside it was written in hieroglyphs. Over it, according to all the rules of feng shui, a pagoda was built. The composition was made in the same style.


Mount Kezhege

It belongs to the territory of Erzinsky kolun. It resembles a not completely closed ring, and it owes its name to this: it was the name of the hairstyle of the ancient Tuvinians, who wore something like braids on their heads. Many legends and traditions are connected with Kezhege, the area is suitable for rituals, shamans draw strength here. Tourists love to wander inside and take pictures in the cleft. There are ruins of Buddhist temples nearby.


Haiyrakan Mountain

It is located in Ulug-Khemskii kzhuun and is depicted on its coat of arms. Its height is more than 1,000 metres. It belongs to the number of sacred Tuvinian objects for both shamans and Buddhists. It was consecrated by Dalai Lama XIV. There are several versions of the origin of the name, including because of its external resemblance to a bear drinking water. Most sightseeing tours include a visit to the mountain.



Massive stone statues are located in the Barun-Khemchik Kozhye region. They represent warriors holding ritual vessels in their hands. In total there are about 200 such samples of ancient sculpture in the area. Some are especially revered and are the subject of worship. The most famous statue is located at the foot of the massif Bizhiktig-Hai. It is estimated by researchers about 1200 years old.

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Museum of the History of Political Repressions in Tyva

Opened in Kyzyl in 1994. It appeared thanks to the efforts of the “Memorial” society, which collects data about the victims of political repressions. The goal is not only to preserve the memory of the terrible pages of Russian history, but also to investigate the causes of such phenomena in order to prevent their recurrence. The museum occupies a building belonging to the NKVD, where in the past they massacred unwanted citizens.


National Museum of the Tuva Republic

The museum was founded in Kyzyl in 1929. It started out as a local history museum, but has grown to a large scale. Its collections include items of ethnography and archaeology, dioramas recreating the lifestyle of the local population in different years, there are objects related to religious topics. Since 1941, the museum, previously without its own knowledge, settled in the former theater, where it is still located.


Dus-Khol Lake.

Refers to the territory of the Tandinskiy kurun. The name is translated as “salt lake”. The area is about 55 hectares. Popular holiday destination for visitors and locals. Despite the busy coast during the warm season, holidays here are comfortable. Working resorts, pensions, camping. There is a café in the form of a yurt, a gazebo, equipment rentals and other tourist attractions.


Lake Ceder

It is located in the Kyzylsky Kozun. The area is 500 hectares. The basin is undrained, and the shores are gentle. It is fed by groundwater and a thin creek. The area around is poor in vegetation, there are no particular height differences. Tourists are attracted by healing mud and spa, founded on the lake in 1932. The chemical composition of water and mud is suitable for the treatment of many diseases.



An ethno-cultural complex of the Tandinskiy kurun. It occupies the coastal area of the Yenisei River, 45 km to Kyzyl. Opened in 2011. It is built as a peculiar model of the Universe, where the roles of stars and luminaries are given to the yurts of different sizes and functions. Although the yurts and chums are decorated as authentically as possible, Aldyn-Bulak has all the conveniences, including accommodation, restaurant, bathhouse, parking lot.


Sculptural composition “Tsar’s Hunt”

It was cast in Italy and brought to Kyzyl, where it was installed on the shore in 2013. The composition has received several international and Russian awards. The sculpture depicts the participants of falconry in dynamics: a man and a woman in full dress rush together with hounds in pursuit of game. The history of the project’s creation is rooted in ancient myths and legends.


Kok-ool Musical Drama Theater

It was founded in 1936 in Kyzyl. Subsequently named in honor of the honored artist of the RSFSR. Initially it was a small theater studio, based on the enthusiasm of the troupe. Gradually it grew and in 1958 it received the status of a musical and dramatic theater, and since then it has been supported by the authorities. A pagoda with a Buddhist prayer drum has been erected in the spacious square in front of the building.


Kadarci Monument.

Installed in 1997 in front of Kyzyl Airport. The monument is a shepherd with a staff in traditional Tuvan attire. Already after the sculpture took its place on a man-made hill, the locals felt that the hero lacked a herd. Therefore, “sheep” – boulders painted in white – were placed nearby. Nearby you can find a natural attraction – Tos Bulak – a healing spring.

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Lake Khadyn

It is located in the Tandinsky kurun. The area is 2.3 thousand hectares. The average depth is 2 m. The lake is fed by the Khadyn river. The shores are not homogeneous in color: the sand cover itself is dark, but there are strips of salt deposits. Distinctive features of the reservoir – no fish, very few insects in the area. Potentially, the area is suitable for a resort, but at the moment recreation here is extremely wild.


Lake Tore-Hol

Occupies more than 4 thousand hectares on the border with Mongolia. The translation of the name is “asp”, which corresponds to the shape. There is no drain, the water is fresh, the average depth is about 7 m. The shores are sandy, the area is deserted, poor in vegetation and wildlife. Tourism is developed: there are places for tents, as well as full-fledged camping. You can stay both in cottages and in yurts.


Doge Mountain

Located near Kyzyl. The altitude is just over 1,000 meters above sea level. Has a sacred significance for Tuvinians. Here climb and ordinary tourists and pilgrims. The mountain has become an excellent viewing platform. For 10 years, work is underway to create a statue of Buddha on top. He will sit on a lotus flower, as on a throne. The timing of the opening of the composition is unknown.


Yenisei River

It is almost 3.5 thousand km long. The most full-flowing in Russia, it flows through the territory of several regions. A natural border between western and eastern Siberia. It has its source at the confluence of the Bolshoi and Maly Yenisei near Kyzyl. The channel here changes its width, with branches and branches appearing. The river is crossed by many bridges. It is navigable and teeming with fish, but there are environmental problems as well.


Chaghytaisky Zakaznik.

Refers to the territory of the Tandinskiy kurun. The area is about 5.3 thousand hectares. It exists since 1995. It has two profiles – hydrological and biological. The marsh zones and Lake Chagytay are considered to be specially protected. It covers an area of 2.8 thousand hectares. Some species of fish are artificially bred here. Others use the reservoir for migrating and raising young fish. Outflows the river Mazhalyk.


Cathedral of the Resurrection in Kyzyl

Built in 2002, but was completed until 2011. Consecrated by Patriarch Kirill. It is a cathedral for the diocese. Simultaneously can take about 2 thousand parishioners. There are a refectory and bell tower 42 m high with 11 bells. All structures are interconnected and implemented in the same style. Domes are gilded, stand out against the white walls.


Monument to the first Russian teachers of Tuva

Opened in Kyzyl in 2010. It is dedicated to the teachers who arrived in the Republic at the beginning of its development as part of the USSR. They performed a feat, leaving their small motherland and overcoming all kinds of obstacles in the new place. The composition is made up of three figures: the female figure – the teacher herself – and two child figures – young Tuvinians standing on either side of her. Below the memorial inscription is carved.


Kundustug Arjaan spring

Located 2 km from Kyzyl. The name translates as “beavers”: according to legend, people learned about the springs from these animals that used to come here to drink water. There are more than 20 streams and springs, water gathers in small natural and man-made bowls or flows out. Each of the streams according to the legend heals from different diseases, so tourists try to taste the water from all of them.

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