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The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is the largest region of Russia. The total area of Yakutia is 3103,2 thous. sq. km, that is 1/5 of the whole Russia territory or about 2/3 of the Western Europe area. The region was founded in 1922. Yakutia population is about 950 thous. people, among them 63% live in cities. The capital is the city of Yakutsk, which is located in the distance of 5345 km from Moscow. The region is located in three time zones. The time difference between the Moscow time and the time zones is +6, +7 and +8 hours correspondingly. It occupies almost the whole northeast part of Asian continent, which swept 2000 km from the North to the South and 2500 km from the East to the West. The Republic territory is washed by the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea. The major part of the territory is occupied by mountain ranges — the Verkhoyansk Range, The Chersky Range (the highest point of the range is the Pobeda Mountain, 3147 m. height) etc., plateaus and highlands (The Central Siberian Plateau — in the West, The Yansk Plateau, Oimyakon Plateau — in the East etc.), the Yana-Indigirka Lowland and the Kolyma Lowland — in the North.
Air transport is quite developed. There are 32 acting airports. Charter flights are performed on route Yakutsk-Moscow-Yakutsk, Yakutsk-Vladivostok-Yakutsk, Yakutsk-Saint Petersburg-Yakutsk, Yakutsk-Khabarovsk —Yakutsk etc.
The major part of cargo traffic falls within water transport. The key traffic arteries in the navigation season are rivers (Lena with feeders Vilyui and Aldan, Yana, Indigirka, Kolyma). Cargo is delivered to the Republic northland by the Northern Sea Route. Automobile network of the Republic also develops. An official opening of «Kolyma» (Yakutsk — Magadan) federal highway took place on October 25, 2008. The highway is designated for year-round traffic. Highway «Vilyui» (Yakutsk — Vilyuisk — Mirny — Lensk — Ust Kut — Tulun) entered into a list of the federal highways in 2007. Federal highway «Lena» is under repair and opened to connect Yakutsk with Russian automobile network.
Amuro-Yakutsk trunk railroad to Yakutsk is under construction and the job is to be completed in 2013. Presently Berkakit — Aldan — Tommot trunk railroad segment is functional.
Yakutia is full of natural contrasts. The climate is strongly continental with long winter period (subzero weather is from 6 to 8 months) and short summer period, range of air temperature exceeds 100 degrees of centigrade. Winter period in Yakutia is long. It is cold and not snowy and summer period is short. The summer is torrid with relatively high air temperatures. This is an ideal world for people delighted by traveling romance: the country of thick boreal forest and immense tundra areas, severe massif masses and icy Arctic vast, original culture and kind-hearted people. One may feel kind atmosphere and hospitality of these places right at the first days of arrival.
Yakutia was populated in the early Paleolithic age. In the territory of the Republic archeologists found monuments dated within the frames from 300 thousand to 3 million years ago, for example, Lower Paleolithic station Diring-Yuriakh. Evens and Tunguses’ ancestors settled in the middle of the I-st millennium A.D. Tungus and Yakut tribes settled in the Middle Lena, Vilyui, and Olekma by the XIII-th century. Russian territory development began in the first quarter of the XVII-th century when Cossack-pathfinders reached the banks of the Lena River. Since 1640s Yakutia had been used as a place for exile, since XIX-th century — mainly political one.
Yakutia is rightfully considered as the treasury of the earth entrails. Diamond deposits in the Western Yakutia and goldfields in the Aldan, Indigirka and Yana river basins are widely known. The Republic is rich in mineral deposits; over 90% of Russian diamonds and 40% of Russian gold is mined here.
The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) government carries out a system work on a special economic tourist-recreational type zone creation in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Tourist-recreational special economic zone is supposed to be created in the central part of Yakutia. It enables the government to concentrate financial, natural, cultural, intellectual and other resources in order to develop tourism in the region.
Many people from all over the world are interested in ancient animal world, especially in its outstanding representative — mammoth. A significant part of all the world famous unique mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, bison, musk oxen, cave lions and other ancient age animals founds was discovered in the Yakutia entrails. Only in Yakutia one may find well-preserved relics of mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses. The region carries out a project «World Mammoth Museum» which should be considered as federal national museum and research complex due to its unicity and exposition value.
One of the most attractive places for tourists is «Lena Pillars Nature Park». This unique natural phenomenon is located right on the bank of the great Lena River. One may see colonnades, towers, arches, cathedrals and crenellations in the pillars bizarre form. Many species of rare animals and plants are inhabitants of the park. Discovered mammoths, oxen and other animals’ relics remind of ancient fauna.
The planet Northern hemisphere Cold Pole is located in the territory of the Republic in Oimyakon where the lowest temperature (-71,2С°) of the populated land was registered. A traditional Tourism Festival is carried out here, on the Cold Pole, annually in March. It unites real explorers who can be referred to as real Earth conquerors.
The legendary Labinkyr Lake is also located in Oimyakon. It is famous for a story about local inhabitants «northern dinosaurs» — «Scotch» Nessie kinsmen. The Labinkyr Lake is the largest of Yakutia lakes. The basin length is 14 km, width is up to 4 km and depth reaches 50 m. The lake lays down in a deep river-valley of cognominal river 600 meters above sea level. Forested lakeshores rugged by picturesque bays are singularly beautiful. They «incorporate» various skerries of most unusual and fantastic shapes. Legends about «dinosaurs» may actually be aroused by giant iguks up to 2-3 meters length.
Yakutia is the country of ancient hunting and fishing traditions. This is one of the most peculiar places on the planet where natural purity and variety of animal and vegetal life is still present. A total of the 10 most valuable species of fur animals, 6 species of wild hoofed animals, about 20 species of aquatic and upland fowl are present in Yakutia. This is the only place in the world where hooded crane, pink seagull and Siberian white crane haunt. Among savage scenery one may meet elks, Siberian stags, reindeer, bighorn sheep, polar and brown bears, foxes, sables, wolverine. Mountain lakes fishing may be successful to catch red fish, burbot and grayling, in rivers — omul, broad whitefish, taimen, nelma, pickerel and cisco. Yakut fish is featured by outstanding flavor properties.
«The Kingdom Of Permafrost» complex is functional. It looks like a huge natural ice warehouse located inside a mountain decorated by a team of professional glacial sculptors. In winter at 50 degree frost air temperature is not below —10, and in summer when it is hot outside air temperature is not above —4. This is the peculiarity of the northern lands — permafrost.
Ethnographic complex «Chochur Muran» is located not far from the highest point of Tuymaada valley, tor Chochur Muran. It was built in memory of Cossacks — path breakers, who founded Yakutsk as an outpost for Russia Northeast exploration in 1632. Here one may taste Yakutsk, Russian, European dishes, drive snowmobile, ride dog harness, admire antique collection, winter pond with aquatic birds, visit Yakut husky nursery.
Atlasovs’ family ethno- mansion house has been working since 2000. Its territory and ensemble year by year expands. Museums, temples and dwellings of the complex stand as an example of national-cultural architectural heritage of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) native peoples.
«Orto Doidu» year-round zoo is functional. Its collection comprises above 120 animal species from various geographical zones. The exposition represents not only aboriginal, but exotic for Yakutia animal species. Also «Orto Doidu» zoo has such rare, Red Book animal species as golden eagle, erne, Asian spruce grouse, small swain, demoiselle, dappled deer, Amur tiger, musk ox and beaver.
Folk art, traditional arts and crafts, religious world view symbols of the Yakuts always kindle tourists' interest. It is necessary to visit traditional Ysyakh festival — Yakut New Year celebration to feel ancient and original Yakut culture, to understand the main reason of life on the severe land. Yakut New Year is celebrated on the day of the summer solstice from 21 to 22 of June.
For more detailed information on the Republic, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.