Find the shaman

Buryatia (Republic)

Russia Beyond
Russia Beyond
Although Buryatia is considered the center of Russian Buddhism, shamanism has been practiced in the area around Lake Baikal for thousands of years. Many locals even consider themselves dual believers: they pray to Buddha and make offerings to the Spirits at the same time.

Everyone respects them and turns to them for help in a variety of situations: they can be asked to put in a word with the Spirits for a rich harvest, good health and even good weather. But it is not so easy to find them. There are only a few real shamans out there and to get a consultation, you will probably have to wait in line.

You are highly recommended to try your luck in the Arshan (or Tunkish) Valley, the natural pearl of Buryatia with its clear rivers and spectacular mountainous nature.

How to find a shaman?

🧭 The easiest way to get to the “sunny side of Baikal”, which is what the Buryats call their homeland, is by plane. A direct flight from Moscow to Ulan-Ude takes about 5 hours. By comparison, it takes 4 days by train.

🧭 Buryatia is good in any season, but we advise you to visit the local festivals: Taylagan in early August and Sagaalgan in late February - early March.

🧭 There are a lot of companies in the capital that offer tours to shamans.

🧭 They will tell you about the traditions and history of shamanism in the region and introduce you to a real shaman to put in a word with the Spirits.

🧭 If you don’t get overwhelmed by the shamans, remember that, 36 km away from the capital, you can find the famous Ivolginsky datsan, which is an important pilgrimage place for Russian Buddhists. We advise you to visit it to learn the history of the famous lama Dashi Dorzho Itigelov.

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