The Republic of Altai and Altai Krai are two different subjects of Russia, even though many people consider them as one region. Each of them has its own government, economy and landscape features. There is no railway in the Republic of Altai. It is too expensive to build because of the mountain terrain. In fact, there is no point in it — it is much easier to to move around on horses and SUVs in the mountains.
Altai is believed to be the birthplace of Turkic languages. If today an Altaian were to speak with a Turk or Uzbek, they would most likely understand each other. The highest point in Siberia is the Belukha mountain with the height of 4509 meters. Nicholas Roerich was searching for an entrance to Shambala at its bottom but apparently found nothing as he then went further — through Mongolia to the Himalayas.
Altai is believed to be the birthplace of Turkic languages. If today an Altaian were to speak with a Turk or Uzbek, they would most likely understand each other
In 1993, in the mound of the Altai plateau, archaeologists discovered the mummy of a young woman and named her the "Princess Ukok". The locals considered her the guardian of the Altai Mountains. When the peace of the Princess was disturbed, natural disasters struck the Altai, including an earthquake of 9 points, which cost the budget of the Republic 1 billion rubles.
Text and photo: Dmitriy Strakhov