1. Journey on the road
After reaching the Kyzyl airport, located at the capital of the Tuvan region in Russia, we took a jeep. Our Tuvan guide drove through the endless roads of Siberia, while we could see steppes on both sides and listen to Tuvan throat singing.
2. Our jeep in the vast expanse
This was our jeep. During our long journey for 7 hours, we stopped at a few places, to absorb the raw beauty of nothingness.
3. Yurt stay for the night
After we reached, we were taken to our yurt. This was going to be our accommodation for the night. This was managed by a Tuvan family. Tuvans are nomads, they set up yurts at a place every quarter.
4. Myself inside the yurt
This is the inside of the yurt, with me sitting right there. A number of travellers stay in the yurt together. In the other Yurt, the Tuvan family members stayed. 15 people could stay in a yurt.
5. Tuvan Food
Because of the climate the nomadic community lived in, and the thousands of cattle that stayed with, the food was highly dependent on milk and meat. Except dry fruits, vegan friends would find it difficult.
6. Siberian Landscape in Summer
After having food, we stepped out to see where we were staying. The nomadic tribes let their cattle graze until evening. The expanse and beauty was mind-boggling. We could not believe that we were in Siberia.
7. A Short Trek in Siberia
We went for a short hike. The only way to remember how to come back, was to not let the sight of the yurt vanish. There was no phone network or traces on Google map :)
8. Kids playing football from the Nomadic Tribe
We joined the kids of the Tuvan family in a football match. It was their summer vacation, and hence they were not in the village of their school. These three kids were fun, and they called themselves - Messi, Ronaldo, Sergio :)
9. The Tuvan Lady Who Ran the Nomadic Stay
Like many other nomadic tribes, and Russia in general, the business was led by a woman. She was a resilient and graceful person. it was lovely to chat with her through our guide-interpreter.
10. People of the Nomadic Stay
I loved watching the interaction of the kids with their mother or aunt. The backdrop was amazingly beautiful.
11. Cattle, an important part of the Nomadic Life
There was a flock of sheep of thousands. This one, for some reason, decided to pose for me.
12. The Tuvan kid who rode the horse
Horse-riding is a must for Tuvans. Both men and women use this for moving. The roads that we took, apparently were thrice slower, compared to the path a horse would take.
13. The Act of Evening
As the sun set, the kids were out on the horses, to ensure the cattle came back. The kids were young, but responsible enough to know what they had to do.
14. A Moment To Remember
For months to come, I could see this kid running on a horse like a king. This was a beautiful moment from this trip.
15. A calm morning in Tuvan Siberia
Next morning, I got up with the sound of horses, cows and sheep. It was a slightly cloudy morning. What saw outside was breathtaking.
16. Tuva, a Part of Russia
Russia has 50+ ethnic groups with each of them speaking different languages. Tuvans, in terms of culture, were closer to that of Mongolia, they spoke a language similar to the Turkish tongue. It was interesting to see a Tuvan kid wearing this cap.
17. Throat Singing, an Incredible Talent
We were fortunate to meet this gentleman, who was a throat-singer, and represented Russia on many world platforms. It's incredible when he sang, using the different vocal cords at the same time - one for singing and one for adding a tune.
18. Tuvans follow Shamanism and Budhdhism
Tuvans follow a religion that is mix of Budhdhism and Shamanism. The Shaman is a respected figure in the society, and is believed to have the foretelling and medicine creation skills.
19. Tuvan prayer
We also experienced a fair of Tuvans, where 30+ Nomadic tribes came from all over Tuva. This was an occasion when the Shaman and his disciples were praying looking at the sky. It was a moment when I had goosebumps.
20. The moment of Truth in Tuva
The dance, music and the believers around, created a moment of a life-time for me. Do notice that all the Tuvans extended their arms while praying towards the sky.
21. Tuvan Fair for Nomadic Tribes
There was also a competition for the best nomadic family in terms of their yurts, cattle, the growth they have observed in the last year. This was one of the families.
22. Archery, a part of Tuvan Culture
Nomads need to be equipped with the skills of animal management, harvesting, but also hunting and fighting. There were competitions of archery, and a differently abled Tuvan was participating nonchalantly with other fellow nomads.
23. Tuvan Siberia, the Best Trip I Ever Had
Finally, it was our time to leave behind this amazing landscape, spirited culture, and a world that seemed from a different time. We took our leave, while the kids left their yurt for a fun ride on their horses.
Which image did you like the most from Tuvan Siberia and the nomadic culture? Do let me know in the comment section.
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