Zabaikalsky Krai

chita – чита

Chita - the administrative center of Zabaikalsky Krai - was founded in 1653 as a silver-mining town.  Today it is a prosperous industrial city. Lack of tourists makes Chita a pleasant place to spend a day. Lenin Square is nice and colorful especially in summer with blooming flower beds around a pink-granite Lenin statue.

The Zabaikalie Hotel.

The recently built Out Lady of Kazan Cathedral stands across the railway station.

zabaikalsky krai – забайкальский край

aginsky buryat district – агинский бурятский округ

From 1993 till March 1, 2008 Aginsky Buryat Autonomous District was a separate territorial entity of the Russian Federation.

On March 1, 2008 the District merged with the then Chita Oblast. As a result, Chita Oblast was renamed Zabaikalsky Krai. Buddhist-minded travelers should not miss the Aginsky Buryat District. It is advisable to visit the 1811 Buddhist datsan in the town of Aginskoe and the 1801 datsan in the village of Tsugol located about 110 km south of Aginskoe. Aginskoe despite fears of seeing a sleepy town leaves a very good impression of a well kept place.

The alley of heroes.

Buddhist and Christian features peacefully coexist in Aginskoe.

The 1903 Saint Nicholas Church.

The war memorial overlooks the town.

The 1811 datsan and Buddhist academy in Aginskoe.

The biggest stupa in Russia.

Traditional Buddhist decorations.

The stupa commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Aginsky datsan.

tsugol – цугол

The village is rather poor but the entry sign is a piece of art.

The village of Tsugol is home for the 1801 datsan. Tsugol is a rather remote place 265 kilometers south east of Chita. Therefore, travelers can enjoy the authentic Buddhist monastery without crowds. Most likely, you will be the only visitor(s) there and the Tsugol Datsan will be your most memorable Buddhist temple in Russia.

Front view.

Rear view.

Right view.

Left view.

The interior.

Decoration are made of painted wood and painted wrought iron.

The two-storey building shelters an eight meter high statue of Buddha Maitreya who knows our future.

A Buryat family is filling a donation box with 100-ruble notes.

Stupas on the outskirts of Tsugol.

Have a nice trip!

genghis khan - ченгиз хан

The most outstanding leader of the Mongol people Genghis Khan was born in the territory of today's Zabaikalsky krai in 1155 (or 1162). The exact birthplace is unknown but all sources agree that he was born on the bank of the Onon River. The village of Tsugol mentioned above stands on this river. The Onon River is sacred in Buryat and Mongol culture.

The Onon River and a bridge across the river in the vicinity of Tsugol.

Don Moes from Waco, Texas, USA is taking pictures of the bridge and the river.

Amur highway

In the recent past (before 2010) approximately 120 km after Chita the paved road gave way to the dirt or gravel filled Amur Highway. At least two days of bumpy and dusty ride awaited a Vladivostok bound car traveler across Zabaikalsky Krai and Amur Oblast. The paved road reappeared only in the Siberian Promised Land, i.e. Jewish Autonomous Oblast.

The Amur Highway was very hard on tires. Two flat tires at a time was a very common happening.

Those glorious days have long been gone together with the sense of some extremality of driving by the Amur Highway. In 2010 the road was paved.

The road was paved but remained a bit undulated. On seeing a sign “Uneven Road”, slow down. The signs are displayed for good reason.


The prevailing landscapes of Zabaikalsky Krai are forested hills and grassy steppe.

Between the town of Pervomaisky (Первомайский) and the town of Shilka (Шилка) there is a bridge across the Ingoda River. The road way of the bridge is single track and is used alternatively both by motor vehicles and trains. Traffic is regulated by traffic lights.
The collective farm named after Lenin and symbols of the 1980 Summer Olympics.
The above mentioned bridge across the holy Onon River.