tyva \ tuva republic - республика тыва \ тува

Before 1911 Tuva was a Chinese province. It was incorporated to the Soviet Union only in 1944.  Tuva is a truly attractive place with forests, lakes, mountains, vast barely populated steppe, coexisting shamanist and Buddhist beliefs. Tuvans are famous for throat singing.


Tuva's capital is located in the geographical center of Asia.  At least locals say so. The respective monument is perhaps the major city's attraction. The currently seen monument was unveiled in 2014 when the entire Yenisei River embankment was renovated to mark the centenary of unification with Russia.

The old and the new Center of Asia monuments.

August 2007.

June 2015.

The new monument is a big ensemble featuring the globe resting on three lions, twelve animals representing the Buddhist horoscope and two sculptural compositions: The Royal Hunt and My Home.

The Royal Hunt.

My Home.

Unlucky were those who came to Kyzyl in summer 2014. The saw nothing but destruction and construction.

A short walk from the Center of Asia you can find a big stupa and a small Buddhist temple.

The National Museum has halls dedicated to shamanism, Buddhist art and traditional Tuvan sports.

The concert hall.

The marriage registration office.

The Tuvans accepted the Tibetan Lamaism. Nowadays the shamanism is gaining momentum again. In Kyzyl you can visit a shaman clinic and have your fortune told and future predicted. These prognosticating services are not free.

A lady shaman is waiting for customers.

Her tools.

At last, one came. Mister Charles Veley from San Francisco, Ca. USA.

The Soviet Power was established in Tuva in 1919.

The Invincible.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Attractive Tuvan girls.

Rural kids.

Charles Veley is demonstrating a digital camera and digital photos to Tuvan kids. August 2007.

Traveling by car provides an opportunity to make a circular drive Abakan – Kyzyl – Abakan through rural areas in the western corner of Tuva as well as across the southern part of Khakassia. Few tourists go to Tuva. Still fewer ever ventured to travel to its remote corners.

The picturesque and traffic-free road Kyzyl Ak-Dovurak is lined with stupas and mountains.

Sergey Shoigu the current (2022) Russian Defense Minister is Tuvan. His portraits are quite common.

In the town of  Ak-Dovurak Lenin peacefully co-exists with a stupa.

In the mountains you unexpectedly come across a small war memorial commemorating courageous Tuvan soldiers.

Phillips Connor from Singapore enjoys his trip across Tuva.

The border between Tuva and Khakassia lies on top of a mountain pass.

Tuva to the left, Khakassia to the right.

The road Kyzyl Minusinsk is also scenic and climbs even higher.

The entry from Krasnoyarsk Krai.

In June forest glades in the Yergaki mountains bloom with flowers.

Tuva is a captivating republic, much different from what you have seen in Russia before and should not be overlooked.