Tuvan shamanism has been attracting attention ever since the first voyagers and researchers started visiting Tuva in the 18th- 19th centuries. After collapse of communism in the beginning of 1990s, Tuvan shamanism experienced its rebirth and proved to be strong, alive and even evolving despite repressions and interdictions of the former political regime. Today, the capital of Tuva and other regions count several shamanic centers open to the local population as well as to tourists seeking advice, treatment or rituals to be done for the well-being of their families and the close ones.
During this 11 -day tour you will get acquainted with Tuvan shamanism and participate in the International Ethnic festival of shamans and, moreover, a shaman will guide you through the pillars of this ancient belief. The tour will be one of the most authentic spiritual and nomadic experiences that will give you the chance to immerse into the Tuvan way of life, and culture.
Tozhu – a distant, mysterious, and picturesque region of high mountains, taiga, and tundra. It beckons both locals and tourists, visitors, scholars, natural scientists, archaeologists and others from the whole world with its intriguing beauty. The Tuvan people have a saying: “One who has never been to Tozhu, has never been to Tuva.”
Tozhu is one of the largest kozhuuns (districts) of Tuva, but is one of the least populated. The inhabitants of Tozhu are an indigenous people who maintain their traditional way of nature-use in their fishing, hunting, forestry, woodworking, and of course, reindeer-herding. The reindeer of Tozhu are the largest of their kind in the world, and also the southernmost example of their species. Many different species of animals live alongside the reindeer, including very common animals as well as endangered species, which have been written into the Red Book of Russia. It’s not an accident that one of Tuva’s two state nature preserves is located here, the Azas preserve, which occupies a great territory filled with unique natural landscapes, lakes, and rivers. One of these lakes, Azas, is called the pearl of Tuva. It is a gorgeous lake, which blooms every July with rare white water-lilies. The lake is 20 km long and 5 km wide, with inflow and outflow that ensure the purity of the lake. It has nine islands, on the smallest of which grow endangered plant species. The ladies’-slipper orchid blooms there only once every 16 years. The lakes and rivers are rich with fish: pike, perch, whitefish, and the luckiest can catch taimen – the largest predatory fish of Siberia’s rivers, which hunts not only for fish but small rodents that fall into the river. Many of the largest rivers of Tuva are located in Tozhu.
Not everyone knows that there are 16 dormant volcanoes in Tuva, the highest of which is Shevit, more than 2700 meters in height. Tozhu is known for its springs, with a large number of mineral and thermal springs. The best known spring is called Choigan.
|1||Kyzyl airport – Festival’s camp||L+D||Yurt (Twin)||22 km|
|2||Festival’s camp||B+L+D||Yurt (Twin)|
|3||Festival’s camp||B+L+D||Yurt (Twin)|
|4||Festival’s camp||B+L+D||Yurt (Twin)|
|5||Festival’s camp – Kyzyl||B+L+D||Hotel (Single)||22 km|
|6||Kyzyl – The Azas lake||B+L+D||Wooden cottage (Twin)||282 km|
|7||Azas lake||B+L+D||Wooden cottage (Twin)|
|8||Azas lake – Nogaan Khol lake||B+L+D||Wooden cottage (Twin)||6 km on foot|
|9||Azas lake – Aldyn-Bulak||B+L+D||Yurts (Double)||330 km|
|10||Aldyn – Bulak – Kyzyl||B+L+D||Hotel (Single)||45 km|
|11||Kyzyl airport||B||n/a||5 km|
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner;
n\a – no accommodation
You will be met by our guide at Kyzyl airport. Drive to “Piy-Khem” tourist complex which is located on the bank of the Yenissey River. Lunch in the restaurant of the complex. This evening we will go to the Opening ceremony of the world’s shamanic festival. Shamans from all over the world will be playing their drums and praying to the Universe tonight. Tuvan throat singers will perform their art at the opening ceremony. Be ready to get impressed by the virtuosity and variety of technics of Tuvan throat singers. You will also be surprised to see that tuvan shamans also use throat singing in their practice. Dinner and accommodation in yurts of the tourist camp.
We will follow the program of the International ethnic festival “The call of 13 shamans”. The festival will take place on the territory of the “Piy-Khem” tour camp. The days 2, 3, 4 accommodation and meals (full board) will be in the “King’s valley” tour camp. The program of the festival includes the next events:
-Traditions of shamanism from all over the world
-Ceremonies and rituals
-Learning ancient knowledge
-Fair of folk art from different countries
-The rite of reviving spirits and the opening of the White Path for good luck, prosperity, health and wealth.
-Shamanic dedication and gaining shamanic power: ceremonies and rituals.
-Ancient Tuvan throat singing master classes. Opening the strength of the natural voice.
-Dancing and power songs. The dance of the eagle. Ancient shamanic practices of movement and breathing. Animal’s dances. Searching for the animal totem for the power.
-Ceremonies of healing from any disease. Shamanic practices of long life, youth prolongation and body flexibility.
-Shamanism and cosmology. The path of the Shaman to eternity. Philosophy revealing and world outlook of shamanism of different traditions.
-Female power circle. The practice of healing femininity, of female energy and sexuality revealing.
-Male power circle. The power of men, the path of knowledge, of male energy and sexuality revealing.
-Giving births to ideal healthy children. The recommendations for parents.
-Healing infertility. Education of children in different traditions.
-Supernatural abilities revealing. Clairvoyance, healing, communication with nature.
-Drum’s festival. Music instrument’s consecration. Master-class of drum making.
The geography of the shamans of the festival is represented by the next countries: Mexico, Peru, Greenland, Celtic druids, Tuva, Yakutia, Khakassia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Greece, Romania, Ecuador, Mongolia, Tibet, Northern Europe
After breakfast, we will drive to Kyzyl where we will have a tour of Kyzyl, the capital of the Republic of Tuva. Our excursion in Kyzyl will start with the visit of the Tuvan National Museum the highlight of which is the exposition of objects in gold from an ancient Scythian burial site “Arzhaan – 2” (VII B.C.) discovered on the territory of Tuva in 2001. After this we will take a walk through Kyzyl to see some of the town’s principal sights: The Centre of Asia sculpture complex, the Buddhist temple “Tsechenlig” (“compassion” in Tibetan). We will then go back into town to the Centre of Traditional Tuvan culture. Many elements, expressions and representations of Tuvan culture are concentrated in this center: Tuvan National Orchestra, throat singers’ groups, artisans and great masters of traditional Tuvan instruments. Special folk performance will wait for you in the center. Dinner will be served later in one of the town’s restaurants. Accommodation in hotel.
After breakfast we will drive to the Toju region, Azas lake. Toju is one of the largest and least populated regions of Tuva. Its territory is about 40 thousand square kilometers including 6 settlements with the population less than 7 thousand people. Traditional types of nature use are preserved in this region: reindeer herding, cattle breeding, fishing, hunting, forestry and logging. Lake Azas is partially makes part of the Azas reservation in the central area of Todzhinskaya Hollow. Not only fish but also birds of different species recorded in the Red Book live in the lake. The neighboring plants are mainly presented by birch and larch and pine forests with herb stratum. Its banks are abundant in blueberry, cowberry, cranberry and wild strawberry. The lake also has a rich history. In 60s early man sites dating back to 7-5 millennium B.C. were discovered in its suburbs. Lake Azas is the only lake where white water lilies grow. Upon arrival you will have dinner. After dinner there will be some free time you can have walk to the lake or have banya. Accommodation in the tour camp.
After breakfast an introductory course to Tuvan shamanism held by a shaman will take place. This day you will rest and relax surrounded by the beautiful nature of this unique place. It’s a chance to try your hand as a fisherman as the lake is rich in pike, cisco, perch and taimen. Fish barbecue for lunch. After lunch we will have a boat trip to the seven islands in the middle of the lake, we will stop and take a walk around the bank. After dinner the shaman will make the fire sanctification ritual – saŋ salyr.
Accommodation and dinner at the tour camp “Azas”.
After breakfast the shaman will explain the meaning of water and river sanctification rituals. Hiking to Nogaan-Khol lake (Green Lake) which is one of the numerous radon springs of Tuva. Nogaan-Khol lake is situated in 3 km from Azas lake. Its waters contain dissolved copper salt which makes the lake green colored. The lake’s mud is known for its medical properties. Local people use it to cure the joint diseases. You can have mud bath and enjoy the fresh air and picturesque scenery of the spring water “Nogaan-Khol”. After lunch back at the camp you will have an opportunity to have a private consultation with the shaman. The fee for this consultation will follow the ancient Tuvan principle of “whitening the shaman’s hand” which means you can thank him or her by giving whatever amount you can give.
After dinner a purification ritual will take place. The shaman will make a ritual to purify the place and the people offering food and milk to the spirits of the taiga (Siberian forest). After the ritual you have two options for extra fees: Individual throat singing workshops or shaman’s consultations.
Dinner and accommodation at “Azas” tourist camp.
Breakfast and drive to the yurt complex ‘Aldyn-Bulak’. Lunch boxes will be given this day; we will make a stop on the way for lunch. Dinner at the restaurant of Aldyn-Bulak yurt complex. The yurt complex is situated in a very beautiful place surrounded by mountains, on the bank of Yenissey. Take a walk around its area and you will get wonderful and unique photos. During dinner you will enjoy the best Tuvan throat singer’s and dancer’s performance. Accommodation in suit yurts.
Breakfast and drive to Kyzyl. Visit to one of the shamanistic centers, where visitors will get to meet shamans at their real work. You will have a chance to talk to a real tuvan shaman and ask him for some predictions or purification. After lunch in restaurant in Kyzyl, we will go to the local markets and souvenir stores. Dinner in restaurant. Accommodation in hotel.
Breakfast and departure to airport of Kyzyl. End of program.
The price of the tour:
2 PAX – 3699 Euros per person
4 PAX – 3499 Euros per person
6+1 PAX is 3100 Euros per 1 person
10+1 PAX is 2699 Euros per 1 person
14+1 PAX is 2199 Euros per 1 person
Transfer during the tour;
Shamanic festival entrance tickets;
Rituals with a shaman as in the program;
private folk group concerts as in the program;
Accommodation (as in the itinerary) in Tuva during the tour;
Full board (principal meals during the tour). Please note that the breakfast of the day 1 as well as the lunch and dinner of the last day are not included. During the meals drinks except tea and coffee like fruit juice, coca-cola, soda, alcohol drinks etc. are not included in the price of the tour. Kindly inform in advance regarding your meal preferences (vegetarians, allergies, etc.);
1 liter of bottled mineral water per day;
Excursions mentioned in the program;
Professional cook’s team will cook exclusively for our tourist group during the shamanic festival and the trip to Azas lake.
Service of the guide-interpreter and a driver according to the program of the tour.
Visa procedures and costs (consultation could be provided);
Travel and medical insurance;
Drinks and water during the tour except the ones mentioned in the program;
Personal expenses and tips;
Individual throat-singing workshops;
Private sessions with a shaman;
Single accommodation is possible for an extra payment 230 euros.
Situation: Central Asia and Southern Siberia
Time zone: GMT +7 (summer)
Currency: Russian ruble
Climate and clothing: continental climate (summer max: +30 to +40ºC, winter max: -25ºC to -45ºC). Please note that the mountain temperature is usually lower than in the rest of Tuva. Therefore, it is advised to take two different types of clothes and shoes: for hot summer days as well as for rainy and cold days. Please note that we cannot be responsible for bad weather conditions.
What else you could need: mosquito repellents, basic pharmacy and medications if you are taking any, umbrella. People with special conditions: Please advise us in advance if you have any special condition such as, for example, diabetes, blood tension, and so on.
Electricity: 220V, 50 HZ