Living Zen Publishing

Vysotnik lodge
Base Camp
Glacier rivers and waterfall in Altai
Glacier streams
ALtai Lowlands and wild flowers
High Altitude Alpine Meadows
Belukha and Ak-em Lake
Lake Akem
Mongol joy
Afternoon Milking of the Herd
Mongol Lake at dawn
Goats and Lake
Mongol Desert and yurt
Mongolian Yurt
Mount Belukha at sunset
Mt Belukha at Sunset

"A step onto the path is a step toward success.
A leap into the unknown is a gesture of faith that
is rewarded with greatness”
Another intrepid explorer

THE ALTAI REGION AND MT BELUKHA

Located in southwest Russia along the borders of Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan, the Altai is considered to be the crossroads of the ancient world.
The region is home to the critically endangered snow leopard, rich indigenous cultures, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Altai region, in central Asia, is the cradle of a number of very old civilisations.

The Scythians left an abundance of standing stones, burial grounds and rock paintings. Many other peoples also passed through the Altai including Huns and a succession of Turkic tribes.

Siberia is a mysterious land, keeping the traces of ancient civilizations and untouched nature alive. The human being and the nature elements - fire, air, earth, and water - interlace in harmony with the landscape of this great country.

Sun carving from the Altai regionIt is so strong you feel the invisible power in every rustle of the tree leaves, in every capful of wind, in the shaman's movements during his rituals at the fireplace, in the ringing silence of the Khakassian Steppes, in the fascinating rhythm of monksĀ“ voices in Buddhist temples, and in the majestic flow of the main vital water-way of ancient earth - Yenissey - the timeless wisdom of the world.

The Altai is not simply mountains, forests, rivers and waterfalls, but also a living spirit. The lakes are its eyes that gaze into the Universe. The waterfalls and rivers are its speech and songs aboutlife and the beauty of the Earth and mountains. The Altai theme is very much in evidence in folk songs, legends, shaman mysteries and the rites and cults of the Altai people.

Altai horseman and guide

The people of this region, sometimes referred to as Siberia's "No-Man's Land", led a nomadic life.

Their journeys of discovery have led them to know and cherish their landscape and hold it as a sacred part of life in their community. As the people evolved from the beginning of times, even through occupation and integration, these values have been treasured and kept by guardians and elders to the point where today where they can be freely shared and honoured by indiginous and visitor alike.

The friendliness and warm reception from the people of Altai towards visitors, makes a trip into the Altai region an unforgetable experience.


MOUNT BELUKHA

At the heart of the Altai region is Mt Belukha, an ancient and sacred centre that has drawn many spiritual travellers to itself.
Nicholai Roerich, the mystic Mount Belukha at sunsetRussian artist, on a visit in the 1920's that was the culmination of a Altai Roerick symbol5-year trek through India, Tibet, China, Russia and Mongolia was reputedto have found the entrance of the mystical Shambhala at the mountain.

The disappearance of his wife and himself for a whole two weeks at Belukha and their description of what happened when they reappeared, continues to feed the age old belief that such a spiritual place and itsliving wonder pulses its import in life and legend.

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