The Republic of Tuva was founded in 1944. The Republic’s area is 168 600 sq. km, population is 313 thousand people. Difference in time with Moscow is +4 hours.
The administrative centre of the region is the city of Kyzyl. Distance to Moscow is 3.7 thousand km.
The traditional culture of the region is the culture of nomads, the main religion is Shamanism, Lamaism is also common.
Rivers of the region belong to the Yenisei basin. There are a few salt lakes on the territory of the republic.
The central part of the region is the Tuvinian hollow.
The climate is sharp continental, with a frosty winter (the average temperature —28 Centigrade), a warm summer (the average temperature is +15 Centigrade). About half of the territory is occupied by forests.
On the territory of the republic there is the «Ubnusur Hollow» Reserve, including a high mountain nature complex with Alpine meadows, steppe part with sands and mountains, high-mountain territory and swamps, parts of tundra. In this reserve you can see a real parade of landscapes and ecosystems — there are almost all landscapes of the Variable Zone of our planet. On the territory of the Reserve there are over 1000 kinds of plants, 41 of which are rare ones, 7 are included in the Red Book of Endangered Species. There are such rare animals as snow leopard, moufflon, manul cat and other species.
Another reserve is the Azas Reserve, where walking routes are paved. You can set up a tent on the picturesque bank of a river or stay at the tourist camp. The Zelenoe (Green) lake is considered to be a healing one.
There are many sights in the region, so that you can prepare an itinerary yourself in order to see what you are interested in.
For example, burial mound Arjaan-2 which is situated not far from the Arjaan settlement in the Valley of Kings. This place is called in this way by local citizens since ancient times: they are sure that three thousand years ago the Scythians buried their kings exactly in this place. During the excavations in the burial mound were found two burials: a chief of an ancient tribe and his wife, a lot of golden jewelry was found which first was kept in the Hermitage, but now given back to the regional museum of local lore.
First of all, tourists in Kyzyl walk on the embankment of the Yenisei River and take photos by the obelisk of «The Centre of Asia», which is situated in the geographic centre of the Asian part of the continent. Then, the bravest of them dare to enter the Shaman’s house. There are a few museums in the city. Except those, the Church, Pagoda, built in 1929 is also one of the sights.
There are many religious communities in the city which live in peace with each other. At many market places you can buy national gifts, national dishes are served in cafes.
Among the museums of the capital of the republic we should mark the Museum named after Sixty Bogatyrs (Heroes), where a rich exposition on the history of the people and region is presented, and in the courtyard stone idols of the steppe are collected.
Kyzyl is not the fist capital of the region, until 1921 the capital of Tuva was Samagaltai, near which there are stones with the images of ancient deer and memorial burial mounds of the Pre-Scythian period.
One of the most distant settlements is Kungurtug, in the whereabouts of which the ancient settlement of Bor-Bazhyn was found. Eight-meter high walls of the fortress and remains of houses were kept. Presumably, the settlement was an ancient pagoda. One of the well-known functioning pagodas, Ustuu-Khurkhee, is situated in Chadan settlement. When you go to this town you should have a guide with you, or, at least, a conversation book, as there are almost no Russians in the settlement.
The Republic of Tuva enjoys great popularity as a transit point on the way to Mongolia: it takes a week to get a Mongolian visa at the Consulate in Kyzyl.
One of the symbols of the Republic is guttural singing, also the art of stone embroidery, traditional horse races. You can see it all at the traditional holiday, celebration of the New Year according to the Moon calendar — Shaga, which is celebrated variably. For example, in 2009 it was celebrated on February 25.
For more detailed information on the Republic, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.