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Ulan Ude, Buryatia

About Ulan Ude

Ulan-Ude is the capital city of the Buryat Republic, Russia, is located about 100 km south-east of Lake Baikal on the Uda River at its confluence with the Selenga. With the population of 343 000 people (2007). It is the third largest city in eastern Siberia.

Ulan-Ude was founded in 1666 by the Russian Cossacks as Udinskoye. Due to its favourable geographical position, the city grew rapidly and became a large trade centre which connected Russia with China and Mongolia and, from 1690, was the administrative center of the Transbaikal region. In 1783 the city was renamed Verkhneudinsk (High Uda). After a large fire in 1878, the city was almost completely rebuilt. The Trans-Siberian Railway reached the city in 1900 causing an explosion in growth. The population which was 3500 in 1880 reached 126,000 in 1939. On 27 July 1934, the city was renamed Ulan-Ude.  Since 1958 Ulan Ude was the capital of Buriat ASSR, Buryat Republic (Buryatia). 

Ulan Ude has an ideal geographic location which made possible two opportunities for rapid economical growth during the early years of the city's development. First, settling in between the commercial routes of Russia and the Far East (China and Mongolia), Ulan Ude became a hot bed of trade for the two economic powers. Secondly, the city was opened to the world when the Trans-Siberian Railway connected Ulan Ude with Central Russia and the Far East. 

Ulan Ude is the city with more than three-century history, culture, wooden architecture, which combines ancient and modern features.  Ulan Ude is the scientific and cultural center of Buryat Republic. There are Scientific Research Institutes of the Siberian branch of Russian Scientific Academy, 4 State Universities, 18 colleges. Ulan-Ude is also political and business center of Republic Buryatiya. It is the large transport knot connecting Zabaikalie with Mongolia, China, the countries of Asian-Pacific region and with the Far East Russia.

Since 1990 of Ulan-Ude is in the list of historical cities of Russia, there are more than 200 monuments of history, culture and architecture in Ulan Ude. The city has 5 professional theatres: Opera and Ballet Theatre, Youth Theatre, Russian and Buryat Theatres of Drama, Theatre of dolls of "Ulger", 6 museums, the most popular is the Ethnographic museum of the Transbaikalia people in the open-air, the Buryat circus, numerous musical and creative collectives, folklore ensembles. 

We invite you in Ulan Ude, the city of cultural and ethnic diversity, except Ulan Ude museums and monuments you can go to its suburb where you can visit the Ivolginsky Datsan – the Buddhist Monastery, the village of Old Belivers – very beautiful ancient village with their unique culture and very hospitable people. 

Ulan Ude Gallery

Excursions in Ulan Ude

City tour of Ulan Ude with visit to the Ethnographical Museum, 4,5 hours

During this tour you will see the historical center of Ulan Ude, you`ll know information about foundation of the city like aCossack fortress. You`ll visit all main sights of Ulan Ude: the Square of Sovetov, the Lenin Square with a huge bust of Lenin which is the symbol of the city and the largest in the world, The Buryat State Opera and Ballet Theater, the Cathedral of Hodigitria – the old Russian church built in 1741, the Great Merchants`Rows – it is an architectural monument of the early 19 th century decorated with wood and stone carvings.

Excursion to Ivolginsky Buddhist Temple, 3 hours

Ivolginsky Datsan  is the Buddhist Temple located in Buryatia, 30 km from Ulan Ude, near Verkhnyaya Ivolga village. TheDatsanwasopenedin 1945 as a Buddhist spiritual center of USSR. Since 1991 The Ivolginsky Datsan is the the residence of Bandido Khambo Lama - the leader of the Buddhists in Russia. Spiritual activity of the datsan is manifested in temple rites, medical practice, Buddhist education traditional system.

Excursion to the village of Old Belivers, 6 - 7 hours

The Old Believers, the other name Semeiskiye as they are called in Siberia, make up a unique regional ethnic group. They appeared about 300 years ago, after a split of Russian Orthodox Church. The Old Belivers was divided into sects and some of sects were exiled to Siberia because they continued to worship in their old way. This excursion will allow you to visit the village of Old Belivers Tarbagatai.

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