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Secrets of the Altai plateau Ukok, or the gate to Shambhala
Secrets of the Altai plateau Ukok, or the gate to Shambhala

In the south of Altai there is a place that locals call the edge of life, or the border with the heavenly world - Ukok. This plateau is located on the border of four powers: Russia, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan. Since ancient times, this place was considered sacred, sacred.

Many tribes who have inhabited these places for thousands of years, trusted Ukok with the bodies of their ancestors, asking heaven to accept them and give them a new happy life. Excavations have confirmed that legendary Scythian tribes lived here. According to legend, they knew how to transform into formidable griffins, guarding their gold.

Unique plateau in Altai

Stunning views of the Ukok plateau

Ukok is located in an inaccessible corner, so many of its parts have not yet been explored by scientists, nor have they been traveled by tourists. Locals revere this place, believing that one should not even speak loudly here, so as not to anger the spirits of the mountains.

The plateau has a special, enchanting beauty - there is an incredibly beautiful starry sky; mountain ranges, over which light is refracted in a special way, making you see a fantastic glow over the peaks; delightful sunsets, from which it is impossible to take your eyes off.

On the plateau, there are megaliths reminiscent of those at Stonehenge. Scientists suggest that they were brought here from afar and installed by the Scythians, back in the VI-III centuries BC, because there are no stones with such a structure in the local mountains. Megaliths have a clear focus on astronomical objects, just like the British finds. In addition, the camps of primitive people are found on the raft, and some of them are the oldest in Russia. For example, the age of Karama is about a million years BC.


The harsh climate and remoteness helped preserve valuable archaeological finds in Ukok: utensils, tools of labor of ancient people, remains of clothing and food, jewelry.

Along the entire plateau are the altars of the tribes living here, their burials. In ancient caves, as well as on the rocks, there are unique petroglyphs. They depict scenes from life, animals, warriors. As many as 18 kilometers, along the Elangash River, on both banks, there are rocks with ancient rock paintings.

Petroglyphs Ukok

Giant geoglyphs have been discovered on the plateau. They can only be viewed from a bird's eye view. The age of the mysterious images - more than two and a half thousand years - they were not touched by time and various geological processes.

Altai Stonehenge, or the gate to Shambhala

Ukok plateau - a mysterious place in Altai

Followers of the teachings of the Russian philosopher Nicholas Roerich believe that Ukok is the place of entrance to the legendary Shambhala. The famous scientist and philosopher himself believed that India, Tibet and Altai are a single complex with a special energy, which existed even in the days of Atlantis. This assumption is confirmed by the fact that over Altai, at any time of the year, the Ursa Major is visible, as well as the fact that the highest mountain in Altai, Belukha, may be the sacred Mount Meru.

Belukha, like Meru, is located at an equal distance from three oceans, and the fourth probably disappeared at the same time when Atlantis disappeared. The ancient name of the mountain is Uch Sumer, which is consonant with Meru.

Old Russians with a legend connect Altai with the legendary Belovodye - a place where everyone is happy and immortal. The Old Believers, who fled to Altai en masse, played a huge role in the spread of legends about the wonderful country. N. Roerich identified Belovodye with Shambhala.

Rivers of the Altai plateau

Based on the archaeological finds of the most ancient human settlements on the planet, as well as the special geographical position, Altai can claim to be the center of the Universe and the cradle of life.

Altai shamans revere the Ukok plateau as the Circle of Power. This is a place with powerful energy.

Sensational find by archaeologists

Burial place of the Ukok plateau

Altai aborigines have known for a long time that the mother of their people, Ak-Kadyn, is buried on the Ukok plateau. In 1993, an archaeological expedition looking for Scythian burials found an ancient burial of a mummified woman, later named "Princess Ukok".

The find belonged to the Pazyryk culture of the Iron Age (V-III BC). The Pazyryk people buried noble people in a special way - in special wooden log cabins. The water penetrated inside the log cabins, froze there, and created excellent conditions for preserving the bodies, because the frozen ice did not melt in the summer, since the ground above the log cabins was covered with stones.

First, archaeologists found a partially plundered burial of a nomadic Kara-Kobin warrior. Under his burial was the intact burial of a noble woman, filled with ice. The remains of six horses with full harness and saddles were found inside. On the bridles were wooden ornaments in the form of griffins, trimmed with gold foil.

Finds from excavations on the Ukok plateau

In the framework itself, a larch log was found, decorated with drawings, in which there was a mummy of a woman, about 25 years of age. The deck was sealed with bronze nails. The woman was dressed in a shirt of fine Chinese silk and a long skirt with red and white stripes. The legs were shod with felt stockings decorated with appliqu├ęs. The mummy's wrists were decorated with pearls, and in the ears were gold earrings.

The woman's hands were covered with tattoos depicting real and fantastic animals: leopards, deer, rams, griffins, ibex. The mummy's head was shaved, and on it was a wig made of horsehair.

Scientists from Novosibirsk, as well as Moscow, carried out a DNA examination, and also restored the woman's appearance. A big surprise was in store here. As it turned out, Ak-Kadyn, or the White Lady, did not belong to the Mongoloid, but to the Caucasian race. The cause of death, as scientists suggest, based on tomographic studies, was the last stage of breast cancer. The burial is over three thousand years old.

Revenge of the White Lady

This is how the princess Ak-Kadyn looked, according to scientists

Shamans - keepers of ancient Altai legends, claim that the White Lady guards the gates of the underworld so that evil entities do not penetrate into our world from the lower worlds.

Scientists cannot say anything new about Ak-Kadyn. Despite the fact that she was dubbed the "Altai princess", it is unlikely that she belonged to the highest caste. Her burial place was located far from the ancestral Mounds and there were much fewer burial grounds where noble people were buried.

The woman's body was embalmed, and this is an extremely laborious process and not everyone was honored with such honors. In addition, six red horses are buried with her. It was these horses that, according to legends, could lift their riders to the clouds.

Horses grazing on the Ukok plateau

Scientists believe that a woman could be a priestess or shaman. Such activities involved taking a vow of celibacy. If this is so, then it becomes clear the location of her burial mound away from other ancestral burials. A chemical analysis also speaks in favor of this assumption, which showed that the woman constantly breathed in vapors of mercury and copper, apparently during certain rituals.

The question of the social status and occupation of the found mummy is still open.

When the mummy was transported to Novosibirsk, the shamans started talking about the fact that Ak-Kadyn should be returned to his native land, otherwise disasters are possible. Under public pressure, the mummy was returned to Altai.

At present, it is kept in a sarcophagus in Gorno-Altaysk, in the National Museum named after A.V. Anokhin, in an extension specially built for it.

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