September 22, 2019 This morning we meet Darima, our wonderful guide to the sights in and around Ulan Ude. She is a Buryat, descended from the peoples who originally migrated here from Mongolia centuries ago.
Darima, our guide to Ulan Ude.
First we go into the hills for an overview of the city at a Buddhist site called Rinpoche Bagsha Datsan.
Dan at the city overlook.
Our group looking out over Ulan Ude.
Next we drive 40k into the countryside to the Ivolginsky Buddhist Monastery Complex, considered as the center of Buddhism in Russia. The landscape is reminiscent of Ulan Baatar in Mongolia.
Driving through the countryside near Ulan Ude.
Darima explains the wheel of Samsara, the cycle of suffering, and how to purify your karma, as we reach the site.
Colorful building at the Buddhist complex.
Garuda bas relief image on the side of a Buddhist Temple
First Buddhist temple officially authorized by the government in Russia in the early 1900’s
Doorway to the first Buddhist temple in Russia. No photos allowed inside.
Ornamentation on a Buddhist temple.
Greenhouse protecting a Bodhi tree.
Entrance to the main temple at the Ivolginsky Buddhist Monastery Complex near Ulan Ude.
Temple housing the body of Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, a famous lama who died in 1927, and whose body does not seem subject to macroscopic decay. He is seated inside, and some of us paid our respects. For more details about this amazing person, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashi-Dorzho_Itigilov
Lion guarding the entrance to the temple with the dead lama.
Statue of a Buryat youth seen re-entering Ulan Ude for lunch.
Dan with our driver, Gengis, at our lunch stop.
Largest bust of Lenin in the world at the Soviet Square in Ulan Ude.
Opera / ballet theatre in Ulan Ude.
Beside the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ulan Ude.
Beautiful woodwork on a building in downtown Ulan Ude.
Looking through a peace arch to the Odigitria Cathedral.
Pedestrian street in Ulan Ude.
Gotta love the ornamental column supporter!
Pensioners play in a band on the pedestrian street in Ulan Ude.
Beautiful coffee shop with excellent espresso!
Back at the Ulan Ude train station, we see more examples of classic steam engines.
Statue of a member of the Russian equivalent of the Boy Scouts. I think they are called Pioneers.
Our private train car gets coupled to the train, and we’re off on the longest leg of the trip – 50 hours to Khabarovsk!