Vilyuysky ulus, Russia
Northwest of Yakutsk is Vilyuysky ulus. Vilyuysk is the administrative center of the ulus. It is located 592 km northwest of Yakutsk on the right bank of the Vilyuy River. In 1634, a Cossack winter hut was founded in the vicinity of the modern city. In the 18th century, the participants of the Pugachev uprising, exiled here, built the city and named it Olensk. In 1821 Olensk was renamed Vilyuisk. There are 4 museums in Vilyuysk – Vilyui Regional Museum named after P.Kh. Starovatov, N.G. Chernyshevsky, G.I. Chiryaev and the Museum of Glory. In the Vilyui Ulus Local History Museum named after P.Kh., – Muravyov-Apostle, Duntsovo-Vygodovsky, Ogryzko, Ratynsky, Svidersky, Chernyshevsky and Grabovsky. Here you can see the simulated interior of the cell of the Vilyuisk jail, in which N. G. Chernyshevsky spent 11 years. Much is connected in the city with the name of Nikolai Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky – there is a museum dedicated to him, a street and a monument. The Museum of Glory was opened in 1995 in honor of the 50th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War.
At the western border of the republic is located Mirninsky ulus. The city of Mirny is the main diamond mining center in Russia. It is located 820 km west of Yakutsk. Mirny settlementwas founded in 1955 in connection with the development of a diamond deposit – the Mir kimberlite pipe. It received city status in 1959. The main enterprise of the city, which “feeds” the majority of the local population, and which made Mirny one of the richest cities in Yakutia, is NPO Yakutalmaz, known throughout the world. The main attractions of Mirny are Lenin Square, where the main administrative buildings and the House of Culture are located; made in the style of Florentine and Russian mosaics with inlay, a monument to the discoverers of Yakut diamonds with a mosaic pano at the base, a recreation area “Vilyui Ring” and a museum of kimberlites. From Mirny excursions to the Mir kimberlite pipe are arranged. This diamond quarry has a depth of 450 m, an outer diameter of 1200 m and a bottom diameter of 300 m. This diamond deposit was discovered in 1955. A quarter of the world’s diamond mining and production is mined and produced in Yakutia, and the calculated reserves reach 45% of the world’s. In total, more than 100 kimberlite pipes have been discovered in Yakutia. In the vicinity of Mirny, they even arrange “diamond tours”, which include visiting jewelry stores, buying diamond products, as well as getting to know the processes of mining and cutting diamonds.
According to Electronics Matter, South of the Mirninsky ulus is located Lensky district. The administrative center of the district – the city of Lensk – is located 840 km west of Yakutsk on the Prilensky plateau on the left bank of the Lena River. The city was founded in the middle of the 17th century. Here was the postal station Mukhtui, discovered by Bering’s expedition, and later – places of political exile. The settlement of Mukhtui has grown in connection with the development of diamond deposits in the Vilyui river basin and has become a major transportation point to the diamond deposits. In 1963, the settlement received the status of a city. In Lensk, the local history museum and the square on the embankment with an obelisk monument in memory of those who died during the Great Patriotic War are interesting. 7 km southwest of the city there is a karst cave with a 25-meter waterfall and a karst lake.
In the Lensky district in the village of Nyurba the Nyurba Museum of Peoples’ Friendship is located. The museum has an art gallery, which presents works by Yakut artists of the past and present. Here you can see collections of silver products of the 19th – 20th centuries, Yakut wooden and birch bark dishes of the 19th – 20th centuries, works of masters of folk art of the 19th – 20th centuries, as well as old photographs.
In the north, the Mirninsky ulus borders on the Oleneksky ulus. In the village of Olenyok there is a historical and ethnographic museum of the peoples of the North. The museum exhibits the remains of fossil Pleistocene animals – mammoth, bison, musk ox and wild horse, grave goods from pagan burials and altars, as well as archival documents and photographs about the development of the region in the Soviet period.
On the coast of the Laptev Sea lies the Bulunsky ulus. In the village of Tiksi , which is the administrative center of the ulus, there is an office of the Ust-Lensky Reserve. The reserve was established in 1985 to protect and study the ecosystems of the Lena River delta, the protection of white salmon and whitefish, waterfowl migratory birds, the northernmost population of the black-capped marmot (tabagan) in Eurasia and the northernmost forests in Yakutia. It consists of two sections: the “Deltoviy” section, covering part of the territory of the Lena River Delta, and the “Sokol” mountain section, stretching along the right bank of the Lena River, where the spurs of the Kharaulakh Mountains enter. The total area of the reserve is 1433 ha, the mountain area accounts for 9% of its territory. The delta of the Lena River is formed by many channels separated by islands. This unique area was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. More than 30 species of rare plants and 32 species of mammals have been identified on the territory of the reserve. Near the coastal part of the reserve, Laptev walruses have recently begun to appear, which were destroyed here back in the middle of the 20th century, white whales, seals, bearded seals (beared seal) and narwhal. In the Lena River Delta, protected areas are mass nesting sites for such birds as the red-throated and black-throated diver, lesser swan, white-fronted goose and bean goose, black goose, teal-whistle, pintail, long-tailed duck, comb eider and Siberian eider. Very rare Siberian Crane, Kloktun, Long-nosed Merganser, Crested Duck, White Goose, Whooper Swan and Ivory Gull. Three species and several species of waders also live in the reserve. The delta part of the reserve is a place for feeding and migration of valuable species of fish – sturgeon and salmon – taimen, nelma, whitefish, muksun, vendace, peled and whitefish.
Ust-Lensky reserve is the main place for ornithological tourism. Ornithological routes are held in the vicinity of the International Biological Station “Lena-Nordenskiöld” from July to August. In addition, you can go to the channels of the Lena River, where there are numerous islands and limestone rocks with grottoes, cracks and outliers, the Kharaulakh mountains, to the coast and coastal islands, where there are rookeries of the Laptev walrus, as well as go rafting, hunting or fishing.
The eastern regions of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) have long become popular among fans of extreme tourism – the lowest temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were noted here, there are numerous gold mines where tourists themselves can join the gold mining, mountain ranges stretch here that cut through numerous rivers, it is difficult to live here, but for many years political prisoners lived in harsh local conditions.