Rock Shaman

Cape Burkhan is one of the most interesting place of Olkhon. It ends by a sacred Rock Shaman. At the foot of the Rock Shaman. At the foot of the rock there is a mysterious picture and an inscription in Sanskrit.

Rock Shaman is one of 9 shrines of Asia (earlier it was called “Stone - Temple”) It,s located not far from Khuzhir settlement, and it,s a symbol of Baikal, one of the most famous sight of the lake – almost each film or photo – album about Baikal contains it,s picture! Rock Shaman is a two – summits rock covered with thick red lichen. In the nearest to the shore rock there is a through cave, especially worshipped by Buryats. In the ancient times it was a plase for special shaman,s rituals, and later it was Buddha,s altor.

The name of the Rock was changed, when Buddhism came to Buryatia. It was renamed “Burkhan” –God, Buddha. Native people say, that in the beginning of xx century hundreds of Buddhish Lamas came from datsans (temples) of Zabaikalie to pray. Lamas used to say that a Mongolian God, who had moved from Mongolia many years ago looking for a shelter; lived there in the cave of the Rock; and Lamas from all 34 Buryat datsans come to the Rock to pray.


In ancient shman,s tales it is told about 13 northern noyons – the sons of almighty heaven tangries, who descencled from Heaven to judge people and who chose different places for living. The oldest and the most powerful of them – Khute – Baabai Khan chose the cave in Rock – Shaman. Old men say that Khute – Baabai Khan ows three ghostly palaces – on Heaven, on Earth (it,s Cape Burkhan), and in the Kingdom of dead. One of the legends says: “When Khute – Baabai Khan became the tzar of all shamans, he chose the island of Olkhon as a place for living. Me became the master of the island, its defender protector of all Northern shaman religion”.

The worship of the Khan was so great, that even following for some urgent and important business, no one never dared to ride a horse along the Cape. The riders dismounted and put the pieces of leather over the hoods of the horses not to disturb the Great Spirit!

The sacred Rock with its through cave was a restricted area, and common people were supposed to keep put. Only shamans could enter it. The cave has the length about 12 meters, its width is from 3 to 4,5 meters and the height is up to 6 meters.

The cave was the main place for pilgrimage for all believing buryats, and sacrifices to the spirits were being made there. There used to be a special burial place for shamans. They say that many years ago one could see the picture of a shaman with a tambourine in hands. Now days it,s possible to see an inscription in Tibetan language on the wall of the cave.

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