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Tour to Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan

Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan, 4- 13 of August 2017

Guide — Vladimir Sevrinovsky

Group: 5 - 7 people

Тур в Ингушетию, Чечню, Дагестан

Tsakhur village in the upper reaches of Samur river (Dagestan). Photo: Nikolay Rykov

It is a perfect trip for those who are inspired by the idea of discovery, for those who are keen to learn about different cultures. During the tour around Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan you will get acquainted with various ethnic groups inhabiting the Caucasus and adopted the Islamic faith. You may be surprised to see the distinctiveness of their cultures despite the embracing religion.
During the tour you will see incredible mountains, ancient towers of Ingushetia and modern skyscrapers of Grozny; you will learn about traditional crafts of Dagestan, which were able to survive within the global market; you will be shown sacred sites and relics of ancient times. First of all, you will meet people who are different from us, but still have so much in common with us.

Itinerary

Day 1. Mountainous Ingushetia

Владикавказ

Mir avenue or simply “the Avenue” – pedestrian street in the historic city. You can see snow-capped mountains from downtown! Photo: Timur Agirov

Flight to Vladikavkaz. Walking tour around the city, lunch, trip along Georgian Military Road to mountainous Ingushetia. Walk to the Lyazhginsky Waterfall and an evening feast in a country house. Staying overnight in Armkhi, a mountain resort.

Ляжгинский водопад

Whaterfall near Lyazghi village in mountainous Ingushetia. Photo: Timur Agirov

Day 2. Outpost towers of Ingushetia and towers of the business centers in Grozny

Вовнушки

Vovnushki – one of the most impressive tower complexes of mountainous Ingushetia. Photo: Timur Agirov

If you are active we can start the day early in the morning hiking to Table mountain (it takes 6 hours). Then we’ll start exploration of the medieval Ingush towns with formidable outpost towers: a tour around Erzi, the view of Egikal, a picnic at the famous Vovnushki complex of watchtowers.
In the evening – visit “Dondi-yurt” private museum and finish the day in Grozny. Staying overnight at the Grozny-City Hotel (5*).

Ночной вид на Грозный

Grozny in the night. Photo: Timur Agirov

Day 3. A day in Chechnya

After the sightseeing tour around Grozny and brief visits to city museums, we are going back to mountains. We’ll spend the evening near the largest lake of Caucasus – Kezenoy-am.

Кезеной-ам

Kezenoi am – the largest lake in the North Caucasus. It is located near the border of Chechnya and Dagestan. According to some documents, part of the lake belongs to Dagestan. There were many conflicts over the lake and the surrounding pastures between Chechens and Andi (one of Dagestan’s nations, neighbors of Chechens). Photo: Timur Agirov

Day 4. Felt cloaks, “urbech” and the village of jewelers

Rakhata-burki

The morning begins at the village of Rakhata, one of the few places in the Caucasus where genuine, heavy-duty felt cloaks are still manufactured for shepherds and hunters, and not for folk dancers. At the same time, we’ll see the production of the traditional Daghestani delicacy “urbech” that is gaining popularity all over Russia.

Thereafter we’ll head off to the hospitable Avar village of Gotsatl famous for its jewelers. The road will be really picturesque!
Staying overnight at a country house.

Day 5. Karadakh gorge and highlander’s architecture

Karadakh gorge. Photo: Ivan Dementievskiy

Karadakh gorge. Photo: Ivan Dementievskiy

Thereafter we’ll go to Chokh village famouse for unique architecture. On the way we’ll make a walk to see a nature’s miracle, the Karadakh gorge, a narrow passage through the mountain reminiscent of Oriental fairy-tales. After lunch in Chokh will visit Gunib village – place the last battle of imam Shamil, famouse leader of holy war, resisted the Russian empire and its local supporters for 25 years.
Staying overnight at a hotel (3*).

Day 6. Arts and crafts of Daghestan: ceramics and jewelry

Балхарская керамика

The Balkhar women are skillful at the hand-powered potter’s wheel. The item is not made of a whole piece but shaped by sequentially superimposed clay “noodles”.
Photo: Ivan Dementievsky

Inthe morning we’ll depart to Balkhar, a village located in an entirely different part of the republic, and populated by quite a different ethnos, the Laks. Here we’ll see accomplished female potters who make prize-winning earthenware at All-Russian Ceramics Festivals.

Кубачи

There are museum-rooms in many Kubachi houses where old ceramics, water jugs and other valuable items are preserved.
Photo: Nikolai Rykov

In the evening we’ll visit the Dargins, and dine in Kubachi, the celebrated village of goldsmiths and bladesmiths. Its founders came from Turkey or Iraq. The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg dedicated a large exhibit to this village, while other works by Kubachi craftsmen are exhibited in the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
We’ll stay overnight at a jeweler’s house.

Day 7. Kaytag: ancient capital and tight-rope walkers

Tombstones of Kala-kureish.

Tombstones of Kala-kureish.

In the morning we’ll tour around Kala-Koreysh, an abandoned village with a 13th century mosque and the mausoleum of the medieval rulers of Kaytag, Arabs of the Kureyshid tribe from which Prophet Muhammad descended.

Pekhlevans. Photo: Alexandr Fedorov

Pekhlevans. Photo: Alexandr Fedorov

By lunch-time, we’ll arrive in Majalis, the modern “capital” of Kaytag district. Here we’ll meet a Pehlevan, the village tight-rope walker. As far back as 50 years these guys would hang around Central Asian market places and give performances even in Kabul! Nowadays they keep entertaining Daghestani idlers at big festivals and wedding parties.
By nightfall, we’ll arrive in Derbent, one of the most ancient cities of Russia.

Day 8. Derbent Antiquities

Дербент

A gateway in the ancient wall of Derbent. Entry to the Old Town. Photo: Nikolai Rykov

Before noon, we’ll see Naryn-Kala, the citadel of Derbent, and walk around the narrow streets of the Old Town. Here we’ll find the oldest mosque in Russia dating back to the 8th century, and look at old baths or “hamams”, and visit a Muslim shrine, the Kyrkhlyar cemetery, the burial place of the 40 warrior-martyrs who, according to the legend, brought Islam to Derbent.
After lunch, we’ll go to the Armenian church turned into the Museum of Carpets and Jugs where we’ll get to know one of the most spectacular crafts of Daghestan, carpet-weaving. A master class and a mini lecture will be held specially for us.
By nightfall, we’ll arrive in Akhty to partake of a dinner and a bath in thermal waters.

Day 9. The Shalbuzdag Shrines

Паломницы отдыхают на тропе.

Pilgrims having rest at the patssageway to ziyarat.

The day promises to be hard but inspiring. Once upon a time, there was a pagan shrine on the slope of Mt. Shalbuzdag. Nowadays, it has been of course “Islamized” and pilgrims climb up the mountain just as centuries ago. One does not need money on the Holy Mount: everyone finds free (and delicious!) food and overnight accommodation here. In all probability, you will be given gifts, and you can return the compliment. This is a very luminous place. Nature here reminds of the Himalaya, where the legendary Shangri-La resides.
Ahead of us, is a hard climb to the altitude of 3700 meters. By the way, the Daghestani grandmas and grandpas manage to negotiate this ascent. Up there, those who wish may try to squeeze through the “sin meter”, make a wish and even throw a stone at the shaytan. After the ascent, we’ll return to Derbent.

Day 10. Makhachkala market place and flight back home

Рынок в Махачкале

Herbalists on the “Second market place” in Makhachkala

Come to Makhachkala. In the capital we’ll visit the “Second market place”, the center of liveliness in the city, as colorful as a genuine Oriental bazaar. Here we will abundantly savor unusual delicacies, and buy fruits and vegetables for lunch. Then we’ll go to a national cuisine restaurant to learn making our already favorite dishes, “chudu” and “khinkal”. After a farewell lunch we’ll stop at some souvenir shops and depart to the Makhachkala airport.

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K

Knut Doerrer

The trip was fantastic and we learned a lot from Valadimir about the different ethnic groups in Caucasus. The organisation of the tour was perfect , the accommodation was everywhere comfortable and also the food was very tasty. Vladimir was the perfect guide and our drivers did an excellent job. We met a lot of very friendly people during our tour and I enjoyed the whole trip. Thank you guys, it was amazing.

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A

Axel Wacht

Vladimir, thank you for the nice trip to Caucasus. I enjoyed it very much and learned many things from you as an expert for this region. Enjoy life and all the best.

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Conditions

Included in the price :

  • guides;
  • all transportations;
  • accomodation;
  • meals;
  • museums and other tickets.

Not included in the price:

  • your flight to Vladikavkaz and back from Makhachkala;
  • suveniers and other personal expenses.

Other detailes:

  • single suppliment is 200 USD (single occupancy is impossible when home-stay!)
  • discount for children under 12 is 50%
  • we require 15% nonrefundable prepayment.
  • please, get in touch with Dmitry Lemeshev for booking and other issues [email protected], phone +7 926 213 99 81