Shamanskaya Cave

There is no doubt that Shamanskaya cave is among the most popular caves in the Baikal region. It is located at the Shaman cape on Olkhon Island. It was formed during a process of weathering and washout of limestone rock. The length of the passage is about 12 meters, its width is from 3 to 4.5 meters, its height is from 1 to 6.5 meters. There are side corridors and narrow vents inside. Since ancient times Shamanskaya cave has been worshiped by Olkhon Buryat shamanists and lamaists. According to their beliefs the cave was the residence of a terrible spirit - master of Olkhon Island - Khan-Gute-baabay and his son - eagle. There are a lot of legends about this, including legends about Chingis-Khan and sovereign of Mongols - Gegen Burkhan staying here. In old times there was a Lamaism chapel in Shamanskaya cave, where different copper, bronze and silver statues of Buddhist gods were placed as well as paper and textile icons, smoking candles and various sacrificial items. In one of the cracks in the cave in 1952 one small plate from slate was found, with carved image of shamanka-woman. There are ancient writings in Tibetan and Mongol languages left on the rocks near Shamanskaya cave. There is a hypothesis that it was a campsite of primitive people, due to remains of neolithic age culture found on the site. 150 meters to the east from Shamanskaya cave, there are images of shaman drums on the white marble rock, which were carved by people of early period of iron age.
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