Bukha–Noyon Rock

Bukha–Noyon is a rock made of marble at a height of 1,050 meters on the slope of the mountain. Its outline reminds the figure of a bull which lies with widely spread horns. The name "Bukha – Noyon" is translated as "bull, master, headman". For a very long time this place was a site of cult of Tunkinskaya Valley. The bull is one of the mythical ancestors, totems of Buryat people, symbol of nature's power and subject of shaman's worship. In the 1840's on the order of Mongolian lamas, a small temple was built on one of the rocky slopes. At that time the bull got its Buddhist name Rinchen-khan and became known as god of richness. On another slope Orthodox priests built a chapel in 1861. The marble is crumbling gradually, making big white rockslide down the slope. This place has been worshipped by people during centuries, even now it hasn't lost its significance. Bukha-Noyon worshipping was usually held on St. Peter's Day, before haying, later it became common for all Buryats. Tradition wants that before going to Bukha-Noyon one has to ask a Buddhist priest for a special ceremony called "Permission for visiting sacred places". Ascending the rock is allowed only for men and elderly women. It is forbidden for young ladies to come close to this place. This belief probably comes from a legend which says that ladies of nearby villages at that time could cause the discontent of the bull.
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