Primary Komi forests in the Urals are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, and amazing rock formations Manpupuner – are candidates to be included on the list. Additionally, an open vote in Russia resulted in the rocks of Manpupuner to be included on the list of the 7 wonders of Russia!
And these places are located in the European part of Russia!
Seven Strong Men Rock Formations
Indeed, these amazing rock formations in the Urals resemble giants that suddenly stopped.
The rock formations of Manpupuner are better viewed in different lighting and at different angles. Each time you will get a new impression.
Weathering rocks of Manpupuner are the remnants of solid rock. In soft rock in ancient times the blotches of solid rock turned up. Soft rock during millions of years was destroyed by water and frost, and the wind swept the dust of soft rock around the surrounding areas. And only the “fingers” of hard rock of highly unusual shapes remained.
One of the pillars, 34 meters high is standing alone, as the leader of the giants.
Six other pillars from the Seven strong men are standing in a row like soldiers –on the edge of the cliff Little Mountain of Idols.
The height of the rock formations ranges from 30 to 42 meters.
What You Should not Do When Visiting the Rocks of Manpupuner
Even if you are a born climber, leave your habits and aspirations at home.
Small Russian people, Mansi, believed that these natural sculptures are sacred. And climbing these rocks is a great sin and a violation of ancient customs.
In any case, be ready, that in such an unusual place you might experience unusual sensations.
Mansi Legend about the Origin of the Manpupuner Rocks
According to a legend, Mansi used to be big strong people.
Mansi leader had a beautiful daughter. And she had a lover – a fearless young Mansi man. Once, one of the very influential Mansi men wanted to marry her. But she refused him. Then the influential Mansi and his brothers decided to attack the boy and kill him during a hunting trip.
The girl learned about the horrible plans, and the two lovers decided to run away and ran all night.
But the terrible brothers caught up with them at dawn.
Then the young man called for help the powerful spirits of Mansi, to whom he always brought trophies after each successful hunt.
The spirits thanked the young man – the rays of the rising sun reflected off the youngster’s shield and turned the influential warrior into a stone. His six brothers tried to flee, but they could not go very far, and they, too, were turned to stones by the spirits of Mansi where they still stand to this day.
Virgin Komi Forests of the Urals
There are not that many primary forests in the world.
These places are amazingly beautiful: forests and plains, mountains and wonderful pure rivers.
Created in these places Pechora-Ilych Biosphere Reserve is the biggest in Europe, and virgin Komi forests are the largest array of virgin forests in Europe.
The unique ecosystem of virgin forests of Komi allows preserving more than 200 of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. The area of primary forest is unique in terms of its geological structure –there are many zones of geological formations in the area that go directly to the surface.
Protected flora, 20% of which are rare or endangered species, includes 659 species of vascular plants, 296 species of mosses, 409 species of lichens. Extremely rare are lady’s slipper, calypso bulbosa and other species.
Among the animals of the Pechora-Ilych Reserve there are allocated reindeer, brown bear, endangered relic animal – northern pika, a very rare European mink and many other species.
Among the rare birds there are white-tailed eagle, osprey and golden eagle, as well as migratory birds – peregrine falcon and red-breasted goose. Extremely rare are such species of birds as grouse and corncrake that are living in the virgin forests of Komi.
How to Get to the Rocks of Manpupuner and Primary Forests
There are two options. The first one is for seasoned travelers. It is a several day hike. You can get here from the Sverdlovsk region of Russia, from the Perm region and from the Komi Republic, where there is a Biosphere Reserve.
There are also helicopter tours to the rocks of Manpupuner. But helicopters fly only when a group is full.
Only 200 people a year visit this place of power – rock formations Seven Strong Men (no more than 10 people a week).
Virgin Komi forests can be visited by one of several trails (ecotourism), organized by the Pechora-Ilych Reserve. Visiting without a permit is prohibited.
No more than a few thousand lucky ones per year visit these places.
The trails are available for the period of June 13 – September 12. For example, a hiking trail to the rocks of Manpupuner takes 4 days.
Inside the reserve there is the first in the world moose farm.
Nature Reserve can be reached by train from Moscow to the station Troitsky-Pechora. Then you will have to hire a car or take a bus.
Places in Pechora amaze with their pristine beauty; you will be very lucky if you are able to visit them.
To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev
фото 1 – фотобанк Лори
Photo 2 by Xndr