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Ancient Uyghur Fortress on a Tuvan Lake to Turn into a Recreation and Tourist Centre

alt An ancient Uigur Fortress (Por-Bazhyn) on a Tere-Khol lake in the eastern part of Tuva (near Kungurtuk village) can become a 'Russian Shaolin' as Sergei Shoigu, native Tuvan and currently Russian minister for Extraordinary Situations (second in popularity after President Putin Russian) put it in today's Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily. A research expedition to the ruined fortress of Por-Bazhyn will take place this summer with an archeological team numbering over 200 people. 'We shall build there a Russian Shaolin and invite everybody to come there. And our youth will come I am sure. They will learn philosophy, Tibetan medicine, horseracing, and oriental martial arts in there,' Shoigu says.

In Tuva itself an attitude to these great plans is not unanimously positive. Tuvan scientists are afraid of the improper restoration works substituted by new construction. Ordinary people think that the fortress become a visit place of only rich people as not any would be able to afford a air flight to the place.

The Ministry head learned about this unique fortress, cut from the rest of Tuva by Tere-Kol lake, in his school years when working in archeological expeditions headed by Peterbourgs's scientists around Tuva.

The Uigur town on a Tere-Khol island dates back to approximately the 8th century. It was ruined by fire. Little is known about its inhabitants. There were found rests of the only warrior who had been an extremely tall man with Europeid features.

Nowadays the ruins of the Por-Bazhyn fortress, which is located on a Lake Tereh-Khol island in Tuva near Russian-Mongolian border, look like a rectangular labyrinth of structures similar to a Buddhist or Hindu mandala.

The scientists suggest that the fortress might be a palace or a temple complex, which could be destroyed in a war action over one thousand years ago.

Dina Oyun
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