Yakutia (Russian: Яку́тия, yah-KOO-tee-yuh), also known as the Republic of Sakha, is located in the Russian Far East, and is notable for being the largest subnational governing body by area. Yakutia covers an area of more than three million square kilometers, representing about 18 percent of the Russian Federation, and making it roughly the size of India, despite having a population smaller than that of Rhode Island. The Republic's capital is Yakutsk.


Other destinations


The shamanic ritual of "feeding the fire" held during Yhyakh, the national Sakha holiday celebrated during the summer solstice

Yakutia, or Sakha as it is known to its indigenous locals, is named after the Yakut (Sakha) people, who are remotely related to Turks. While most of Sakhas are, at least nominally, Orthodox Christians, there are still many remnants of their ancient religion, Tengriism (a kind of sun-worship, with shamanistic practices). Other aspects of indigenous Sakha culture have recently started going through a revival as well.

Time zones

Yakutia extends over three time zones: UTC+9, +10, and +11, with the capital Yakutsk lying in UTC+9.


Native language of Sakha people is Sakha, which is a Turkic language, but Russian is by far the most common language anyway, as Sakha is spoken by only about a quarter of the population.

Get in

By plane

One can arrange regular flights by several airlines to Yakutsk, Neryungri and Mirny.

By train

The train service works to Neryungri, Aldan and Tommot station on Amur-Yakutsk railway. The station for Yakutsk is pending, but the station on the other side of Lena river just opened and is not accepting passenger trains yet.

On a car

The only road connecting Yakutia with other regions of Russia is M56 Never-Yakutsk road. It is macadam covered, sometimes asphalt (near towns and cities). There are many lakes and rivers along the way, and it is very exciting to go along the road. The road has been selected as "the worst in the world" in 2006, it has been renovated, but still after long rains the road becomes a way of mud.

Get around

Crossing the Lena river by boat in summertime; during winter you can just drive across

Air travel is the main mode of transportation due to the large distances across Yakutia.

A popular option during the summer months is to take a river boat along the majestic Lena river, both cruises and regular services are available from Yakutsk. Among the routes offered are a once-weekly hydrofoil service to Lensk (RUB 4,000, 32 hours). The more remote destinations you can reach via ship includes arctic settlement of Tiksi where the Lena river meets the Arctic ocean, there are 5-6 departures during summer and a one-way journey takes five days, prices from RUB ~12,000. More information can be obtained from the Yakutsk river port (+7 4112 21-90-13), the seasons schedule is usually published in early May.




Outdoor life.

Stay safe

Yakutia has the lowest outdoor temperatures recorded outside of Antarctica.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, October 14, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.