Wonderful Russia

By | Nov 3, 2018 | Views: 20,485

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The Russian Federation, or Russia in short, is the largest country in the world, covering 17 million square kilometres and boasting an extensive coastline. Its capital, Moscow, is also the most populous city. Like the country’s two other major cities, St. Petersburg and Novgorod, it is located in Western Russia.

Russia stretches for 4,000 kilometres from North to South and roughly 10,000 kilometres from East to West. It shares borders with 16 countries and spans 11 time zones. Southern Russia consists of stretches of steppe while the north is largely tundra forest. The land is rich in natural resources such as coal, ores, petroleum, natural gas, timber and minerals.

 

History

The history of Russia as a nation can be traced back to the 9th century. Its first recorded ruler was Prince Oleg who controlled the East Slavic lands and later expanded his empire south to Novgorod and the Dnieper River valley. At that time, Russia was known as Kievan Rus (Land of the Rus).

The rapid expansion of Kievan Rus’s influence, especially to the south, prompted its rulers to establish foreign relations with, among others, the Turks, the Slavs, the Byzantine Empire and the Bulgarian Empire. These foreign relations were volatile in nature and sometimes led to conflict and war.

Depiction of Yaroslav the Wise from Granovitaya Palata. Image credit: wikipedia

A depiction of Yaroslav the Wise from Granovitaya Palata. Image credit: Wikipedia

Kievan Rus enjoyed a ‘Golden Age’ under Yaroslav I (reign: 1019–1054), son of Vladimir the Great. During the reign of these two rulers, Kievan Rus was Christianised, ties with the rest of Europe were improved and a written code of law was established.

Unfortunately, not long after the demise of Yaroslav, the prosperity and influence of Kievan Rus began to diminish as regional clans emerged as powerful forces. This was hastened by the destruction of its key cities during the Mongolian invasion of the 13th century.

The Russians fought several wars in the centuries following their defeat to the Mongolians. Amidst the unrest, Moscow emerged as the country’s centre of political power. When the Romanovs (1613 – 1825) succeeded to the throne, they were happy to keep the status quo. They also promoted Moscow as a centre of art and academia.

It was not until the era of reform (1825 – 1920) when Russia saw changes to its overall social structure. Peasants and the poor were empowered while serfdom was abolished, effectively weakening the power and control of the elite classes. Even though Moscow and St. Petersburg enjoyed a substantial level of peace, it was not the same in the rest of Russia.

The Russian Revolution broke out in 1917, and this marked the dawn of the Soviet Era under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin. There was an extraordinary outburst of social, economic and cultural change. The Soviet Era after Lenin’s death saw unwavering loyalty to communism by leaders like Joseph Stalin and Mikhail Gorbachev, who ferociously developed the nation’s military power.

In December 1991, after Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and other small states broke away, the Soviet Union was dissolved and the Russian Federation was formed. Boris Yeltsin became the first elected President in Russian history, and was later succeeded by Vladimir Putin in 2000. President Putin reassumed the presidency in 2012 after holding the office of Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012.

The Russian ‘White House’. Image credit: ribttes.com

The Russian ‘White House’

 

People and Culture

Russia occupies 11% of the world’s land mass but only 2% of its population. It is home to slightly over 140 million people from more than 160 different ethnic groups. 80% of the population is ethnically Russian and the second-largest single group is the Tatars who make up roughly 3.5%. Russian society is one of the most literate in the world.

Russia’s rich history adds great depth to its customs, literature, visual arts, performing arts (especially ballet and opera) and classical music. It has produced many world-renowned works of literature, for example, Anna Karenina and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Russian dancers have left a bigger impact on the world of ballet than artistes of any other country, while the masterpiece “Swan Lake” arose from the creative genius of the 19th-century Russian composer, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Russians are justifiably very proud of their culture and savour opportunities to share their music, art and history.

“Swan Lake”, a composition by 19th-century Russian, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky is still a popular performance to date. Image credit: chicagotribune.com

“Swan Lake”, a masterpiece by the 19th-century Russian composer, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky is still a popular performance to date. Image credit: Chicago Tribune

Religion has been an important component of Russian life even during times of oppression. Orthodox Christianity is the main religion in Russia, followed by Islam. Buddhism arrived in Russia during the 17th century and firmly established itself in three Russian republics – Buryatia, Kalmykia, and Tuva.

Russians are very fond of competitive sports. Russian athletes consistently perform well at major international sporting events like the Olympic Games. In 2018, Russia played host to the FIFA World Cup, and the event was a huge boost for Russian tourism. Given the natural beauty of the country, its rich and exquisite culture as well as its long history, there were no shortage of sites to visit. Below is a list of some of the best.

 

Places of Interest: Moscow

Moscow, the capital of Russia is one of its most exciting destinations. It was made the national capital in the 14th century but was renamed the Tsardom of Russia in 1713, when the capital was moved to St. Petersburg. Moscow regained the status of capital in 1918.

 

1. The Kremlin

‘Kremlin’ means ‘fortress inside a city’. This UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises five palaces, four cathedrals and the Grand Kremlin Palace. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation but the museums are open to the public. Tickets can be purchased online: www.kreml.ru/en-Us/museums-moscow-kremlin

  • Address: Moscow Kremlin, Moscow, 103073
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Thursday
The Kremlin. Image credit: placesadvise.com/Russia/Moscow

The Kremlin (click to enlarge)

 

2. Red Square

The Red Square had humble beginnings as a slum in the 15th century when it was home to peddlers, criminals and drunks. Battles fought on the square saw it destroyed many times; it earned the name “Fire Square” because of the number of times it was burned down. Today, the Red Square is one of the most famous places in Russia and hosts military parades that showcase Russia’s strength and readiness. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Address: Red Square, Moscow, 109012
  • Opening Hours: All day
Red Square in Moscow, Russia. Image credit: blouse.asik.site/red-square/

Moscow’s Red Square (click to enlarge)

 

3. Saint Basil’s Cathedral

The Cathedral of Vasily (Basil) the Blessed was built between 1555 and 1561 by Ivan the Terrible. It consists of ten churches, eight of which surround the ninth, the Church of Intercession. The tenth was erected in 1588 over the grave of Saint Vasily. The buildings are shaped to resemble the flames of bonfires rising into the sky, and are considered an architectural icon with no parallel in the world.

  • Address: Red Square, Moscow, 109012
  • Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saint Basil's Cathedral. Image credit: suna.e-sim.org

Saint Basil’s Cathedral (click to enlarge)

 

4. Lenin’s Mausoleum

This museum exhibits the embalmed remains of the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, who passed away in January 1924. The Russian government decided to display his body at the behest of the Russian people, who sent in over 10,000 telegrams to demand that their great leader be preserved for posterity.

  • Address: Krasnaya Ploshchad, Moscow, 109012
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lenin’s Mausoleum. Image credit: twoeggz.com

Lenin’s Mausoleum (click to enlarge)

 

5. Gorky Park

This park is officially named Maxim Gorky’s Central Park of Culture and Leisure, after the acclaimed author, Maxim Gorky. The beautiful grounds were designed by the avant-garde architect, Konstantin Melnikov. It offers an escape for urbanites through a host of activities like cycling, rollerblading, beach volleyball, extreme sports and table tennis. During the winter, the ponds in the park freeze over and turn into impromptu ice-skating rinks. The park is also a venue for art exhibitions, festivals and even food carnivals.

  • Address: 9 Krymsky Val, Moscow
  • Opening Hours: All day
Gorky Park. Image credit: press.russianews.it/press/нескучно-в-нескучном/

Gorky Park (click to enlarge)

 

6. “Children are the Victims of Adult Vices”

This unusual sculpture by Russian artist Mihail Chemiakin depicts two unassuming children playing, surrounded by thirteen evil statues. The thirteen statues represent alcoholism, exploitation of child labour, indifference, drug addiction, prostitution, sadism, ignorance, pseudoscience, war, poverty, theft, capital punishment and advocating violence.

  • Address: 10 Bolotnaya Ploshchad, Moscow, 119072
  • Opening Hours: All day
“Children are the Victims of Adult Vices”. Image credit: rusmania.com

“Children are the Victims of Adult Vices” (click to enlarge)

 

7. Bunker 42 (Tagansky Protected Command Point)

Built after the Soviet Union successfully performed its first nuclear test, this secret cold-war bunker was constructed beneath the city streets near the Kremlin. It is a magnificent tunnel system capable of withstanding a nuclear fallout but, thankfully, was never put to use. Today, Bunker 42 is a historical monument and a popular tourist attraction.

  • Address: 5-Y Kotel’nicheskiy Pereulok, 11, Moscow, 115172
  • Opening Hours: By appointment
Model of Bunker 42 (Tagansky Protected Command Point). Image credit: wikipedia

A model of Bunker 42 (click to enlarge)

 

8. Opera and Ballet

With a history of performing arts as rich as Russia’s, opera and ballet performances here are the epitome of classical as well as contemporary theatrical expression. Look out for these theatres to catch an unforgettable performance.
The Bolshoi Theatre

  • Address: 1 Teatralnaya Square
  • Contact: +7495 455 5555

The Satirikon Theatre

  • Address: 8 Sheremetyevskaya Ulitsa
  • Contact: +7495 602 6583

The Stanislavsky Theatre

  • Address: 23 Tverskaya Street
  • Contact: +7495 215 0067

 

Places of Interest: St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703. It was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than 200 years (1712 to 1918) and is home to many grand buildings and monuments.

 

1. Hermitage Museum (Winter Palace)

The Hermitage Museum, founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, is the world’s largest museum and attracts 3.5 million visitors each year. It houses 3 million masterpieces from every branch of fine art, collected over two and a half centuries. You can find rare pieces from masters like Rembrandt, da Vinci, Michelangelo and Picasso. It is a must-visit and ranks alongside the Louvre of Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Prado Museum of Madrid as one of the world’s premier destinations for art lovers.

  • Address: Palace Square, 2, St. Petersburg, 190000
  • Opening Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. Closed on Monday.
Hermitage Museum (also known as Winter Palace). Image Credit: dreamstime.com

Hermitage Museum (click to enlarge)

 

2. The Palace Square

The Palace Square, bordered by the Winter Palace to the south, is marked by the Alexander Column at its centre. The column stands 47.5 metres tall and weighs about 600 tonnes. It is a free-standing structure, i.e., it stands on its own without a foundation.

  • Address: Dvortsovaya Ploshchad, St. Petersburg 190000
  • Opening Hours: All day
The Palace Square.Image credit: saint-petersburg.com/

The Palace Square (click to enlarge)

 

3. Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood

This church was built between 1883 and 1907 on the site where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated by political nihilists in 1881. Construction began during the reign of Alexander III as a memorial to his father.

  • Address: 2, Naberezhnaya Kanala Griboedova, St. Petersburg, 191186
  • Opening Hours: 10.30 a.m. to 6 p.m, extended to 10.30 p.m. in summer. Closed on Wednesday.
Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. Image credit: no-news.co/destination/magazine

Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (click to enlarge)

 

4. Peterhof Grand Palace

This grand palace was built on the orders of Peter the Great during the 17th century. It consists of several palaces, pavilions and gardens. The buildings are decorated with large paintings and exquisite works of art that give a glimpse into the splendour of Russia’s past.

  • Address: Razvodnaya Ulitsa, 2, St Petersburg, 198516
  • Opening Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; extended to 10 p.m. on weekends
Peterhof Grand Palace.Image credit: thedailymeal.com

Peterhof Grand Palace (click to enlarge)

 

5. Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theatre

Operating since 1860, the renowned Mariinsky Theatre has staged masterpieces from Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

  • Address: 1 Theatre Square, St Petersburg
  • Opening Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mariinsky Theatre. Image credit: wikipedia

Mariinsky Theatre (click to enlarge)

 

Places of Interest: Beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg

The vast lands of Russia are a treasure trove of fascinating discoveries for intrepid travellers who love nature as well as those who appreciate stunning architecture. Here is a list of spectacular sites beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg that everyone can explore.

 

1. Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus, a dormant volcano, is the highest mountain in Europe. Situated in southern Russia close to the border with Georgia, it has two summits. The taller one stands at 5,642 metres high and the other at 5,621 metres. The peaks are permanent icecaps and feed 22 glaciers which give rise to multiple rivers.

Distance from Moscow: 1,422 kilometres
Getting There: Take a flight to the nearest town, Mineralnye Vody.

Mount Elbrus. Image credit: stingynomads.com

Mount Elbrus (click to enlarge)

 

2. Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal is the largest and deepest freshwater lake in the world and contains 23% of the world’s freshwater. Located in southern Siberia, it is home to thousands of plant and animal species as well as the Buryat tribes. The lake is surrounded by mountains and is a sight to behold.

Distance from Moscow: 5,195 kilometres
Getting There: Take a flight to the nearest town, Irkutsk.

Lake Baikal. Image credit: beautifulworld.com

Lake Baikal (click to enlarge)

 

3. Suzdal

This is the oldest town in Russia, established in the 11th century. In the 12th century, it became the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality when Moscow was merely a minor satellite town. The town is home to many historical monuments like the Medieval Suzdal Kremlin and the Cathedral of the Nativity.

Distance from Moscow: 222 kilometres

Suzdal. Image credit: tourofmoscow.com

Suzdal (click to enlarge)

 

4. Kirillov

The town of Kirillov has been famous since Soviet times for the massive Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery which was founded in 1397. The town rose up around the monastery, which gradually developed to house 12 churches and the exquisite Assumption Cathedral surrounded by a three-storey fortress.

Distance from Moscow: 594 kilometres

Kirillov

Kirillov

 

5. Kizhi Island

This six-kilometre-long island is situated on Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia. The settlements and churches on the island were founded in the 15th century. It used to be a rural mining centre and most of the population worked as miners or in iron plants. Today, the island with its 80 historical wooden structures, including two major churches and a bell tower is an open-air museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Distance from Moscow: 715 kilometres
Getting There: Take a flight to the nearest town, Sheremetyevo.

Kizhi Island. Image credit: volgadream.com

Kizhi Island. Image credit: volgadream.com

 

6. St. Sophia Cathedral, Novgorod

St. Sophia Cathedral of Novgorod is the oldest church in Russia, built between 1045 and 1050 by Vladimir of Novgorod. Standing 38 metres tall, it has five domes and served as the spiritual centre of Novgorod from the 12th to the 15th century.

Distance from Moscow: 563 kilometres

St. Sophia Cathedral, Novgorod. Image credit: wikipedia.org

St. Sophia Cathedral, Novgorod (click to enlarge)

 

7. The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni of Kalmykia

In Elista, the capital of Kalmykia, stands a giant Buddha statue and the biggest Buddhist temple in the whole of Europe. The temple, also known as the New Khurul or Burkhan Bagshin Altan Sume, was consecrated in December 2005. Tourists can visit the mandala-shaped compound, the balcony around the temple and the museum on the ground floor. It also houses the holy robes of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Distance from Moscow: 1,412 km.
Getting There: Take a flight to the nearest town, Elista.

The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni of Kalmykia. Image credit: buddhistdoor.net

The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni of Kalmykia (click to enlarge)

 

Shopping

When thinking of shopping havens, Russia may not immediately spring to mind but there are several specialty items that are worth buying if you happen to be passing through.

 

Matryoshkas (Nesting Dolls)

Matryoshkas are painted to look like women in traditional Russian costumes. Typical Matryoshkas contain seven or eight dolls and they make good souvenirs. Collector’s items can be found in upscale souvenir or specialty shops.

Matryoshkas. Image credit: canacopegdl.com

Matryoshkas

 

Khokhloma

Khokhloma is a painted wooden handicraft item, famous for its flower patterns. It is usually applied to wooden tableware in gold, red and green colours against a black or dark background.

Khokhloma. Image credit: russianlegacy.com

Khokhloma

 

Porcelain

Russian imperial porcelain is famous around the world. These hand-painted ceramic items have a history that dates back to the 18th century. The most popular items are teacups, saucers and decorative plates.

Porcelain. Image credit: fromrussia.com

Russian imperial porcelain

 

Malachite

This beautiful green gemstone is mined in the Ural region of Russia and a few other places. They make exquisite brooches and jewellery. Malachite is considered to be a stone of transformation and is believed to stimulate spiritual growth.

Stunning jewellery box made of Russian Malachite. Image credit: viola.bz/russian-malachite

A stunning jewellery box made of Russian malachite

 

Art

Many street vendors sell beautiful art that is worthy of a place on your wall. Russia has no shortage of prestige artworks for serious collectors too.

Stunning Russian art piece. Image credit: electrummagazine.com

Stunning Russian art piece

 

Vodka

Russia is a haven for vodka aficionados. Any supermarket will offer a higher quality and better selection of vodkas than anywhere else in the world.

 Russian Vodka in various bottles and cups. Image credit: wikipedia

Russian vodka in various bottles and cups

 

Caviar

Russia produces some of the best caviar in the world. Be sure to only buy from reputable vendors who can attest that it has been produced legally. Illegal caviar production is a cruel process.

The most expensive kind of the Russian caviar is the Russian Beluga caviar. Image credit: markys.com

The most expensive caviar is the Russian Beluga caviar

 

Recommended Shopping Destinations

Izmailovsky Market – This is Moscow’s best flea market and you can find all sorts of souvenirs and handicrafts here.

  • Address: 73 Parkovaya St, Moscow, 613310
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends
Izmailovsky Market. Image credit: russiau.com

Izmailovsky Market

GUM – Russia’s main chain of departmental stores. Moscow GUM hosts more than 200 glamorous boutiques.

  • Address: 3 Red Square, Moscow, 109012
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Interior of GUM departmental store. Image credit: gumrussia.com

The interior of GUM departmental store

Arbat Street – The perfect place to find bohemian-style artists and peddlers wooing the crowd. Enjoy the beautiful Russian architecture and savour the chance to indulge in the local food scene.

  • Address: Arbat Street, Moscow,121069
  • Opening Hours: All day
Arbat Street (January 2016). Image credit: wikipedia

Arbat Street (January 2016)

Kupetz Eliseevs – Dubbed the most elegant grocery store, it offers plenty of branded items as well as handmade chocolates and pastries.

  • Address: 56, Nevsky Prospekt, or 8, Malaya Sadovaya Street
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Kupetz Eliseevs (2013). Image credit: wikipedia

Kupetz Eliseevs (2013)

Au Pont Rouge – A historical departmental store established in 1906, it now houses many boutiques and cafes.

  • Address: Embankment River Moyka, 73, St. Petersburg, 190000
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Au Pont Rouge. Image credit: inyourpocket.com/st-petersburg-en

Au Pont Rouge

 

Russian Cuisine

Russian cuisine is diverse, reflecting the different culinary traditions of its multi-ethnic population. The main ingredients of Russian cuisine are fish, pork, poultry, caviar, mushrooms, berries and honey. The staple diet of everyday people is bread made of rye, barley, wheat and millet. Even though Russia is famous for its vodka, Medovukha, a honey-based beverage with a lower alcoholic content is popular, too.

 

Appetizers

  • Shichi is a hot soup made of cabbage, onion, meat and mushrooms and it is served with rye bread. It is enjoyed by people of every class.
  • Borscht is a hot soup made of broth, beets and beef. It is served very hot with sour cream, chopped chives or parsley, and crushed garlic. Sometimes, the sour cream is replaced by mayonnaise. It is traditionally eaten with black bread.
  • Okroshka is a cold soup which uses lime milk as its base. Okroshka can also be treated as a salad as the main ingredients are potato, turnip, rutabaga, carrot and fresh cucumber. Fish or poultry can be added, too.
Borscht soup. Image credit: russia-travel-guide.com

Russian borscht

  • Olivier salad, also known as Russian Salad, is mayonnaise-based and contains potatoes, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, carrots, cooked meat and peas. The ingredients are diced, as this is how Russians like their salads. It is one of the main dishes of the New Year feast.
  • Shuba salad is another name for dressed herring. It is salted herring chopped and dressed under layers of shredded cooked beets, eggs and vegetables.
Olivier salad. Image credit: wikipedia

Olivier salad

 

Main Courses

Minced meat, boiled meat, offal and fowl are the basic ingredients of meat-based main dishes popular with Russians. A meat dish is usually accompanied by pickled vegetables. A variety of vegetables may be used but the most popular is pickled cabbage. Russian Orthodox Christians observe the tradition of eating fish instead of meat on Fridays or fast days.

  • Pelmeni is a traditional dumpling dish usually made with minced meat wrapped in thin dough. Onions, garlic and spices like pepper are mixed into the filling to enhance the taste. Pelmeni is boiled and served with butter, sour cream, mustard, horseradish or vinegar, depending on preference.
  • Beef Stroganoff is made by sautéing pieces of beef to perfection. It is served in sauce with sour cream.
  • Coulibiac is a type of Russian pirog (pie) filled with salmon or sturgeon and rice, buckwheat, hardboiled eggs, mushrooms, onions and dill.
Pelmeni.Image credit: /goldvoice.club

Pelmeni

Coulibiac. Image credit: taste.com.au

Coulibiac

 

Desserts and Pastries

  • Kissel is made of fruit soaked in thickened and sweetened juices, and can be served as a dessert or a drink. It can be eaten on its own or served on pancakes or with ice cream.
  • Syrniki is a small fried pancake made with a cheese mixture, garnished with sour cream, jam and honey or apple sauce. It is sweet and has a creamy texture. Traditionally, it is served as a dessert or breakfast.
Russian syrniki with kissel. Image credit: wikipedia

Russian syrniki with kissel

 

Beverages

Russians love their alcohol. In a 2010 study, it was reported that the average Russian drank about 12.5 litres of pure alcohol, of which more than 5 litres was vodka and 4 litres was beer. Less common alcoholic beverages that remain popular with the Russians are:

  • Medovukha, an alcoholic beverage similar to mead, which is made from fermenting honey.
  • Tarasun, an alcoholic beverage prepared by fermenting mare’s milk. It is traditionally enjoyed in the Buryatia region of Siberia. It is also used by the Buryat people during religious ceremonies.
Medovukha. Image credit: rbth.com

Medovukha

Russians take their non-alcoholic drinks seriously, too. Here are a few that never go out of fashion in Russia.

  • Kvas is a traditional Eastern European beverage made from rye bread. Even though it contains 0.5% to 1% alcohol, it is a non-alcoholic drink by Russian standards. Strawberries, raisins or mint can be added for flavour.
  • Mors is a sweetened fruit drink which can be prepared from lingonberries, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. It is often added to cocktails for flavour.
  • Sbiten is a traditional hot drink usually served in winter. It can be spicy or sweet, depending on the recipe. The main ingredients are water, honey, spices and jam. Some replace water with red wine to make it an alcoholic drink.
  • Varenets or Stewler is a fermented milk product with a sweet caramel taste and creamy texture. The traditional way of making this drink is by baking milk in the oven and then fermenting it with sour cream.

 

Recommended Food Destinations

Expect to spend USD30 to USD45 for a decent lunch or dinner at good restaurants. Tipping is expected; please give the waiter 10% to 15% of the total bill.

 

Arbat Street

This historical street offers lots of cafés, restaurants and eateries that feature live performances.

  • Address: Arbat St, Moskva, 119002
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends

 

Lepim i Varim

A good restaurant with an English menu that serves top quality Pelmeni.

  • Address: Stoleshnikov Ln., 9/1, Moscow 107031
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., advanced booking is recommended to avoid disappointment as the restaurant is very popular.

 

Palkin

The setting of the restaurant takes you back in time to the tsarist era. It serves a top quality Russian menu.

  • Address: Nevsky Prospekt 47
  • Opening Hours: 12 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

 

Café Idiot

This café-restaurant is named for Dostoyevsky’s novel, The Idiot. It serves vegetarian versions of popular Russian dishes in a pre-Revolution setting.

  • Address: Nab r Moyki 82
  • Opening Hours: 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Entrance to Café Idiot. Image credit: tripadvisor

Entrance to Café Idiot

 

Russian Festivals

Russia hosts a rich list of unique festivals every year.

 

January and February

  • Russian Orthodox Christmas, 6th and 7th January: The Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated by almost all Russians on 6th and 7th January. This festival was only openly observed in 1992 after a long ban following the 1917 Revolution. 6th January is Christmas Eve and families traditionally gather for a holy supper and attend church the next day.
  • Tatyana’s Day, 25th January: Tatyana’s Day is also known as the Russian Students’ Day. Russian society values education and academic achievements, and it is no wonder that they celebrate Tatyana’s Day with great enthusiasm. The festival started in 1755 when Empress Elizabeth of Russia signed a decree to establish Moscow State University on the feast day of the Christian martyr, St. Tatyana. Students celebrate with traditional honey-based mead.
Moscow State University. Image credit: ribttes.com

Moscow State University. Image credit: ribttes.com

  • International Festival of Snow and Ice Sculpture, January: This international competition takes place on the banks of the Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk, the third largest city in Siberia. Teams of sculptors and artists from all over Russia and the rest of the world create massive and impressive works of art using either snow or ice.
  • Maslenitsa Festivals, February, seven weeks before Easter: These week-long celebrations are a combination of pagan tradition and Christian faith. They encompass many activities, feasting and merrymaking. The activities include crafting Maslenitsa dolls from straw and old clothes, making and feasting on pancakes (blinis), sledging, singing, fist fights, visiting relatives, exchanging gifts and drinking tea and vodka. The Maslenitsa dolls are burned on the final day and people jump over the bonfires for good luck.
Russian Orthodox Christmas celebration. Image credit: ribttes.com

Russian Orthodox Christmas celebration (click to enlarge)

 

March and April

  • Easter, April: Russian Easter sees families bake round, sweet breads and Easter cakes that are served with sweetened curd, butter and raisins. Children will be busy painting Easter eggs. Church bells toll at Easter dawn and families make their way to the beautifully-lit and decorated churches.
  • Golden Mask Theatre Festival, April: This festival is an all-Russian theatre competition and its award ceremony is held in Moscow. It was established in 1993 and has been celebrated annually since. Competitions cover every genre from drama to modern dance to puppet shows.
Easter eggs which is an integral item during Easter celebration. Image credit: triaxsys.com

Easter eggs are an integral item during Easter celebrations (click to enlarge)

 

May, June and July

  • White Night Festival in St. Petersburg, May to June: Because St. Petersburg is located so far north, the sun never fully sets here between May and mid-June, and can be seen on the horizon even at midnight. This becomes the perfect backdrop for the annual White Night Festival. There are art exhibitions and carnivals, as well as dance and art performances by Russian and international artists. The Mariinsky Theatre hosts a programme of more than 175 opera, ballet and classical music concerts. Carnivals in the suburbs re-enact historical events with actors dressed in grand costumes. It is truly a festival not to be missed.
  • Victory Day, 9th May: Victory Day celebrates the end of World War II and is marked by military parades and fireworks. Russia’s superior military strength is on full display at the main parade at the Red Square in Moscow.
  • Taste of Moscow, July: This is a foodie’s haven. Moscow’s best restaurants open their doors for three days of masterclasses and food-tasting sessions. Special entertainment zones and children’s menus are prepared for families with young children so the festival can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
  • Ivan Kupala Night, 6th to 7th July: ‘Ivan’ is Russian for ‘John’ and ‘Kupala’ is the Slavic word for bathing. Thus, Ivan Kupala Night commemorates John the Baptist. Girls wear flowers or herb wreaths on their heads during the day and redecorate the wreaths into candle holders that will be set afloat on the river at night. The wreath that travels the farthest is said to bring happiness, luck and health to the bearer. There are bonfires and fireworks too.
Ivan Kupala Night. Image credit: meettheslavs.com

Ivan Kupala Night (click to enlarge)

 

August, September and October

  • Afisha Picnic, August: The oldest and best-known music festival in Russia is a one-day event held in Moscow on the grounds of the former Tsar’s estate at Kolomenskoye. In the past, it has featured major international performers like Kaiser Chiefs, Courtney Love, Jamiroquai and Madness.
  • Golden Autumn, October: Golden Autumn is an agricultural exhibition that has been held by the Russian Federation for the past 18 years. The highlights of the festival include culinary shows, concerts and a huge gastronomic fair that presents delicious products like cheese, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. It is held in the beautifully decorated streets and squares of Moscow, including Revolution Square, Manege Square, Tverskaya Square and Stoleshnikov Lane.
18th Russian Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn. Image credit: vdnh.ru

18th Russian Agricultural Exhibition or Golden Autumn (click to enlarge)

 

November and December

  • Winter Festival, November and December: Most Russian cities celebrate the Winter Festival as a cultural event and the biggest of these is held in Moscow. There are folk song performances, concerts, fashion shows, dances, ice skating, and sled and three-horse sleigh rides all around the city. Ice sculpture displays and street food carnivals add to the merry atmosphere.
  • New Year’s Eve, 31st December: New Year’s Eve celebrations are very popular in Russia. Ded Moroz (Father Frost) and his granddaughter, Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) deliver gifts to children. Families will feast, listen to the President’s New Year speech and watch the midnight countdown of the Kremlin clock, much like the Times Square tradition in the United States.
Beautiful ornaments on display during Russia Winter Festival. Image credit: tripsavvy.com

Beautiful ornaments on display during Russia’s Winter Festival (click to enlarge)

 

Uniquely Russia

Not every Russian fits the stereotype, but the beauty of travel lies in unique discoveries that are distinctively local.

  • Russians and vodka: Almost every Russian enjoys drinking vodka and has a bottle or more at home.
  • Babushkas: Elderly Russian women with colourful scarves wrapped around their heads. Russian children call their grandmothers ‘babushka’.
  • Straight to the point: Russians have a serious demeanour and dislike beating about the bush. Small talk and niceties are uncommon.
  • All dressed up: Russians will not let any opportunity to dress up and be flashy go to waste. Ladies can most often be seen in high heels, glittery dresses and fur coats while gentlemen are smartly dressed and well-groomed.
  • Russian clubs: Clubs, especially those in Moscow, are pricey. The doorman will not hesitate to turn away guests who are not sufficiently well-dressed.

 

Etiquette and Customs

The Russians have inherited distinctive traditions that allow them to stand out from their European counterparts. Here are some of the Dos and Don’ts when visiting Russia.

 

Meetings

  • When strangers meet, a firm, almost bone-crushing handshake while maintaining direct eye contact is the typical greeting from Russian men. Women’s handshakes are less firm.
  • When female friends meet, they kiss on the cheek three times, starting with the left and then right cheek and back to the left.
  • When close male friends meet, they pat each other on the back and hug.
  • Russian names usually consist of a first, middle and last name (family name). In formal situations, people use all three. Close friends or family members may use only the first name.
  • Arrive on time and dress well when visiting a Russian home as a sign of respect to the host. Take off your shoes when entering.
  • Foreigners’ attempts to speak Russian are highly appreciated.

 

Dining

  • When invited to a Russian home for a meal, bring a small gift. Male guests are expected to bring flowers – but not yellow flowers.
  • Offer to assist the hostess with the preparation before the meal or the cleaning up afterwards. It is common for her to turn down the request, but persist by asking, “Are you sure?”
  • Table manners are continental, meaning that the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right.
  • Do not begin eating until the host invites you to start; usually, the most senior or honoured guest is served first.
  • It is common practice for men to pour drinks for women seated next to them.
  • At formal dinners, the guest of honour is the first to get up from the table after the meal, and after being invited by the host to do so.
  • Leave behind a small quantity of food on the plate as a gesture that the hosts have provided bounteous hospitality.

 

Business Etiquette

  • Russians are business-oriented, meaning that they do not need to establish a long and close relationship before they conduct business.
  • However, friends or connections in high places are often necessary to cut through the red tape.
  • Make appointments as far ahead as possible. Be punctual.
  • During business meetings, expect a long period of socialising and chit-chat before business is discussed.
  • Russians expect extensive presentations on the business subject, including history and a review of existing and competing business models.
  • Business meetings and discussions can be slow as Russians do not like to be rushed. They will not hesitate to use time to their advantage if they know that you have a deadline to meet.

 

Climate

Russia is known for its cold weather; at the peak of winter, the temperature dips as low as 60°C or 70°C below zero. The country is exposed to extremes of temperature due to the vastness of the land as well as the absence of large mountain ranges. This makes it hard to define its climate. Along the northern coasts, the climate is subarctic with cold summers and even colder, long winters. In sheltered inlets like Moscow, the climate is continental and not as harsh.

Winter in Russia. Image credit: tur-region.ru/tours

Winter in Russia. Image credit: tur-region.ru

  • Spring (March to May): The temperature is fine, between 2°C to 18°C (in Moscow). The trees start to turn green. The sun shines brightly but it rains on occasion.
    What to wear: A sweater or jacket is recommended. Wear warmer clothing in the evenings.
  • Summer (June to August): Summer sees long days and short nights. The temperature hovers around 20°C to 23°C (in Moscow). Flowers blossom and gardens, parks, and forests are full of berries and fruit.
    What to wear: Bring t-shirts and shorts for hot days, and light jackets or sweaters for the evenings and cooler days. Have a raincoat or umbrella handy.
  • Autumn (September to November): Temperatures are cooler in autumn; it drops gradually from 15°C to 0°C but the weather is unpredictable. It can be sunny at times and rainy at others. The days start to turn shorter and the nights, longer. In some parts of Russia, it is already very cold by autumn while it rains often in Moscow.
    What to wear: Bring warm clothes, a down jacket, hat and gloves.
  • Winter (December to February): Temperatures are very low, between -5°C and -30°C and it snows often. The days are short while the nights are long. Snow is everywhere. Rivers and lakes are frozen. It is the best time for skating and skiing.
    What to wear: Bring warm winter clothing like thermal wear, down jackets, fleeces, parkas, windbreakers, and warm boots.

 

Where to Stay

Visitors are spoilt for choice of accommodation in major Russian cities and there are options ranging from the most basic to the most luxurious. We recommend that you do further research to find one that best fits your budget and requirements.

 

Moscow

The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya (5-star)

An elegant luxury hotel ideally located for leisure travellers, it is a 10-minute walk from the Kremlin, Red Square and other popular tourist sites. Some of the rooms offer a spectacular view of the Kremlin.

  • Address: Ulitsa Nikolskaya 12, Tverskoy, 109012 Moscow

 

Hotel Nikolsky Red Square (3-star)

A perfectly-located loft-style hotel within a two-minute walk of the Kremlin and Red Square, a seven-minute walk from the Bolshoi Theatre, a one-minute walk from the GUM departmental store and a few minutes from Tearalnaya Metro Station.

  • Address: Nikolskaya Ulitsa 4/5, Tverskoy, 109012 Moscow

 

Brick Design Hotel (4-star)

A boutique hotel within walking distance of major tourist sites; 1.2 km away from the Bolshoi Theatre and 1.3 km away from the GUM departmental store. The Kremlin and Red Square are also both within walking distance.

  • Address: Myasnitskaya Ulitsa, 24/7 Bldg.3, Basmanny, 101000 Moscow
Brick Design Hotel. Image credit: tripadvisor

Brick Design Hotel

 

St. Petersburg

Aglaya Hotel & Courtyard (3-star)

A stylish hotel located in the Tsentralny district, within walking distance of the Winter Palace and other tourist sites.

  • Address: Razyezzhaya Ulitsa 38, Tsentralny district, 191119 St. Petersburg

 

Graffiti L Hostel (2-star)

A boutique hotel located in the Tsentralny district, within walking distance of the Hermitage Museum and other popular tourist sites. Guests are welcome to cook their own meals in the common kitchen.

  • Address:Address: Ligovsky Avenue 33-35, Tsentralny district, 191036 St. Petersburg

 

The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel (5-star)

This exclusive hotel recreates the atmosphere of the Hermitage Museum with elegant design and furnishings. It is within walking distance of the Hermitage Museum and the lively Nevsky Prospekt, as well as other tourist sites.

  • Address:Address: Ulitsa Pravdy 10, Tsentralny district, 191119 St. Petersburg
The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel. Image credit: thehermitagehotel.ru

The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel

 

Getting There

 

By Air

Many airlines fly to Moscow and St. Petersburg daily. Moscow’s three international airports handle five million foreign tourists annually while the one in St. Petersburg handles three million.

Among the biggest airlines that fly direct to Moscow are Emirates, Singapore Airlines, China Southern, British Airways and, of course, the Russian national carrier, Aeroflot. The international airports that serve these airlines are:

  • Sheremetyevo Airport, 29 kilometres from Moscow city centre
  • Vnukovo Airport, 28 kilometres from Moscow city centre
  • Domodedovo Airport, 41 kilometres from Moscow city centre
  • Pulkovo International Airport, 24 kilometres from St. Petersburg city centre

 

By Rail

One of the world’s most famous, most scenic and most romantic train trips is the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow all the way across Russia to Vladivostok. There is also an alternative route connecting to Beijing, China. It is probably the best way to experience the many cultures and see the spectrum of gorgeous landscapes that Russia has to offer.

An 8,000-kilometre Trans-Siberian one-way second class ticket from Moscow to Beijing costs USD690. There are a few ways to make a booking; weigh the advantages and disadvantages for your travel needs.

  • Buy at the train station – Note that international tickets are often fully-booked weeks ahead
  • Buy online – from sites like realrussia.co.uk or seat61.com
  • Buy through travel agencies – be sure to use reputable ones

 

Visas

Tourists need a visa to visit Russia. Usually, travel agencies will be able to provide this service but it is good to understand the visa application process, especially if you are travelling independently. There are three steps to the visa application:

Step 1

Tourists staying in Russia for up to 30 days need to obtain an invitation (also known as a visa support letter). The invitation can be obtained online within 24 hours for a fee of USD30. The traveller will be provided with a softcopy and an original hardcopy can be sent by post if required. For business travel, the processing time is longer – up to 18 working days – and costs more, between USD80 to USD300.

Step 2

Once the invitation is ready, prepare the following documents for the visa application:

  • Passport
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Visa application form (available online)
  • Consulate-specific documents, for example, health insurance, letter from employer, and so on.

Step 3

Submit the above documents to the Russian Consulate. This can be done in person or through a travel agent. The processing time varies and it can take up to 15 days and cost as much as USD300.

And then, bon voyage!

Every traveller must register their visa within seven working days of arrival in Russia.

  • If staying at a hotel: The hotel will register your visa for a fee of USD0.50 to USD20.
  • If staying in private accommodation: Complete a special registration form and submit it at any post office or immigration authority for a fee of USD5. Bring along your original passport and related documents.

 

Getting Around

You can rent a car in most Russian cities but this is not recommended for foreigners as road signs are all in Russian.

  • By Metro – The Metro usually runs from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. and is an easy and affordable way of getting around big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. There are different ticket options, ranging from single rides to day passes and more. Prepare ahead of time by printing out metro maps in English.
  • By Bus, Marshrutka, Trolleybus or Tram – Public transport services are not a problem in major cities. A stop or station is marked by an ‘A’ for bus and marshrutka (minibus), ‘T’ for trolleybus and ‘ТРАМВАЙ’ for tram. Prepare small change in advance and give your fare to the conductor or driver.
  • By Taxi – Taxis are not as common as other modes of transport. Download a taxi app on your phone to get better service. Otherwise, hailing a taxi on the street still works – just remember to agree on the fare and destination before getting into the vehicle.

 

Suggested Books

Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia by David Greene

Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia by David Greene

This book chronicles David Greene’s journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, a 6,000-mile cross-country trip from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok.

In the train cabins and stopover towns dotted across the snowy landscape, the author speaks with ordinary Russians about their lives and the changes in the post-Soviet years. These accounts offer a glimpse of the new Russia with its newfound prosperity, but which continues to endure oppression, corruption, and stark inequality.
Learn to Read Russian in 5 Days by Sergei Orlov

Learn to Read Russian in 5 Days by Sergei Orlov

This book teaches the Russian alphabet in a systematic way. It claims that anyone can learn the Russian alphabet in only 5 days and also includes more than 150 Russian words carefully selected to be of maximum benefit

 

Sources

  • https://www.advantour.com/russia/general.htm
  • https://www.climatestotravel.com/climate/european-russia
  • http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_ru.htm
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kievan_Rus%27
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_architecture
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_cuisine
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia#Soviet_Union
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_the_Great
  • https://www.expatica.com/ru/about/Top-festivals-in-Moscow-Russia_507821.html
  • http://missinglink.ucsf.edu/lm/russia_guide/historyofrussia.htm
  • http://park-gorkogo.com/en/what-to-do
  • https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/06/19/getting-around-russia-transportation-tips/
  • http://speakworld.narod.ru/topic14.htm
  • http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-russia/
  • http://www.touropia.com/small-towns-in-russia/
  • https://www.tripsavvy.com/what-not-to-buy-in-russia-1622512
  • https://waytorussia.net/Travel/VisaSupport.html
  • http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/russia-population/

 

For more interesting information:

 

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Stella Cheang
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About Stella Cheang

Stella was introduced to Kechara in late 2013 through social media, and found the array of activities and learning opportunities to be meaningful, unique and refreshing. Having decided to pursue her spiritual journey with Kechara, she has volunteered with Kechara Sunday Dharma School as a teacher for young children from the age of 2 to 4, and as a writer for the tsemrinpoche.com team.
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4 Responses to Wonderful Russia

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  1. Sarah on Nov 12, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    A wonderful guide to “Wonderful Russia.” It is very well-researched and presented in an interesting and attractive manner, with lots of beautiful pictures. I enjoyed reading this article with so much information and useful tips. It even recommends a book for learning to read Russian in 5 days! How wonderful! Thank you!

  2. Tsa Tsa Ong on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Wonderful Russia with so many interesting historical sites and delicious looking foods. Thank you Rinpoche and Stella for the lovely write up and pictures! 🙏😘👍

  3. Guy on Nov 4, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    This is really a great guide to explore Russia, wish I found your website before.
    Thanks!

  4. Samfoonheei on Nov 4, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Russia also known as Land of the Rus is the world’s largest nation. Having shared borders with European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its has a beautiful landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. Russia is home to a large number of ecosystems and species. Its seems that the vast forests has provided a home for the many rare animals such as the Siberian tiger, the largest cat in the world. It has along history dated back to the 9th century. Its culture itself is fantastic with a rich cultural history, steeped in literature, ballet, painting and classical music. Amazing …Russia has a very visual cultural past, from its colourful folk costumes to its ornate religious symbols. I love looking at their beautiful and unique folk costumes. I have not been to Russia before but heard of the beautiful historic, architecture buildings such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral with its colourful architectural style and so forth. Its capital Moscow is Europe’s most populated inland city. The famous St. Petersburg, founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, is a place worth visiting . Its now part of the State Hermitage Museum’s art collection. There are more beautiful place to see especially those with ancient architecture design of the centuries dated back to the AD’s.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Stella Cheang for this wonderful detail post.

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  • Yee Yin
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 01:02 PM
    Guava is a very common fruit in Malaysia, they can be found easily in the markets and supermarkets. They might not look very attractive, but they are full of goodness for our health. Some of the benefits of Guava including relieving diarrhea & dysentery, acting as an effective laxative, boosting our immunity, just to name a few.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/20-ultimate-health-benefits-of-guava.html
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 12:00 PM
    Shocking to know the history of the American-Japanese during the WWII in 1942, where discrimination did happened at that time. The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people is really sad. Rinpoche did experienced the share of discrimination within the Kalmyk community in New Jersey years back. Looks like it happen every now and then in our society. Many thousands of Japanese Americans suffered badly , sent into interior camps, land, housing, businesses and lives were all taken away. Thanks to the photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr. who has been tracking down wartime pictures. Looking through pictures, paints a thousand words of sorrow, suffering those Japanese Americans had gone through. Even what they went through , they did not give up but made them stronger in fact to be what they are today. They were citizens of American yet it was an injustice to them. There are similarities happening to those who practiced Dorje Shugden. The practitioners were denied services to schools, medical treatment, hotel and so forth.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/etc/survivors-japaneseamerican.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 11:59 AM
    Seeing the Kechara flag in the pictures being flown are indeed wonderful. Flying with our country and state flags paints a thousand words of joy. Glad to come across this old post which explained the meaning behind it. Wow ….so it was designed by Rinpoche , have each stroke of wording and the white background representing the clear, luminous mind of enlightenment, of the state of peace and the state of happiness which we strive to achieve. Beautifully done.
    Thank you Rinpoche for spending the explanation for the design of the flag which I did not know at all . i am glad i read this old post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/what-our-flag-means.html
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 11:58 AM
    कसरी तिब्बती नेतृत्वले प्रायोजकलाई व्यवहार गर्दछन् (जिन्दक)

    अधिकांश मान्छेहरूले बोल्न अलिक असहज मान्ने विषय भनेको धर्ममा प्रायोजन गर्नु हो। मान्छेहरूले यसलाई असहज मान्छन् किनभने उनीहरू सोच्छन् कि पैसाको बारेमा छलफल गर्नु आध्यात्मिक कुरा होइन। यद्यपी यो एक अपरिहार्य विषय हो किनभने यो सांसारिक जीवनको साधारण वास्तविकता हो- मठहरू र धार्मिक संस्थाहरू प्रायोजकको उदारता र कोष (धन) बिना संचालन हुन सक्दैन। वास्तवमा, बुद्ध आफैंको समयमा पनि प्रायोजन विषय सम्बोधन गरिएको थियो। मगडा साङ्मो र तिनका पिता सुड्डाटा जस्तै उहाँका चेलाहरूको उदाहरणले हामीलाई प्रायोजनको सही मनोवृत्तिको पाठ सिकाउँछ र हामी सिक्छौं कि कसरी प्रायोजन आध्यात्मिक अभ्यास हुन सक्छ। प्राप्तकर्ताको दृष्टिकोणबाट पनि त्यहाँ प्रायोजन छ, जुन म यहाँ कसरी धर्मशाला र तिब्बतीयन नेतृत्वले उनीहरूको प्रायोजकहरूलाई अस्वस्थ प्रकारले व्यवहार गर्दछन् भन्ने सन्दर्भमा सम्बोधन गर्देछु।

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/how-tibetan-leadership-treats-a-sponsor-nepali.html
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 11:56 AM
    म शुग्देनका बारेमा अब बोल्न सक्छु

    बिगत १५ बर्ष भन्दा बढी समय देखी मैले हाम्रो कुल, अभ्यासहरू तथा परम्पराहरूका बारेमा बोल्न चाहिरहेको थिएँ । मेरा गुरूबाट मैले यस विषयमा चुप रहन तथा शान्त रहन सल्लाह पाइरहेको थिएँ । मेरो गुरूको निर्देशनको अवहेलना गर्न म सक्दिन । केही बर्षको अन्तरालमा मैले यस बारे बोल्न सक्छु कि भनेर सोध्दै आएको छु र अन्तत: गत बर्ष मैले स्वीकृती पाएँ । मैले यस विषयमा शान्त रहन निर्देशन पाउँदै आईरहेको थिएँ ।
    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/i-can-speak-up-now-about-shugden-nepali.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Nov 13. 2018 12:29 PM
    Great discovery by the Department of Transport in Arizona. They do believed in the existence of Bigfoot after seeing and caught them on camera. It has caused a buzz in the world of Bigfoot hunting. After decades of cover-ups, the government conspiracy trying to keep evidence of this amazing animal hidden from the public were finally revealed. Bigfoot were reported to be sighted in other parts in America, China, Canada, Nepal and so forth. No one yet has come up with much more evidence.
    The Department of Transport in Arizona who has uploaded pictures of Bigfoot on to their Facebook page show a strong evidence that it exist.
    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing this story, it was great.


    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/bigfoot-spotted-by-dept-of-transport-in-arizona.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Nov 13. 2018 12:29 PM
    Inspiring read of how Kechara Soup Kitchen ( KSK ) through the eyes of Su Ming . KSK were then founded by Rinpoche, through Rinpoche’s own experience , it has indeed benefited many people of races and religion. Having on a run without foods , place to stay while young. Due to that Rinpoche , knew what to be like going hungry especially in winter and so forth. Rinpoche always cares for others who in need of foods and help, where ever Rinpoche goes. With just a handful of friends and their support KSK began to head out onto the streets of the city from a few packets of foods to hundreds then. Inspired by Rinpoche’s vision to help the homeless,KSK have then spend to other towns in Malaysia. Well done.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Su Ming for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-soup-kitchen-ksk/hunger-knows-no-barriers.html
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Nov 13. 2018 09:28 AM
    Karma is not a punishment, it is a universal law. If there is a cause, there will be an effect. For example, if the food we eat is contaminated, we will surely get sick. By understanding how karma works, we can prevent a lot of unpleasant situations and make our life happier.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/12-little-known-law-of-karma-that-will-change-your-life.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Nov 13. 2018 09:23 AM
    The Crown Prince of Johor really sets a good example of how we should live in a diversified society. Malaysia is a multiracial and multi-religious country, it is very important to respect each other and be tolerant in order to maintain harmony in our society. Without harmony, the country will not progress.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-crown-prince-of-johor-urges-muslims-to-respect-other-beliefs.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Nov 13. 2018 09:13 AM
    Have you ever wonder why some people are more successful than others? What secrets do they have to bring success to their lives? You can find these traits in most the of successful people in the world. 1. Fully commit, 2. Avoid multitasking, 3. Hang With Fellow Super-Achievers, 4. Prevent Emotions From Building.

    Learn more about the interesting facts of successful people here:
    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/a-psychologist-explains-how-successful-people-do-more-in-a-day-than-others-do-in-a-week.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Nov 13. 2018 08:59 AM
    Do you know if you are always surrounded by unhappy people you tend to have a poorer health and shorter lifespan? Happiness is actually a state of mind, not so much of the external factors such as the material stuff you own or the people around you. There are some habits that can lead you to unhappiness, try to avoid them.

    Read more to learn what are these habits.
    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/10-habits-of-chronically-unhappy-people.html
    [no sender]
  • Sofi
    Monday, Nov 12. 2018 11:54 PM
    Tara

    Tara, another beautiful lady Buddha who’s compassion is felt in her swiftness to answering our prayers. Learn more Lady Tara and be close to her gentle encompassing love for us all.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/letters-cards-gifts/kensur-rinpoches-gift.html
  • Sofi
    Monday, Nov 12. 2018 11:48 PM
    Vajrayogini – The Powerful Divine Red Lady

    Get connected with beautiful Lady Vajrayogini now to meet the conditions to receive her practices in the future. This powerful Lady Buddha is our way out of endless sufferings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/vajrayogini-the-powerful-divine-red-lady.html
  • Chris
    Monday, Nov 12. 2018 09:17 PM
    Trode Khangsar – A 400-year-old Dorje Shugden Chapel in Lhasa

    The Trode Khangsar is an important chapel dedicated to Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. It was built by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama towards the end of the 17th Century. Dorje Shugden is an uncommon Dharma protector within Tibetan Buddhism, who is said to protect the Buddhist teachings in general and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamika (Middle Way) Philosophy as taught by Lama Tsongkhapa specifically.

    Lama Tsongkhapa was the founder of the great Gelug lineage. Dorje Shugden, in his previous incarnation as Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, was a great scholar, meditator, teacher and contemporary of His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama. After being murdered, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen arose as Dorje Shugden in order to benefit countless sentient beings.

    If the 5th Dalai Lama can build a chapel for Dorje Shugden and made the first statue of Dorje Shugden, I am sure that this protector is not an average protector to be relied on. Even the high attained master the 5th Dalai Lama will put such attention and important of Dorje Shugden shows that he is not an ordinary protector.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/trode-khangsar-a-400-year-old-dorje-shugden-chapel-in-lhasa.html
  • Chris
    Monday, Nov 12. 2018 09:09 PM
    H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s Sacred Vajra Yogini

    His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche was a high attained lama that has pure visions of the Buddhas. One of the Buddhas that he has a direct vision is Buddha Vajrayogini. Vajrayogini appeared to him in the form similar to Naropa’s Vajrayogini but with a small difference. In his vision, Vajrayogini appeared to be looking straight at him. The rest of the body is exactly the same.

    It was said that this is a message from Vajrayogini to Pabongkha Rinpoche that she is empowering Pabongkha Rinpoche into her tantra and spread her tantra to many beings and it would be really beneficial for many beings.

    Kaybje Pabongka Rinpoche has a special affinity to this deity because Vajrayogini once promised him that those who have Vajrayogini initiation, she will bring them to Kechara Paradise in just 14 lifetimes. Those who are specifically in the 4 generations of the disciple of Pabongkha Rinpoche will ascent to Kechara paradise. This is an extra promise from Buddha Vajrayogini to Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/vajra-yogini/h-h-kyabje-pabongka-rinpoches-sacred-vajra-yogini.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
I requesed His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to write out the mantra of Vajra Yogini. He immediately compassionately obliged me. This is the mantra as written by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. I\'ve had this in a safe plastic wrap and wore it around my neck in a small yellow cloth \'bag\' for many years. Tsem Rinpoche
2 days ago
I requesed His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to write out the mantra of Vajra Yogini. He immediately compassionately obliged me. This is the mantra as written by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. I've had this in a safe plastic wrap and wore it around my neck in a small yellow cloth 'bag' for many years. Tsem Rinpoche
If there were just 10 persons you should know about in your lifetime, one of them is this incredible Dr. Ambedkar. Enrich your life and don\'t miss this: https://bit.ly/2Dub7xu
6 days ago
If there were just 10 persons you should know about in your lifetime, one of them is this incredible Dr. Ambedkar. Enrich your life and don't miss this: https://bit.ly/2Dub7xu
Dear friends, watch this short 11mins video. It is so nice. My dream idea of living. I love the fresh things they grow for their own food. I wish our culture here was more geared toward this type of living. Watch plse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do1O5Avw_SQ&feature=share
7 days ago
Dear friends, watch this short 11mins video. It is so nice. My dream idea of living. I love the fresh things they grow for their own food. I wish our culture here was more geared toward this type of living. Watch plse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do1O5Avw_SQ&feature=share
No one stays around, do not depend on anyone. Let go of them before they let go of you...it is inevitable. Tsem Rinpoche
7 days ago
No one stays around, do not depend on anyone. Let go of them before they let go of you...it is inevitable. Tsem Rinpoche
Outdoor stunning Tara at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
2 weeks ago
Outdoor stunning Tara at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
The Promise - https://bit.ly/2NfHJjQ
2 weeks ago
Hunting is a horrible \'sport\' because it is not necessary and unfair. Killing animals is vicious and inhuman. Hurting animals does not help us, our karma, our mind and it does not help the animals. Killing animals serves no benefit and it stunts our spiritual growth. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Hunting is a horrible 'sport' because it is not necessary and unfair. Killing animals is vicious and inhuman. Hurting animals does not help us, our karma, our mind and it does not help the animals. Killing animals serves no benefit and it stunts our spiritual growth. Tsem Rinpoche
This is a beautiful Yamantaka
2 weeks ago
This is a beautiful Yamantaka
This is so powerful. This is so true. This is something we must remember about our self worth. We must value ourselves without arrogance.
2 weeks ago
This is so powerful. This is so true. This is something we must remember about our self worth. We must value ourselves without arrogance.
Nothing is for free for sure.
2 weeks ago
Nothing is for free for sure.
Beautiful Dorje Yudroma protector. A gentle Goddess I\'ve had the pleasure to meet via her oracle.
2 weeks ago
Beautiful Dorje Yudroma protector. A gentle Goddess I've had the pleasure to meet via her oracle.
Beautiful Kalachakra painting
2 weeks ago
Beautiful Kalachakra painting
I like this picture of my teacher behind me.
2 weeks ago
I like this picture of my teacher behind me.
This magnificent Dorje Shugden statue is enshrined at Choijin Lama Museum in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. The museum was the home of the Choijin Lama, the State Oracle of Mongolia. Choijin Lama was an oracle of the Nechung deity and the brother of the 8th Bogd Khaan Jebzundamba (1869-1924), the de facto leader of Outer Mongolia. - https://palyulmedia.smugmug.com/Worldwide-Palyul/MongoliaConnections/Mongolia-Choijin-Lama-Museum/i-TQ8CmHM
2 weeks ago
This magnificent Dorje Shugden statue is enshrined at Choijin Lama Museum in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. The museum was the home of the Choijin Lama, the State Oracle of Mongolia. Choijin Lama was an oracle of the Nechung deity and the brother of the 8th Bogd Khaan Jebzundamba (1869-1924), the de facto leader of Outer Mongolia. - https://palyulmedia.smugmug.com/Worldwide-Palyul/MongoliaConnections/Mongolia-Choijin-Lama-Museum/i-TQ8CmHM
Please download this and share this meme with others. Thanks.
3 weeks ago
Please download this and share this meme with others. Thanks.
Beautiful Tibetan art for FREE download: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
3 weeks ago
Beautiful Tibetan art for FREE download: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Sacred Protector Dorje Shugden can help you, if you invoke Him sincerely..
3 weeks ago
Sacred Protector Dorje Shugden can help you, if you invoke Him sincerely..
Now there is a Tsem Rinpoche blog  site in Nepalese language! Check it out:  https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/l/np/
3 weeks ago
Now there is a Tsem Rinpoche blog site in Nepalese language! Check it out: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/l/np/
The Reasons Why People Who Practice Dorje Shugden Do Not Go To the Three Lower Realms- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSBbFiexCCE
1 month ago
The Reasons Why People Who Practice Dorje Shugden Do Not Go To the Three Lower Realms- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSBbFiexCCE
Very interesting blog post that goes along with this depiction of the Yeti. - https://bit.ly/2E43COF
1 month ago
Very interesting blog post that goes along with this depiction of the Yeti. - https://bit.ly/2E43COF
His Holiness Sharpa Choje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He was a supreme master of both Sutra and Tantra. He served as abbot of both Gaden Shartse Monastery as well as Gyuto Tantric college. After serving as abbot of Gyuto Tantric college he entered into a few long term (3 year, 3 month and 3 day) Vajra Yogini retreats in the forest. He completed that long retreat twice and was going to enter it again till he was asked to be abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery by H.H. the Dalai Lama. He was a great practitioner of Vajra Yogini\'s tantra as well as Dorje Shugden. He was a scholar of the highest renown and he was highly sought after for teachings. He was very devoted to Dorje Shugden throughout his whole life as a pure monk. I was fortunate enough to have him as one of my teachers. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche

To read more- https://bit.ly/2zW2Grz
1 month ago
His Holiness Sharpa Choje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He was a supreme master of both Sutra and Tantra. He served as abbot of both Gaden Shartse Monastery as well as Gyuto Tantric college. After serving as abbot of Gyuto Tantric college he entered into a few long term (3 year, 3 month and 3 day) Vajra Yogini retreats in the forest. He completed that long retreat twice and was going to enter it again till he was asked to be abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery by H.H. the Dalai Lama. He was a great practitioner of Vajra Yogini's tantra as well as Dorje Shugden. He was a scholar of the highest renown and he was highly sought after for teachings. He was very devoted to Dorje Shugden throughout his whole life as a pure monk. I was fortunate enough to have him as one of my teachers. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche To read more- https://bit.ly/2zW2Grz
Beautiful thangka painting of Lord Yamantaka the slayer of ignorance and who bestows supreme wisdom that eradicates all projections.
1 month ago
Beautiful thangka painting of Lord Yamantaka the slayer of ignorance and who bestows supreme wisdom that eradicates all projections.
Kadroma Metsik Nakmo or Dakini Ucchusma who purifies and heals the body.
1 month ago
Kadroma Metsik Nakmo or Dakini Ucchusma who purifies and heals the body.
I am reciting a daily prayer to Dorje Shugden. Here is the youtube link to the audio- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-OSudd323A
1 month ago
I am reciting a daily prayer to Dorje Shugden. Here is the youtube link to the audio- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-OSudd323A
It\'s hard to not fall in love with little cute Pema baby girl. She is so light, happy and wags her tail super fast when she sees us or anyone. Super friendly. She is a heart breaker for sure. Teehee...She is our Kechara Forest Retreat doggie and runs free throughout our sacred land. Her name Pema means lotus. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
It's hard to not fall in love with little cute Pema baby girl. She is so light, happy and wags her tail super fast when she sees us or anyone. Super friendly. She is a heart breaker for sure. Teehee...She is our Kechara Forest Retreat doggie and runs free throughout our sacred land. Her name Pema means lotus. Tsem Rinpoche
My Nepalese boys work hard and I appreciate them. Today we have purchased special foods for them to snack on and also to cook with so they won\'t be so homesick. These foods are all imported from their country. There\'s a street in downtown K.L. that sell all this. So happy to get this for them. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
My Nepalese boys work hard and I appreciate them. Today we have purchased special foods for them to snack on and also to cook with so they won't be so homesick. These foods are all imported from their country. There's a street in downtown K.L. that sell all this. So happy to get this for them. Tsem Rinpoche
I come out of the bathroom to be greeted by the mess the two monsters made...Some more they want snacks! Monster Oser girl and Monster Dharma boy.
2 months ago
I come out of the bathroom to be greeted by the mess the two monsters made...Some more they want snacks! Monster Oser girl and Monster Dharma boy.
This blog post has had amazing response. Since published on July 27, 2018, there has been 114,788 views and still increasing. I am happy to see how this post has made things clearer. Do visit this post here-  https://bit.ly/2MATbGe
2 months ago
This blog post has had amazing response. Since published on July 27, 2018, there has been 114,788 views and still increasing. I am happy to see how this post has made things clearer. Do visit this post here- https://bit.ly/2MATbGe
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his disciple Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche. Beautiful picture.
2 months ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his disciple Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche. Beautiful picture.
This monk takes trance of Dorje Shugden and he was happy to receive THE PROMISE book in Tibet
2 months ago
This monk takes trance of Dorje Shugden and he was happy to receive THE PROMISE book in Tibet
Find out about the blessed healing water for health and healing at Kechara Forest Retreat- https://bit.ly/2CtVQNk
2 months ago
Find out about the blessed healing water for health and healing at Kechara Forest Retreat- https://bit.ly/2CtVQNk
This is my ultimate home!!! Blue waters, trees, skies, mountains, house that is open, retreat, meditation, Buddha images and purple flowers. Wow. Such a perfect place for me. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is my ultimate home!!! Blue waters, trees, skies, mountains, house that is open, retreat, meditation, Buddha images and purple flowers. Wow. Such a perfect place for me. Tsem Rinpoche
To see other beautiful portrayals of Dorje Shugden, click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 months ago
To see other beautiful portrayals of Dorje Shugden, click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Severed head Vajra Yogini has a brilliant orange body, orange darting eyes, wearing a necklace of freshly cut human heads firmly standing within a wisdom fire emanating from her sacred body reminding us to cut off our self damaging ego. Without the ego, our sufferings cannot survive and our happiness will arise. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Severed head Vajra Yogini has a brilliant orange body, orange darting eyes, wearing a necklace of freshly cut human heads firmly standing within a wisdom fire emanating from her sacred body reminding us to cut off our self damaging ego. Without the ego, our sufferings cannot survive and our happiness will arise. Tsem Rinpoche
A thought on how to repay the kindness of the guru
2 months ago
A thought on how to repay the kindness of the guru
Very nice old artwork on the Bodha Stupa in Nepal.
2 months ago
Very nice old artwork on the Bodha Stupa in Nepal.
This is quite interesting....
2 months ago
This is quite interesting....
Wonderful statement by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Although Dorje Shugden is not negative, lets hope His Holiness can apply this to the Shugden issue. Then there will be peace.
2 months ago
Wonderful statement by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Although Dorje Shugden is not negative, lets hope His Holiness can apply this to the Shugden issue. Then there will be peace.
Left to right: Tritul Rinpoche, Gaden Tripa Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastic prayer hall during puja.
2 months ago
Left to right: Tritul Rinpoche, Gaden Tripa Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastic prayer hall during puja.
The oracle of Dorje Shugden Choyang Dulzin Kuten of Gaden making offerings to Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche during a teaching in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
2 months ago
The oracle of Dorje Shugden Choyang Dulzin Kuten of Gaden making offerings to Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche during a teaching in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
2 months ago
Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
Please click on this picture and see how tragic this is.
2 months ago
Please click on this picture and see how tragic this is.
Advice by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2NiryBg
2 months ago
Advice by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2NiryBg
Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in 1987 Los Angeles.
2 months ago
Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in 1987 Los Angeles.
Beautiful Yamantaka print
2 months ago
Beautiful Yamantaka print
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini painting for you to download free in high file to print out, frame and place on your shrine or share with friends. May you be blessed. Download here: 
 https://bit.ly/2N5zI02
2 months ago
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini painting for you to download free in high file to print out, frame and place on your shrine or share with friends. May you be blessed. Download here: https://bit.ly/2N5zI02
The Fifth Dalai Lama & Dorje Shugden | ༧གོང་ས་ལྔ་པ་ཆེན་པོ་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། | 第五世达赖尊者与多杰雄登---read more--- https://bit.ly/2C65Iwr
2 months ago
The Fifth Dalai Lama & Dorje Shugden | ༧གོང་ས་ལྔ་པ་ཆེན་པོ་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། | 第五世达赖尊者与多杰雄登---read more--- https://bit.ly/2C65Iwr
My childhood researchers: https://bit.ly/2wroucv
3 months ago
My childhood researchers: https://bit.ly/2wroucv
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 days ago
    If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
    2 weeks ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
  • It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
  • BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
    3 weeks ago
    BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
  • Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
    4 weeks ago
    Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
  • In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
    4 weeks ago
    In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
  • Neat little video
    4 weeks ago
    Neat little video
  • It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
    2 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
  • Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
    2 months ago
    Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
  • 喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    2 months ago
    喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    喀切玛波护法降神,向詹杜固仁波切献供曼扎及身语意之供养,同时也加持马来西亚克切拉禅修林道场。喀切玛波护法乃古时候的紫玛护法,他是藏地首座佛教寺院桑耶寺的护法神
  • Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
    2 months ago
    Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
  • Sacred Kache Marpo in trance of oracle makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche and blesses the temple in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia. Kache Marpo in ancient times was known as Tsiu Marpo the great protector of Samye Monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet.
    2 months ago
    Sacred Kache Marpo in trance of oracle makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche and blesses the temple in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia. Kache Marpo in ancient times was known as Tsiu Marpo the great protector of Samye Monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet.
  • Shugden practice in Tibet strong and growing
    3 months ago
    Shugden practice in Tibet strong and growing
  • It is Tsunmo Nunnery in Tibet. This nunnery all practise Dorje Shugden.
    3 months ago
    It is Tsunmo Nunnery in Tibet. This nunnery all practise Dorje Shugden.
  • Light offerings to the outdoor Buddha Tara shrine in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia at night. Beautiful.
    3 months ago
    Light offerings to the outdoor Buddha Tara shrine in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia at night. Beautiful.
  • Interesting new interview of Boy George where he mentions about his practicing Buddhism- See the clip I snagged for you above. It’s beautiful to see him chanting. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    Interesting new interview of Boy George where he mentions about his practicing Buddhism- See the clip I snagged for you above. It’s beautiful to see him chanting. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dharma boy is always mooching for a free snack! As shown in the video, Dharma gave up real fast and is waiting anxiously for a free snack!
    3 months ago
    Dharma boy is always mooching for a free snack! As shown in the video, Dharma gave up real fast and is waiting anxiously for a free snack!
  • Oser girl is very determined to get the snacks out! Look at how her cute little hands hold onto the ball.
    3 months ago
    Oser girl is very determined to get the snacks out! Look at how her cute little hands hold onto the ball.
  • Yudroma takes trance at Gyuto
    4 months ago
    Yudroma takes trance at Gyuto
    In Dharamsala there is a famous oracle to the Goddess Yudroma. She is the protector of Gyuto Tantric Monastic College. Many monks consult her for guidance. Here she is attending a puja session at Gyuto Tantric Monastic College where she is pleased with the people helping the monastery and takes trance spontaneously to express this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • The Simpsons: Lisa becomes a Buddhist
    4 months ago
    The Simpsons: Lisa becomes a Buddhist
  • Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
    4 months ago
    Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
    4 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
  • Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    1 years ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    1 years ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    1 years ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    1 years ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    1 years ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    1 years ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    1 years ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    1 years ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

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CHAT PICTURES

16 hours ago
KSDS - Pilgrimage cum Camp 2018 We will be organising KSDS very first family pilgrimage cum camp this 24th and ‪25th November‬ 2018 (Saturday and Sunday). Don’t miss this opportunity to have a Family Getaway in the holy place of Kechara Forest Retreat.by Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
KSDS - Pilgrimage cum Camp 2018 We will be organising KSDS very first family pilgrimage cum camp this 24th and ‪25th November‬ 2018 (Saturday and Sunday). Don’t miss this opportunity to have a Family Getaway in the holy place of Kechara Forest Retreat.by Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
yesterday
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
Serve 360 ~ Doing Good In Every Direction organised by Marriott International serving to 66 families consisting 300 recipients who are celebrating Deepavali. Thank you Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral The Westin Kuala Lumpur JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur Renaisance Hotel #KecharaSoupKitchen #MarriottInternational #serve360 #Kechara - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Serve 360 ~ Doing Good In Every Direction organised by Marriott International serving to 66 families consisting 300 recipients who are celebrating Deepavali. Thank you Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral The Westin Kuala Lumpur JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur Renaisance Hotel #KecharaSoupKitchen #MarriottInternational #serve360 #Kechara - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
KISG has carried out our monthly animals liberation activity in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
KISG has carried out our monthly animals liberation activity in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Max Tee doing recycling at KSK Imbi ~ Max Tee
4 days ago
Max Tee doing recycling at KSK Imbi ~ Max Tee
Other volunteers doing recycling at KSK Imbi are from left to right, Ethan Lua, Yi Qin, Jamie Chan and Legan Tju ~ Max
4 days ago
Other volunteers doing recycling at KSK Imbi are from left to right, Ethan Lua, Yi Qin, Jamie Chan and Legan Tju ~ Max
Teacher Kien leading the prayer session before start of dharma classes. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Kien leading the prayer session before start of dharma classes. Lin Mun KSDS
Kah Lock was expressing his thoughts on the white board. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Kah Lock was expressing his thoughts on the white board. Lin Mun KSDS
The Promise
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  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
  Dana Offerings
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Dorje Shugden
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