Wonderful Russia

By | Nov 3, 2018 | Views: 52,240

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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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6 Responses to Wonderful Russia

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  1. Cc on Nov 25, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing.

    The architecture are amazing and it has its own unique design and historical.
    I am always amaze by all the colourful architecture.
    🙏🙏🙏

  2. Wai Meng Wan on Nov 22, 2018 at 1:07 am

    Russian environment is quite challenging for one to live in, and it contains some of the harshest environment on the planet. Russian history has been quite turbulent too, during the fall of Tsars and also during World War 2. Russian straddles the Asian and European continents and receives influence from both continents.

    Yet despite all the difficulties and darkness Russians have gone through, they somehow find their way through and survive somehow. Very tough people these Russians.

  3. 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!

  4. 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! 🙏😘👍

  5. 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!

  6. 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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  • Pastor Lanse
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 11:35 PM
    这篇文章涵盖了艮尼玛的生平、修持、神通、趣事等,让读者对艮尼玛有个整体的认识之余,也对他的特点有深刻的印象。对我来说,艮尼玛最启发我的地方是他只专注于一项修持,全心全意的,一辈子只专注于大威德金刚修持,他占卜、治病等靠的都是大威德金刚修持赐予的加持力。艮尼玛透过本身的成就,向世人证明了佛菩萨的全知和全能。也让我们知道,若真正要修持某种法门,任何一位佛菩萨的法门都是好的,都是全面的,所以不需要什么都学一些,什么都不精,搞到最后一事无成。

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/l/cn/buddhas-dharma/the-jolenpa-bodhisattva-gen-nyima-chinese.html
  • Nicholas
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 06:36 PM
    The reasons why you must clean your room are as follows: If you invite your guru or some officials to your home, you would give your room a good sweep, wouldn’t you! Similarly, when you invite your guru, the victorious ones, and their children into your room [in the course of your meditations], you should clean it out of respect for them.

    Check out more here: https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
  • Nicholas
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 06:33 PM
    The 9-foot Dorje Shugden statue in Kechara Forest Retreat has become a popular place for many people to pay homage, make offerings and prayers. It was conceptualized by H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche who foresee the needs of Dorje Shugden that able to benefit many people.

    Check out:
    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-wish-fulfilling-shrine.html
  • Nicholas
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 06:30 PM
    Have you ever wondered where we come from and how we came into being?
    Have you wondered how awesome is the universe and what is eternity?
    See the comparisons below and I am sure your mouth will open as the world is revealed to your amazement! Just say ‘wow’ as you view each picture.

    https://bit.ly/2TKCZB6
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 12:24 PM
    Most people don’t like to be put in a difficult or challenging situation. It gives a lot of stress and worries. The emotional trauma makes people feel terrible. However, this suffering can become something positive if we change how we perceive it. Suffering can make us grow if we decide to find the root cause of it and do something about it. As a result, we can be out of this suffering. Suffering can make us a better person because we don’t want others to go through what we have gone through. Instead of avoiding suffering, why don’t we embrace it because we can become better as we are going through it?

    http://bit.ly/MyLama2
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 12:12 PM
    Do you know what is off-the-grid living? Off-the-grid living is when people choose to live without the support of remote infrastructure, such as an electrical grid. Most of the time it means living away from the city as well. Some people choose the off-the-grid lifestyle to maintain their financial freedom; some because they want to be closer to nature. Would you choose this lifestyle?

    http://bit.ly/TR-BackToNature
    [no sender]
  • Chris
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 11:54 AM
    Thank you, Rinpoche and the blog team for sharing this interesting information about this spirit that can be one of the causes of Dorje Shugden ban. It is not a surprise to know that the Tibetan government had caused another human being to reincarnate as an evil spirit that wanted their downfall because they had wrongly persecuted him with such a cruel and inhumane way. Any human being that dies in that kind of circumstances will have a lot of powerful negative emotions.

    The modus operandi of the Tibetan government has been the same since the 5th Dalai Lama’s time. They just eliminate whoever they think is threatening their power and in Nyatrul’s case, they killed an innocent man with a cruel way. The karma that is created by the government created the cause for Nyatrul to be able to interfere with Nechung’s trances and there is nothing the Tibetan government can do.

    This shows us that karma works in its own way and even a powerful Dharma protector’s oracle can be inhibited by an evil spirit. We reap what we sow. Now the Tibetan government have to suffer the risk of getting false information from the Nechung oracle until their karma exhausted. They should not have trusted the advice when the oracle spoke against the practice of Dorje Shugden which is around for 400 years without any problem.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-spirit-nyatrul-magic-mischief-and-misery.html
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 11:30 AM
    Princess Zina was wild, temperamental, very difficult and controlling. Who in her status would not be like that? But she realised there is a better place to go than all the luxury she had been enjoying. She truly understood her attitude, her way of thinking, her characters were not going to bring her anywhere so she pushed herself to change and she made it. Apart from pushing herself to change, she also did a lot of very beneficial works to support and spread Dharma. She had to do a lot more good works to make up the wrongs she had done in the past.

    Even though it was not described in the story how much difficulty or struggling she had to go through in her transformation process but I believe it was not easy. How she pulled herself through was her trust in her lama and her faith in Dharma. If someone like Princess Zina who was so difficult and had everything she could have had in the world can transform into a humble person and eventually ascend to Kechara Paradise, who are we to say we cannot change?

    http://bit.ly/Princess2Nun
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 10:49 AM
    Beautiful art rime thangka painted patiently with matching colours. Naropa, Vajra Yogini, and Dorje Shugden forms a beautiful art piece. Naropa is one of the most prominent and authoritative Indian mahasiddhas and masters of mahahudra and tantra. Vajrayogini is a Tantric Buddhist female Buddha and a ḍakini while Dorje Shugden the Dharma Protector who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. Together they depicted a beautiful and powerful amazing thangka.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-yogi-of-yogis-naropa
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 10:49 AM
    Beautiful art rime thangka of the manifestation of compassion 1000-Armed Chenrezig and Dorje Shugden. Merely looking at it is a blessing. Thank you Rinpoche for explaining the details of this beautiful thangka.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-manifestation-of-compassion-1000-armed-chenrezig
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 10:47 AM
    Beautiful Rime thangka paints a thousand words. The Magnificent One… Buddha Shakyamuni, Lama Tsongkhapa the 15th Century scholar-yogi and the Powerful Dharma Ptotector Dorje Shugden forms a powerful combination thangka to have at our home.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-magnificent-one-and-his-disciple
  • Sofi
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 08:44 AM
    Gods, Symbols and Creatures of Luck

    Now, this is something that everyone should visit as it is regarding “Luck”. We need all the luck that we can get to go through our life smoothly without obstacles. This post reveals some of the “lucky” things that many people associate with good fortune. So have a good read.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/gods-symbols-and-creatures-of-luck.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 08:40 AM
    The Body of a Buddha: A Road Map to Liberation

    This is another post that we should learn from. Every aspect of the Buddhas body depicts his enlightenment. From Buddha’s hair, eyes, nose, mouth, shoulder, hands, feet, etc all teach us lessons in Buddha’s achievements. So do visit to learn more.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-body-of-a-buddha-a-road-map-to-liberation.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Apr 19. 2019 08:36 AM
    How shall I hate you today?

    This blog post is a must visit to see how much Rinpoche had been targetted with vulgarity and threats just for practicing enlightened Dorje Shugden which had been given by Rinpoche’s holy Guru, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Just because Rinpoche stood up with humble appeals for lifting of the illogical ban on this authentic protector practice, Rinpoche receives rude taunts and allegations of being a Chinese spy. It is very glaring how “monks” and “nuns” are not practitioners when they can go down to that level of online assault against an attained Lama like Rinpoche. May Lord Dorje Shugden’s light shine bright and far to bless them with mental clarity to see the wrongs. Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha!

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/how-shall-i-hate-you-today.html
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Apr 18. 2019 06:49 PM
    Keeping one’s surroundings clean not only shows respect to the people we invite into our space but inculcates the habit of discipline. Cleanliness is also important as it helps to remove negative vibes that accumulates over time. In short clean spaces attracts positive energies to dwell one’s home, heart and mind.

    Just as how we bath to rid ourselves from dirt, it is in the same context that we must adopt cleanliness regularly- both physically and spiritually.

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

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My way of sharing....
2 days ago
My way of sharing....
Peace
2 days ago
Peace
Please contemplate deeply what this message is sharing. Tsem Rinpoche
5 days ago
Please contemplate deeply what this message is sharing. Tsem Rinpoche
Japanese Buddha statues. Beautiful program- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIfNibljnoI
6 days ago
Japanese Buddha statues. Beautiful program- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIfNibljnoI
Japanese Buddhist altars. Beautiful- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4uqb3jPpCs
6 days ago
Japanese Buddhist altars. Beautiful- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4uqb3jPpCs
Beautiful Lord Buddha carving which is so elegant. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Beautiful Lord Buddha carving which is so elegant. Tsem Rinpoche
We can love others as we heal ourselves inside...~Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
We can love others as we heal ourselves inside...~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful short and powerful teaching by Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche
1 week ago
Beautiful short and powerful teaching by Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche
China\'s huge Buddha statues. Amazingly beautiful- https://bit.ly/2DgSXxT
1 week ago
China's huge Buddha statues. Amazingly beautiful- https://bit.ly/2DgSXxT
Such a powerful imagery of Lord Buddha\'s determination. Fasting Buddha\'s meaning- HTTP://bit.ly/2VCfKLa
1 week ago
Such a powerful imagery of Lord Buddha's determination. Fasting Buddha's meaning- http://bit.ly/2VCfKLa
This poor boy is being forced to leave his friend to be sold for slaughter. Children have a natural connection with animals, and they know it is wrong to hurt and kill them. Children lose this connection by being indoctrinated (brainwashed) by their parents/peers into believing animals are here to be exploited, killed, and eaten.- from Lucinda Smyth FB page
1 week ago
This poor boy is being forced to leave his friend to be sold for slaughter. Children have a natural connection with animals, and they know it is wrong to hurt and kill them. Children lose this connection by being indoctrinated (brainwashed) by their parents/peers into believing animals are here to be exploited, killed, and eaten.- from Lucinda Smyth FB page
Some people really struggle and put in so much effort in their lives. Amazing. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Some people really struggle and put in so much effort in their lives. Amazing. Tsem Rinpoche
18th Century Mongolian made Namgyalma statue. Very artistic. Very beautiful. Usually her arms are \'all over the place\' but this one is so artistically placed and poised. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
18th Century Mongolian made Namgyalma statue. Very artistic. Very beautiful. Usually her arms are 'all over the place' but this one is so artistically placed and poised. Tsem Rinpoche
My mother Ms. Dewa Nimbo came out with a new book. I am happy for her. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
My mother Ms. Dewa Nimbo came out with a new book. I am happy for her. Tsem Rinpoche
Challenges makes you more responsible. Always remember that life without struggle is a life without success. Don\'t give up and learn not to quit.~-Rumi
1 week ago
Challenges makes you more responsible. Always remember that life without struggle is a life without success. Don't give up and learn not to quit.~-Rumi
May His Holiness Dalai Lama completely recover soon- https://bit.ly/2GgMO6c
1 week ago
May His Holiness Dalai Lama completely recover soon- https://bit.ly/2GgMO6c
How I made my beautiful Kyabje Zong Rinpoche statue in Nepal in 1987. I have many more photos for you to see here- 
 https://bit.ly/2Z2r0T5
1 week ago
How I made my beautiful Kyabje Zong Rinpoche statue in Nepal in 1987. I have many more photos for you to see here- https://bit.ly/2Z2r0T5
As of April 9, 2019 there are over 240k views on this blog post regarding the relationship between Bhutan\'s Highest lama Zhabdrung Rinpoche & Dorje Shugden.- https://bit.ly/2PrE6Ui
1 week ago
As of April 9, 2019 there are over 240k views on this blog post regarding the relationship between Bhutan's Highest lama Zhabdrung Rinpoche & Dorje Shugden.- https://bit.ly/2PrE6Ui
The handprint of His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Dorje Chang Jetsun Dechen Nyingpo
2 weeks ago
The handprint of His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Dorje Chang Jetsun Dechen Nyingpo
488 articles on animals, vegetarianism and environment and still growing. :) Enjoy the readings- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
2 weeks ago
488 articles on animals, vegetarianism and environment and still growing. :) Enjoy the readings- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
Beautiful Angel Dorje Shugden chapels in Kathmandu- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCaWhDHKyBA&feature=youtu.be

People love to visit & pray.
2 weeks ago
Beautiful Angel Dorje Shugden chapels in Kathmandu- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCaWhDHKyBA&feature=youtu.be People love to visit & pray.
Stunning pieces-Tibetan spiritual art-Free download- https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
2 weeks ago
Stunning pieces-Tibetan spiritual art-Free download- https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Kechara visits Shar Gaden Monastery in South India-  https://bit.ly/2VozDp4
2 weeks ago
Kechara visits Shar Gaden Monastery in South India- https://bit.ly/2VozDp4
Obeisance to Yamantaka the powerful practice that destroys our bind to samsara.
2 weeks ago
Obeisance to Yamantaka the powerful practice that destroys our bind to samsara.
I love this picture of their Holinesses. Trijang Rinpoche was known to be very humorous and always joked and made Ling Rinpoche laugh very hard. The two tutors got along very well and very harmonious always. This made their job together of educating H.H. Dalai Lama very smooth and successful. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
I love this picture of their Holinesses. Trijang Rinpoche was known to be very humorous and always joked and made Ling Rinpoche laugh very hard. The two tutors got along very well and very harmonious always. This made their job together of educating H.H. Dalai Lama very smooth and successful. Tsem Rinpoche
(left to right)Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. Super cute doggies of Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
(left to right)Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. Super cute doggies of Tsem Rinpoche
You know you just want to kiss me reeeeeeeeal bad!!! ~Oser girl
2 weeks ago
You know you just want to kiss me reeeeeeeeal bad!!! ~Oser girl
Over 106k views! People really interested in this post: https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
2 weeks ago
Over 106k views! People really interested in this post: https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
This picture I found by accident on the internet recently. This exact photo was poster size and framed and was on Thubten Dhargye Ling\'s main altar in Los Angeles back in the 80\'s when I was there. It is beautiful picture of H.H. Dalai Lama in his youth with a light glow around his body as he meditates. I love this picture of His Holiness. Tsem Rinpoche Read more-  https://bit.ly/2FECC5S
2 weeks ago
This picture I found by accident on the internet recently. This exact photo was poster size and framed and was on Thubten Dhargye Ling's main altar in Los Angeles back in the 80's when I was there. It is beautiful picture of H.H. Dalai Lama in his youth with a light glow around his body as he meditates. I love this picture of His Holiness. Tsem Rinpoche Read more- https://bit.ly/2FECC5S
Starting on Vajra Yogini now. Practicing Vajra Yogini without initiation. Find out more- https://bit.ly/2JjTTXp
2 weeks ago
Starting on Vajra Yogini now. Practicing Vajra Yogini without initiation. Find out more- https://bit.ly/2JjTTXp
Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
Thai tradition of Buddhism also reveres/respects/remembers their gurus and high monks just like in the Tibetan tradition. You can see here a high guru\'s statue housed beautifully with a canopy and enshrined in a altar inside a temple for people to pay homage to him. Also an act of collecting merits for the disciples. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Thai tradition of Buddhism also reveres/respects/remembers their gurus and high monks just like in the Tibetan tradition. You can see here a high guru's statue housed beautifully with a canopy and enshrined in a altar inside a temple for people to pay homage to him. Also an act of collecting merits for the disciples. Tsem Rinpoche
Offering sustenance on our shrine is a sign of appreciation spiritually
3 weeks ago
Offering sustenance on our shrine is a sign of appreciation spiritually
Beautiful piece of African Dogan style art you can print out large & frame for your home- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 weeks ago
Beautiful piece of African Dogan style art you can print out large & frame for your home- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
I hope you\'ll be blessed by this practice of Lady Ucchusma- 
https://bit.ly/2U5Arm9
3 weeks ago
I hope you'll be blessed by this practice of Lady Ucchusma- https://bit.ly/2U5Arm9
Beautiful painting of Nechung Pehar Gyalpo & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
3 weeks ago
Beautiful painting of Nechung Pehar Gyalpo & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Beautiful painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
3 weeks ago
Beautiful painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)- https://bit.ly/2YyE42m
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)- https://bit.ly/2YyE42m
Massive 2,600 year old Buddhist Monastery-Afghanistan- read more- https://bit.ly/2HTM48q
3 weeks ago
Massive 2,600 year old Buddhist Monastery-Afghanistan- read more- https://bit.ly/2HTM48q
A good person is made by the intensity of his adversity~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
A good person is made by the intensity of his adversity~Tsem Rinpoche
BREAKING NEWS- Dharamsala MP Tenpa Yarphel says to make peace with Dorje Shugden people now!~ 
 https://bit.ly/2CESoxf
3 weeks ago
BREAKING NEWS- Dharamsala MP Tenpa Yarphel says to make peace with Dorje Shugden people now!~ https://bit.ly/2CESoxf
How the incomparable yet down to earth Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen changed my life forever- https://bit.ly/2VJjCtk

Photo: His Eminence Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
How the incomparable yet down to earth Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen changed my life forever- https://bit.ly/2VJjCtk Photo: His Eminence Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Tsem Rinpoche
Joanne Kam and Justin Ripley in Kechara doing some cooking..
3 weeks ago
Joanne Kam and Justin Ripley in Kechara doing some cooking..
You have to see this spectacular outdoor Amitabah statue in Vietnam. So sacred and majestic.~ https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
3 weeks ago
You have to see this spectacular outdoor Amitabah statue in Vietnam. So sacred and majestic.~ https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I\'ve introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He\'s a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
4 weeks ago
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I've introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He's a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
4 weeks ago
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
1 month ago
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
March 18, 2019-Very cute Oser as usual.
1 month ago
March 18, 2019-Very cute Oser as usual.
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    1 week ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 week ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    1 week ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    2 weeks ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    3 weeks ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    1 month ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    3 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    3 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    3 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    3 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    4 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    4 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    4 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
    4 months ago
    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
    4 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
  • Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
    5 months ago
    Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
  • Living off the grid in Australia
    5 months ago
    Living off the grid in Australia
    A Jill Redwood is a jack of all trades, Jill built her own house on her property and lives entirely off the grid with no mains power or town water, mobile reception or television. Living on around $80 a week, Jill has over sixty animals to keep her company and an abundant garden that out serves as an organic supermarket right at her doorstep. Her main expenses are animal feed and the rates on her property. Watch this incredible three minute video and be inspired to live differently.
  • Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
    5 months ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • 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.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss 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
    2 yearss 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.
    2 yearss 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!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss 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.

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CHAT PICTURES

Healthy Meals for lunch sponsored by Mr Ravi & friends! We thank you for your unending support to #kecharasoupkitchen in our plight in serving the #homeless. Would you like to sponsor lunch for our street friends? To find out more, checkout our website for more details :) Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 hours ago
Healthy Meals for lunch sponsored by Mr Ravi & friends! We thank you for your unending support to #kecharasoupkitchen in our plight in serving the #homeless. Would you like to sponsor lunch for our street friends? To find out more, checkout our website for more details :) Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
yesterday
2 days ago
Bernard was briefing the volunteers on the details before they headed out last Saturday to PPR Kota Damansara. #kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
Bernard was briefing the volunteers on the details before they headed out last Saturday to PPR Kota Damansara. #kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Seen here are team leaders giving their final briefing to the respective volunteers before they head out last night. Thank you very much to all the volunteers who turned up. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Seen here are team leaders giving their final briefing to the respective volunteers before they head out last night. Thank you very much to all the volunteers who turned up. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you very much to James and Shereen for sponsoring oranges for tonight's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
Thank you very much to James and Shereen for sponsoring oranges for tonight's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
We received a lot wine bottles for recycling. It was packed nicely by the person. KEP-Serena
6 days ago
We received a lot wine bottles for recycling. It was packed nicely by the person. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling activity at Kechara Soup Kitchen. You can drop the recycled items here if you are nearby. KEP-Serena
6 days ago
Today we are having recycling activity at Kechara Soup Kitchen. You can drop the recycled items here if you are nearby. KEP-Serena
The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! Here are photos taken during the distribution at government low cost flat. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! Here are photos taken during the distribution at government low cost flat. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you committed university students of University of Malaya for helping in our #foodrescue activities. These still good to eat and in date edible bread will be very useful for the needy students in universities! Thank you Komugi Malaysia for contributing and help reduce food wastage! #zerofoodwastage #kecharafoodbank #kecharasoupkitchen #endhunger - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Thank you committed university students of University of Malaya for helping in our #foodrescue activities. These still good to eat and in date edible bread will be very useful for the needy students in universities! Thank you Komugi Malaysia for contributing and help reduce food wastage! #zerofoodwastage #kecharafoodbank #kecharasoupkitchen #endhunger - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Throw back, Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Chen Chen run thru me when he saw I'm carry a table and Voluntary help me carry the table.. He really warm my heart and remind me must be kindness to others anytime everyway. Just happened that day's topic is "KINDNESS" Thank You Chen Chen, Lovely Boy right?
1 week ago
Throw back, Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Chen Chen run thru me when he saw I'm carry a table and Voluntary help me carry the table.. He really warm my heart and remind me must be kindness to others anytime everyway. Just happened that day's topic is "KINDNESS" Thank You Chen Chen, Lovely Boy right?
Throw back, Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Chen Chen run thru me when he saw I'm carry a table and Voluntary help me carry the table.. He really warm my heart and remind me must be kindness to others anytime everyway. Just happened that day's topic is "KINDNESS" Thank You Chen Chen, Lovely Boy right? By Asyley Chia KSDS
1 week ago
Throw back, Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Chen Chen run thru me when he saw I'm carry a table and Voluntary help me carry the table.. He really warm my heart and remind me must be kindness to others anytime everyway. Just happened that day's topic is "KINDNESS" Thank You Chen Chen, Lovely Boy right? By Asyley Chia KSDS
Throw back, Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Chen Chen run thru me when he saw I'm carry a table and Voluntary help me carry the table.. He really warm my heart and remind me must be kindness to others anytime everyway. Just happened that day's topic is "KINDNESS" Thank You Chen Chen, Lovely Boy right? By Asyley Chia KSDS
1 week ago
Throw back, Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Chen Chen run thru me when he saw I'm carry a table and Voluntary help me carry the table.. He really warm my heart and remind me must be kindness to others anytime everyway. Just happened that day's topic is "KINDNESS" Thank You Chen Chen, Lovely Boy right? By Asyley Chia KSDS
We have our Kechara Food Bank team leaders interview potential urban poor families on every Saturday. New volunteers are most welcomed to join and assist along the session. Kindly contact us at 010-3333260 for registration. #Kechara #foodbank - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
We have our Kechara Food Bank team leaders interview potential urban poor families on every Saturday. New volunteers are most welcomed to join and assist along the session. Kindly contact us at 010-3333260 for registration. #Kechara #foodbank - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Yvonne is dedicated and able to spend her time in taking care for the youngest group of KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
1 week ago
Yvonne is dedicated and able to spend her time in taking care for the youngest group of KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Jayce shared Rinpoche’s teachings about kindness to the students. Alice Tay, KSDS
1 week ago
Teacher Jayce shared Rinpoche’s teachings about kindness to the students. Alice Tay, KSDS
Juin Xiang is the youngest students in KSDS and he is doing better and well behaved in the class now. Alice Tay, KSDS
1 week ago
Juin Xiang is the youngest students in KSDS and he is doing better and well behaved in the class now. Alice Tay, KSDS
We are very grateful to have weekly contribution of lunch by Tina Yow, Mr K H Ong and Lillian Chen. We thanked them for their kindness. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
We are very grateful to have weekly contribution of lunch by Tina Yow, Mr K H Ong and Lillian Chen. We thanked them for their kindness. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Teacher Kien showed the students on how to make mala. Alice Tay, KSDS
1 week ago
Teacher Kien showed the students on how to make mala. Alice Tay, KSDS
The youngest group of KSDS warmed up and get ready for the games. Alice Tay, KSDS
1 week ago
The youngest group of KSDS warmed up and get ready for the games. Alice Tay, KSDS
Kechara Soup Kitchen and Kechara Earth Project will be having our monthly recycling activity this Saturday. All are welcome to drop the recycleable items or to volunteer with us. Thank you very much in advance. #recycle #reduce #reuse #savetheplanet - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Kechara Soup Kitchen and Kechara Earth Project will be having our monthly recycling activity this Saturday. All are welcome to drop the recycleable items or to volunteer with us. Thank you very much in advance. #recycle #reduce #reuse #savetheplanet - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thanks to hongleongbank for sponsoring the food packs and mineral water for our clients. We appreciate your participation to add more love into the world. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Thanks to hongleongbank for sponsoring the food packs and mineral water for our clients. We appreciate your participation to add more love into the world. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Ms. Janice So offered lights and incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and the Three Jewels in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Ms. Janice So offered lights and incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and the Three Jewels in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Glian Sim prepared for all the Serkym offering sets prior the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Ms. Glian Sim prepared for all the Serkym offering sets prior the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Leong Kit Ping performed water offering to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Ms. Leong Kit Ping performed water offering to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
The Promise
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  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
Lamps For Life
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Dorje Shugden
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