The Allure and Mystery of Altai




Paolo Tiberi shows that he is a true visionary with his retelling of tales from a magical, far away land. In order to lend to the mystery of the tales he searched for a mythical place where common life would merge with the intellectual people of privilege. The result is a series of tales that are sure to become legendary. The land that holds this mystique is the land of Altai. It has been untouched by humans for thousands of years, but its strength comes from the land; therefore its legend remains. There has never been another place like Altai where spirituality and mysticism meet common life and draw strength from it.

Depending on the region of this wonderful Earth that you are from, the land of Altai may be referred to as Altay. The name Altai has origins from the word Altan; which means golden mountains in the Mongolian dialect. Altai lies securely in a mountain range in central Asia. At this spot Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan come together. The rivers Irtysh and Ob also join together and bring vital lusciousness to the secluded mountainous area.



The Altay Mountains are one of the most serene and beautiful locations on Earth. They remain that way because of their exclusiveness. People who want to see them in their most splendid light must journey to get there. The journey is not always easy, but it is definitely worth it and full of reward once you’ve arrived. Quiet mountain lakes reflect snowy peaks, while alpine meadows carpeted with wildflowers cover gently rolling valleys. The highest peaks are covered with majestic glaciers that feed hundreds of mountain streams and rivers. The rivers make a slow cascading descent down the mountains into bodies of torrent water. Off to the north of the mountains you will see flat, grassy steep stretches of land. Those gloriously and brilliant emerald green pastures reach into the borders of Russia and are on the border of the Altay Mountains, which also shelter the primordial Taiga Forest. Few other places can compete with the beauty of the Altay Mountains. This magical area of the world is sparsely populated and remains a favorite destination for photographers, hikers, artists, mountaineers and those who love nature. Tundra & Taiga offers you a memorable trip to the heart of the “Golden Mountains”.

The Altay mountain range stretches for 2,000 kilometers from north-west to south-east. It forms a natural border between Mongolia and Russia. Altai is lost in the wilderness of central Asia and remains an autonomous Russian republic that is drastically different from the rest of the country.

Altai is nestled right between Siberian Taiga lands, Mongolian semi-deserts and Kazakh’s towering peaks. Its remoteness and secret regal beauty remain preserved because it cannot be damaged by the elements the modern world invites into many lands. It’s as if a shield of protection is rooted in its very soil.

The forests are lush and unspoiled. Mountains and rivers have large animal habitats that make the area rich for hunting and amazing glimpses into the life of rare wild animals if they deem you lucky enough to see them. When you add in an amazing 300-year-old oak tree that stands proudly as the king of Taiga, the Castle of Mountain Spirits that emanates deep rooted wisdom, and a most mysterious towering formation of rocks that resembles the ruins of a once regal castle and Altai honey – renowned across Russia for its purity and flavor – you will see just the start of the mythical, magical, and inspirational qualities that have allured those who were seeking a higher purpose for their lives. This region flourishes in every aspect because it reaches out through the energy in all its elements to draw people in to learn the wisdom and knowledge that make them more fruitful.






James Hilton, a popular British author, wrote about such a magical place back in 1933. His bestselling novel, Lost Horizon, immortalized a mystical, beautiful Utopia in Middle Asia referred to as Shangri-la.

Shangri-la was snugly nestled in a hidden valley beyond the Himalayas, past the towering points of the icy peaks of the Kun Lun mountain range, and sheltered a mysterious community of sages. In this exotic Utopia enlightened masters who possessed the secrets of longevity and incredible mystical and psychic powers lived, studied, and taught to those with an open mind.
Legend and tale have always indicated that Hilton modeled his fictional Trans-Tibetan Utopia on a similar legendary place in Asia called Chang Shambhala, northern Shambhala (so-called to distinguish it from another town called Shambhala to the south, in India). Chang Shambhala was a place known to be the utmost of bliss and Hilton had read about it in the memoirs of Abbé Huc - a Catholic missionary who had travelled through Tibet’s mystical regions in the nineteenth century. Abbé learned about the kingdom of Shambhala from the Buddhist followers of the Panchen Lama in Shigatse. These Buddhists were members of an arcane brotherhood who claimed that the mystical kingdom lay somewhere between the Tien Shan and the Altai mountains. It was believed that this kingdom lye in the Dzungaria Basin.

Huc was not the only source for Hilton to obtain information about the secret kingdom. Since the end of the Middle Ages, Catholic missionaries went out on countless missions in efforts to convert the Tibetans and Chinese to Christianity. Every time they arrived back from their journey’s they would be filled with wondrous stories about this magical, rich place that was somewhere in Middle Asia. They described it as a natural paradise in which all the inhabitants were full of wisdom and justice reigned. There was no suffering and old age like in other parts of the world. It was indeed a place where the spirits from above had brought down favorable blessing upon its very land and people.

This hidden paradise is an idyllic region that embraces peace and beatitude that only come from spiritual practices that are initiated by a great wisdom that has been passed down for centuries. Buddhists call it the only “pure land” on earth. A gentleman named Andrew Tomas has coined it an “Oasis of Peace” – a beacon shining in the darkness of the planet.

Andrew Tomas, a popular Russian writer on esoteric topics, stated that Shambhala was located between 45 and 50 degrees north latitude - possibly somewhere in the Karakorum Range northwest of Mt. Kailas in the Trans-Himalayas. He may have received his information in Shanghai from his contemporary and close acquaintance, Nicholas Roerich (1886 – 1947), the famous Russian artist and mystic who explored the vast Central Asian terrain searching for the hidden kingdom from 1924 to 1928.

Another belief that Tomas had was that Shambhala is the world headquarters of the Greater Mysteries. This means that its inhabitants are adept in the highest philosophies and the most advanced scientific knowledge known to man. A vast network of caverns and tunnels exist under the mountains and according to the Greek Armenian magus, George Gurdjieff, these subterranean caverns have sheltered secret schools of magic from the earliest times known for man to exist. The highest Shambhalic initiations are believed to take place in such underground refuges to the present day and are unsuspected by most the world due to their secrecy and protection.

In the Western world, the Shambhalic legend is assumed to belong exclusively to the Tibetan Buddhist belief-system, but this is not true. Nearly all races have enshrined in their folklore a sacred paradisiacal place - one that is hidden and incorruptible – that closely resembles Shambhala in spiritual richness and complete euphoria. In essence, it is a gateway to higher worlds that only those gifted with mystical vision can fully become attuned to and see in its entirety.

This meeting place between heaven and earth has drawn shamans and seekers of spiritual enlightenment into its realm for countless millennia. It’s documented back to the seventh century BC. The Greeks were mesmerized by legends about a source of great wisdom in the arctic land of the Hyperboreans (at-the-back-of-the-north-wind). This place was renowned for its paradisiacal bliss and the enlightenment it provided. When one was living at the Hyperboreans they could live for thousands of years in perpetual harmony with each other, while absorbing the wisdom of the celestial planes.

Centuries later, the Greek sage Apollonius of Tyana journeyed beyond the Trans-Himalayas in quest of what was then known as the Abode of the Gods. But, in the East, among the peoples of Central Asia, India, China, Mongolia and southern Siberia the legend of Shambhala always flourished most strongly. In these areas the kingdom, which was ruled by the “King of the World”, was widely believed to be the holiest place on earth. It was also believed to be the headquarters of a brotherhood of high initiates who have managed to keep their identity a secret and their power source in High Asia for untold millennia. This kingdom is thought to be the magnetic focal point of consciousness even for those Masters scattered in every other quarter of the globe. It brings unity to them at certain times and channels it into one powerful body of pure, unadulterated energy that is centralized in High Asia.

In Western culture, there is still much debate about the reality of these spiritual Masters who were first popularized by Madame Blavatsky. As the world seeks more answers they have gained more awareness in the public eye. Their mysterious occult hierarchy is being revealed at far less remote and otherworldly locations than esoteric tradition has always envisioned it. In fact, among serious researchers today, a picture is emerging of a hidden enclave operating in a dual capacity as a source of both spiritual and earthly wisdom. Consequently, it is far more involved in world affairs than many might like to believe. The Masters are undoubtedly gaining greater credence as countless books appear disclosing their central place to the influential new age cults. You can also see it secretly weaving a web in the shadows of covert geopolitical intrigues and conspiracies across the globe.



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