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Zhima Mountain

Sacred Zhima Mountain is the highest point of the Olkhon island. It reaches the height of 1274 meters above the sea level. The top of the mountain is covered with deep pine and larch forest. The rocks break down vertically to Baikal side, which are overgrown with steppe vegetation.

The area of Izhimey where the mount is situated derived from the word "ezhin" which means an owner of the area. Ancient myths tell about thunder god Ugute-noyon, the Sky's son, who decided to settle close to the famous Olkhon shaman Nagre-bo and his wife Zagre-Khatan. But then he changed his mind and decided to live in the cave Burkhan giving this castle on Izhimey to the shaman couple. Together with him lived a huge immortal bear chained by his former owner-celestial and left in the cave for guarding his properties. From the earliest times among Olkhon Buryats there was a ban on climbing the top of Zhima, as well as on visiting the shaman wood – a relict spruce forest which has been preserved since the Ice Age. There is also a legend about the mount spirit – an old man with a long white beard who helped not once lost children on the cape slope to find a way home.