In 2010, the Internet project “100 Wonders of Russia” was launched, which collected and systematized information about the most interesting and unusual sights of our country.
The whale alley is located on the small island of Itygran in the Bering Sea. It looks quite unusual. A stone path leads to a circular area surrounded by boulders, in the center of which there was once a hearth. Throughout the complex, the bones of bowhead whales are stuck symmetrically into the ground. Animal skulls and jaws were also used as building materials. Scientists estimate that it took more than 60 adult whale skeletons to create such an alley.
For the first time, ethnographers discovered this amazing cultural and historical monument only in 1977. After a series of studies, it was established that the Whale Alley first appeared here in the 16th century. Its exact purpose is unknown. There are legends among locals that the battle between the “flying shamans” took place at this place. That’s just the reason why the battle took place and who eventually won, history is silent.
Some scientists are inclined to believe that the island was a kind of sports ground, where practitioners were selected for the privileged caste.
Other anthropologists suggest that meetings of fishermen and hunters took place on the island. Participants in such meetings could discuss pressing problems and look for ways to solve economic issues, and then organized a feast here. If you stick to this version, the bones and skulls of the whales acted as a guide for arriving boats.
The most popular hypothesis at the moment is that the Whale Alley is an ancient Eskimo sanctuary, where ritual ceremonies of local tribes were held.
Since January 27, 1993, the territory of Itygran Island, where the Whale Alley is located, has been a part of the national nature and ethnic park Beringia. The park is located in the small village of Provideniya, where planes arrive from Anadyr: in the summer, flights are made weekly, and in the winter, only twice a month. Tickets can be purchased directly at the airport ticket office, but it is better to study the schedule in advance.
You can reach Anadyr with the help of UTair, VIM-Avia and ChukotAvia airlines. There are direct flights from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Kazan.
If, as a rule, there are no problems with the flight to Anadyr and Providence, then it is much more difficult to get to the sanctuary. To do this, from Providence, you need to get to the village of Yanrakynnot, which is 85 kilometers away. Most often, all-terrain vehicles are used for movement, and in some cases, when the dirt road becomes completely unsuitable, only a helicopter can help. In winter, from the village to the island you can only walk on the ice, which is what the locals do, driving their deer. True, the path is quite long – about 40 kilometers. For groups of tourists who want to visit “Beringia” and, in particular, the Whale Alley, excursion helicopters are provided.