Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
The Sakha Republic is also referred to as Yakutia and is home to a Turkic people who call themselves the Sakha, although in English and Russian they are more commonly known as Yakuts. The republic is the world’s largest autonomous region and if it were an independent state it would be the eighth largest country in the world, in between India and Argentina.
Sakha is located in the Eastern Siberia with 40% of its territory being north of the Arctic Circle an all of it being covered by permafrost. Taiga forest cover just under half of the territory. There are unspurisingly a great deal of stunning and unspoiled natural sights here, but the remoteness and the harsh climate make visiting them difficult and local guides are often required. However the UNESCO-protected Lena Pillar National Park is relatively easy to visit from the republic’s capital of Yakutsk.
The official coldest temperature recorded in a permanently inhabited locale was set in the Sakha Republic’s Oymyakon (-71.2 centigrade). The settlement has since become known as the Northern Pole of Cold, although this title is challenged by another town in the republic, Verkhoyansk. All this creates the impression of Sakha being a land of eternal winter, however it can get quite hot here in the short Yakutian summer.