Your exotic destination of the week is Man-Pupu-Nyor located in the Komi Republic, a federal subject of Russia. Reminiscent of Stonehenge (albeit formed through entirely natural methods), the imposing stone structures have been granted a place amongst the ‘Seven Wonders of Russia’ and sit amidst the northern part Ural mountains.
The Man-Pupu-Nyor is a collection of seven rock towers ascending from an otherwise flat landscape, similar to Devil’s Tower (but, of course, at a much smaller magnitude). It as apparently a popular tourist destination amongst citizens of Russia but remains a comparatively well-kept secret internationally.
Situated in a rather harsh environment, the trek to see these majestic towers up close can be an arduous one, but well worth the journey. The seven structures vary in height, ranging from 30 to 42 meters tall, and are believed to have existed for over 200 million years.
It’s no surprise these seven towers have a great deal of legend and mythology attached to them, but tracking down the actual tales proved surprisingly difficult. One of the most popular is that they used to be seven giants who were frozen in their tracks. I guess I’ll just have to get myself to Russia some day and ask a local to get the full story. 🙂
The name ‘Man-Pupu-Nyor’ is from the Mansi language (the indigenous people of the Tyumen Oblast) is translated as ‘Little Mountain of the Gods’, a fitting title given the powerful image they strike against the otherwise flat landscape. The fact that they are grouped in a cluster of seven also lends a mythical quality to the site, seven having always had a great deal of supernatural and mythological history assigned to it.