Katkovo is a cape, river and town. The names of these places are believed to originate from the last names of the first settlers of them as well as the names of such places as River and Cape Telegin, River Kiselevskaya, etc. At the beginning of the 20th century Katkovo was also a postal station.
In the 70s of the 20th century the village of Katkovo, like many other small villages ceased to exist. But nowadays the surrounding areas appeared to be promising ones. The fact that this region, especially the Cape and the Bay Bezimyannaya, the Lot Peski and some other places from Turka to Kotokel are elected as the location of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of tourist-recreational type in Buryatia. In particular, in accord with the project of the SEZ they plan to build about 150 berths for vessels of various types, campsites, adventure parks, several four-star hotels at the Baikal coasts till 2026. At Mountain Bichya there will be a ski resort, and at the Bay Bezimyannaya – the ground with elite facilities to accommodate tourists. I remember that in 1998 while preparing amendments to the Tourism Law of the Republic of Buryatia we thought of the tourist prospects in those places. Then the main problem was a lack of skilled personnel in the services sector and experience of the local population in dealing with tourists. These problems are still urgent.
Goryachinsk can also be included into the tourist zone. It is one of the first resorts in the Russian provinces. It was founded by Russian explorers in 1751 (half a century earlier than the Mineral Waters Resort). There is a mineral spring there; the temperature of water in it is 55 degrees above zero. There is a legend explaining how people got to know about a revitalizing effect of it. An Evenki hunter met a bear in the taiga near the Baikal. It had not gone into hibernation, so it was very furious and dangerous. The hunter’s dogs attacked the beast and mauled it. But one of them, the most aggressive one, was strongly hurt. The hunter felt sorry for his defender and brought it to the lake. On his way he came across a small hot spring that was not frozen, though it was winter. The dog began gulping from the spring. After having a rest the hunter went into the forest and didn’t return to that place for about a month. And when he returned there the wounded dog was absolutely healthy and met him with a happy and cheerful bark. The water in the spring turned to be medicinal, and rumors about its miraculous power spread all over the country. The new resort accommodated different people including Decembrists Baryatinskiy A.P., Volkonsky S.G., Muraviev A.N., Panov N.A., Puschin I.I., etc. On their way to Barguzin and back Polish exiles, revolutionary narodniks and other revolutionaries repeatedly called at that place.
Turka is the name for both a river and a village. The name seems to stem from the Evenki word Turku that means “omul”. Indeed, the place near Cape Turkinsky can be characterized by the abundance of fish, and in autumn the omul moved to River Turka to spawn. We cannot but take into consideration the connection between the word turka and the Evenki word turgeyin and the Buryat word turgite that mean ”fast, quick, lively”. The local people have always known about impetuosity and speedy character of River Turka in its head and middle parts. The impetuous river and omul moving into it to spawn – these two concepts were consonant with each other both phonetically and semantically.
Lake Kotokel is a small satellite of the Baikal measuring about 15 km lengthways and 5 km wide. It is believed that the name of the lake arose from the Evenki koto (“a knife”) and the Turkic kel (“a lake”). It’s interesting to mention that a dagger of the Bronze Age was found on the shore of the lake. In the middle of Lake Kotokel there is a picturesque island covered with coniferous forest. For two centuries since 1714 it had been a patrimony of the Trinity-Selenginsk Monastery. The monks had the sovereign decree on the lake, with all its tributaries, as well as the grasslands around the lake. In the past there were monastic cells on the island and they say the monastic gold had been buried there. So the island is called Monastirsky. At present there are a lot of tourist facilities at the lake. The lake is expected to be one of the largest centers of water sports and recreation in the SEZ “Baikal”.
According to Stanilovsky’s testimony in 1904 in the village of Istok that is near the Kotokel a stone in the form of a fish resembling the burbot was found. The finds of the same kind were found near the village of Listvennichnaya at the Baikal and at Mountain Glaskowsky that is close to Irkutsk. People often came across fragments of pottery vessels with lavish ornament working on the ploughed fields by the Kotokel. Various ancient things were found in other Pribaikalsk villages, such as Goryachinsk, Shigaeva, Oymur, in Bays Peschannaya and Kadilnaya. All this suggests that the Baikal shores saw rock culture and its fish stocks attracted primitive people.
Gremyachinsk is a village at the mouth of River Kika, it got its name because not far from it there is a waterfall that "rattles" with falling water (the Russian word gremet means “to rattle”). The peculiarity of the area between Goryachinsk and Gremyatchinsk is its sand dunes, its unique community of cedar elfin wood creeping in the coastal strip, now and then encountered original wind forms of pine and cedar.
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