Charskaya desert among the taiga and mountains

For the most part, people think that deserts are only in southern hot countries and continents. This of course is in principle the right opinion, with one exception. This exception is in the Chita region of the Kalarsky district, among the taiga, frosts, mountains and snows. Only some forty kilometers separates this unique place from Kodar. This desert is absolutely miniature in size, its area is only fifty square kilometers.

If you look at the desert from a bird’s eye view, it does not differ in anything from all the famous African deserts. However, there are some differences. In the Chara desert, one can hardly find a camel or eat a banana from a palm tree.

It’s more likely to see roaming reindeer, summer sunshine here does not reflect the sand, but rather the snow cover of the mountains that surrounds the desert. What creates unique views and shocking landscapes, are inherent only here.

But the movement of sand in the Chara desert occurs in the same way as other well-known deserts of the world. When sand masses travel through the desert, they create a huge number of dunes, different in shape and size. Here you can see barkhans, hilly sands, as well as barchan chains and many other varieties of sand dunes. I must say that although the desert is surrounded on all sides by mountains, this does not prevent the winds from inflating dunes of up to eighty meters in height.

Another interesting fact is that the Charskaya desert is confined to the channels of three rivers — Upper Sakukan, Middle Sakukan and the Chara River itself. And in the middle of the last century on the Chara coast, geologists have explored a deposit of an unknown mineral. Its purple color indicates similarity with amethyst, however this mineral is opaque. The name was given to him in honor of the river, where he was found — Charoite.