About ten years ago, a group of Russian practitioners of extrasensory perception arrived in Altai with television cameras in tow. They were on a mission to debunk legends and planned to visit sites where mysterious forces were purportedly in play, strip these famous places of their aura of mystery, and refute myths about this part of the world’s “special energy.”
Oleg Kardakov, director of KARO, a company that has been organizing tours of Altai for almost 20 years, was asked to escort the group.
As Kardakov tells it, “I brought the psychics to Shamans’ Rock. To this day, this huge black rock is sacred for Altaians. An ancient sanctuary sits on its peak, so people aren’t allowed to climb there. Altai shamans gathered at the foot of the rock to perform kamlanie together. In Turkic languages, a kam is a shaman, and kamlanie is interaction with the spirit world, the shaman’s central task.”
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