Manpupuner – weathering pillars. Komi Republic. Russia



The stone pillars on the Manpupunyor plateau in the Komi Republic are a mysterious and attractive sight, created by nature itself. Several hundred million years ago, the Ural Mountains were much higher than they are now, but under the influence of natural factors – wind, precipitation and temperature variations – they gradually collapsed. However, the Manpupuner plateau has preserved rocks that are difficult to weather, attracting tourists with their unique grandeur.

Seven fancifully shaped pillars proudly tower over the area, some of them up to 42 meters high. The small mountain of idols is how Manpupuner is translated from the Mansi language. It is believed that this place was sacred, only shamans could ascend here and communicate with spirits. This place is far from civilization, and for a long time it was known only to a narrow circle of people, but that all changed after the inclusion of the natural site in the list of the Seven Wonders of Russia. Since then, more and more travelers who are not intimidated by the inaccessibility of the plateau began to come here.


Peculiarities of visiting Manpupunor in 2022

One of Russia’s wonders is located on the territory of the Pechoro-Ilychsky Reserve, it is a specially protected area and requires a pass to visit it. It can be obtained by filling out an application for a visit at the official website of the reserve. There is a 300 rubles fee for visiting the area. Movement is possible along the routes developed by the Reserve, walking tours are conducted in the company of guides-employees of the Reserve.

You can also resort to the services of agencies that organize hikes on the Manpupuner, it is also convenient because they take care of the process of registration of applications and passes. For those who have the desire and ability to get to the plateau in comfort, helicopter tours are organized. In the winter, ski tours and snowmobile hikes are available.

The winter tourist season runs from February 1 to March 31, and the summer season from June 15 to September 15.

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Manpupungyor plateau

Hiking in Manpupungyor

Several travel agencies organize hiking tours to the site. The convenience lies in escorting the group by an experienced instructor, organizing meals, providing shuttle service on the route, and tourist equipment. Also the agency itself handles applications and passes. Hiking routes usually pass through Dyatlov Pass and Mount Otorten.

This is a real adventure for those who like tents, hiking and rest away from civilization in amazing natural places. However, there are some difficulties – physical exertion, the vagaries of nature, to which you need to be prepared. Agencies offer different variants of routes – it can be 80 kilometers long hike for 8 days or 14-day hike for those who are not afraid of hard work with a route of 200 kilometers.

Manpupungyor plateau

Routes to Manpupuner

The reserve has developed several excursion programs for tourists. The simplest one is designed for 5 hours, during the route travelers pass about 10 km. The walking route starts from the area of the Pechora river source. Another route (from the village Yaksha) is designed for 5 days, its length is 323 km, 23 km of which fall on the hike, the rest is overcome by road and water transport. In the winter season in the presence of their own equipment excursions on snowmobiles are organized. Hikes are designed for 3-4 days. In the case of multi-day routes overnight stay in guest houses and mountain camps is provided.

Helicopter excursion

If you are not ready for long hikes, take a helicopter trip. You will see a boundless panorama of the Ural taiga foothills, and you will see amazing weathering pillars from a bird’s-eye view for the first time. This is the quickest and the most comfortable way to see a natural sight. However, its cost is not affordable for everyone (from about 30,000 rubles). On top of everything else, you need to consider the weather conditions, it happens that departures can be postponed not only for a few hours, but also for a day, which incurs additional costs for overnight accommodations.



People have formed several legends about the origin of the stone pillars on the plateau. According to one of them, they are giants who undertook a trek through the mountains to destroy the Vogul people. Having climbed Mount Manpupunör, they allegedly saw the sacred Yalping-Nör ridge. The leader, standing at some distance from his companions, threw a drum which fell on the conical top of one of the mountains. And then the whole procession was petrified with fear. One of the pillars still stands apart from the others, as if it were the same leader.

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According to another legend, the mountain giants once kidnapped the beautiful Aim, the daughter of a Mansi chieftain. Her brother, Pygrychum, rushed to her sister’s rescue, armed with a magical shield. The shield, glittering in the sun, reflected the rays of the sun, and they turned the giants into stone pillars. Thus seven blocks of stone were formed, all of them with very strange shapes. Some of them resemble a petrified human figure and some look like a horse’s profile.

Manpupungyor plateau

How to get to Manpupuner

Manpupunyor is situated at a considerable distance from populated areas, so the way to get here can be difficult and expensive. One or the other variant of travel depends on the chosen option of visiting Manpupuner.

By helicopter

As a rule, helicopter tours to the sight depart from the settlement of Nyrob in the Perm region. If you are traveling from Moscow, you first need to get to Perm by train or plane, then the tour operator will provide a transfer to Nyrob, if it is included in the price. If the trip to Nyrob is a tourist’s concern, you need to take a bus to the village at the Central bus station of Perm. The trip takes about 6 hours.

Some agencies offer a departure from the village of Troitsko-Pechorsk. From Moscow, for example, you can get to him through Syktyvkar or Ukhta by train or plane, and from Ukhta dr place by bus or cab.

Tours to Manpupungyor from the agency

The starting point of the route depends on the travel agencies offers. Some provide a helicopter ride to the plateau, followed by a walking tour. In this case it is necessary to get only to Perm. In other cases groups gather in Yekaterinburg. From Moscow to the city can be reached by train or plane.

Tours of the reserve

If you plan to go to the reserve to the village Yaksha, you must first get to Ukhta by train or plane, then change to a bus or cab to the village Troitsko-Pechorsk. From the settlement to Yaksha on Tuesdays and Fridays there is a bus, also you can take a cab. The contacts of cab services can be found at the website of the reserve.

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The breathtaking serenity and purity of the mountain air on the Manpupunor plateau are worth undertaking a long and challenging journey there.

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The Manpupuner Peak is a mighty rocky outcrop located on the territory of the Pechora-Ilychsky reserve. In 2008, the weathering pillars were named one of the Seven Wonders of Russia.

Weather Pillars of Manpupuner

The Mansiysky boulders. The Manpupuner. Author of the photo: Yuri Ilyenko

The Manpupuner origin, the legend of the name

There are different names for this beautiful and mysterious place in the Northern Urals: Manpupuner, Man-Pupig-Ner, Bolvano-Iz, Mansy dumplings… Tourists usually call them briefly – “Pupi”.

In translation from the Mansi language “Manpupuner” means “small mountain of idols” . In total, there are seven of these pillars. Six pillars are located on a flat plateau in a row, and one stands slightly apart. Their height varies from 30 to 42 meters. All of them have a bizarre shape.

For Mansi this place has long been considered sacred, and it was forbidden to go there. According to one legend, in ancient times, the stone pillars were seven giants-samoyeds, who went through the mountains to destroy the Vogul people. But when their leader-shaman ascended the plateau, he saw the sacred Vogul mountain Yalping-ner in front of him. Terrified, he threw his drum on top (it is now called Koip – “drum”), and all seven giants petrified with horror. They have been standing on that mountain plateau ever since.

Weather Pillars of Manpupuner

The Mansiysky boulders. The Manpupuner. Author of the photo: Yuri Ilyenko

How were the weathering pillars formed?

When you are here, it is really hard to believe that these mysterious pillars were formed just by the destruction of the mountains. Nevertheless, they were. The pillars were formed over many millions of years as a result of the weathering of the Ural Mountains. The weak rocks surrounding them collapsed, but these, which turned out to be firmer, survived: that’s how the miracle of nature was formed. In 2008, the Manpupuner plateau pillars were recognized as one of the seven wonders of Russia. During voting more than million and a half people voted for them!

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The virgin beauty of the place has been preserved thanks to its remoteness and inaccessibility. There are no settlements within a radius of hundreds of kilometers. Hike to Manpupuner for unprepared people is available only by dropping in and out by helicopter. In the case of hiking is available only to experienced, well-prepared hikers. The hiking route usually takes about two weeks.

Weather Pillars of Manpupuner

The Mansiysky boulders. The Manpupuner. Author of the photo: Yuri Ilyenko

Pass, weather and clothes.

The weather in these northern places is very cold and unpredictable. Fogs are frequent, in which it is difficult to see the bogs and it is easy to get lost. The weather poles themselves are located on the territory of the Pechora-Ilychsky Nature Reserve, and to visit them, in order to avoid problems, it is necessary to get the permission from the administration.

For this purpose, you should write an application to the director of the reserve. In the application you should specify the estimated dates of the trip, the list of group members, passport and contact information. In the reserve will issue a pass, taking for it the environmental fee.

Weather Pillars of Manpupuner

Photo by: Yuri Ilyenko

The Northern Urals is a harsh region, and therefore, going on a winter trip to the Mansiyskie Bolyvany, you must first take care of protection from extremely cold temperatures and winds, which can be very strong here. Particular attention should be paid to windproof (storm suit), expedition jacket and shoes, which should be warm enough and protected from getting inside the snow.

How to get to the Manpupuner Pillars?

Geographically, the Manpupuner Pillars are located in the Trinity-Pechorsky region of the Komi Republic, between the rivers Pechora and Itchotlyaga. To reach them is very difficult because they are located in a remote area difficult to access. Those who have money can order a helicopter tour (although the weather is not always friendly to tourists). The rest will have to walk for a long time.

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There are two variants of the route for hikers – from the side of Komi Republic and from the side of Sverdlovsk region.

In the Republic of Komi you first need to get to the district center of Troitse-Pechorsk. There is a train from Syktyvkar to it. Then take a motor transport to the village of Yaksha, where you can arrange a motorboat trip up the Ilych (almost 200 kilometers). After that you’ll have to walk another 38 kilometers. You can receive help in the village Yaksha from the administration of the Pechora-Ilychsky reserve.

Weather Pillars of Manpupuner

The Pechora-Ilych reserve. The author of the photo: Yury Ilyenko

The trip to Manpupuner from the Sverdlovsk region is much longer and harder. At first you must go to Ivdel (you can get there by bus or by train from Yekaterinburg). In Ivdel on base of the Ministry of Emergency Situations it is possible to agree with an abandonment on the automobile of high cross-country ability to the river Auspia. Having arrived, it is necessary to go along the river Auspia on the West about 20 kilometers, then to rise on notorious Dyatlov pass and to go on a ridge in northern direction about 75 kilometers. It is not easy to walk, because the mountains are formed by kurums. In good weather the poles are still visible from afar. They stand on a small ridge, which is parallel to the main one.

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