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The Republic of Dagestan

Historical and architectural complex of the village Tindithe Republic of DagestanChristian church in Datongthe Republic of Dagestan

The Subject of the Russian Federation:
Republic of Daghestan

Federal District: The Southern Federal District

Area: 50 270 km2
Population: 2 711 679 persons.

Emblem of the Republic  Dagestan
Emblem of the Republic Dagestan

Flag of the Republic  Dagestan
Flag of the Republic Dagestan


Many legends describing the beauty of this land existed since ancient times. Makhachkala fascinates by its joyful energy. Here everything is modern but at the same time it reflects the traditions of this land. We recommend to visit two republican museums: the museum of local history and the museum of Fine Arts. It contains unique pieces of culture and history of this ancient land.

Make sure to come to Derbent, a city of a real miracle. UNESCO estimated it as the world’s greatest museum in the open air. The fortress of Derbent amazes by its history containing the memories of ancient civilizations.

Derbent is so cosy and beautiful that once coming you start to think of staying here for rest during the whole year. The attraction of the city is explained not only by the intact antiquity of its architecture but also the amazing hospitality of its people. It gives an impression that you are welcomed and the natives are always waiting for you to come. Cosy cafes, restaurants, azure sea – all these create a unique comfort for rest and a feeling of absolute happiness. After all, happiness is perceived when you are being waited by somebody, who is absolutely happy to see you.  

The Republic of Dagestan is the subject of the Russian Federation.

The capital of the republic is Makhachkala.

Largest cities: Derbent, Buynaksk, Khasavyurt, Kaspisk, Kizlyar.

Dagestan ASSR within RSFSR was formed on January 20, 1921, since 1991 it is called the Republic of Dagestan and forms part of the Southern Federal District.

The territory of Dagestan is bordered with Azerbaijan on the south, Georgia on the south-west, Chechen Republic on the west, Stavropol region on the north-west and the Republic of Kalmykia on the north.

The population is about 3 million people.

Overall in Dagestan there are 102 nationalities.


The most ancient monuments of the Stone Age found on the territory of Dagestan belong to the Archelian epoch. By the end of I century BC the territory of Dagestan formed part of Caucasian Albania, and later - the country of Sassanid. Since V century AD such independent states as Derbent, Lakz, Tabasaran, Sarir, Zerechgeran (Kubachi), Kaytag and Gumik were formed on the territory of Dagestan. In VI century Dagestan suffered from the invasion of huns. The Khazar state (Khazar kaganate), which included the northern plains of Dagestan, was formed in the steppes of the North-Eastern Caucasus in VII century. In 664 the Arabs began their invasion and Islam started to spread among the mountaineers of Dagestan.

In XI-XII centuries in the territory of Dagestan appeared a number of independent states (Derbent emirate, Avar Khanate, Shamkhalate of Kazi-Kumukh, Kaitag utsmiystvo). During this period Islam became a dominant region in Dagestan. In the beginning of XII century Dagestan was conquered by Mongol-tartars. In XIV century the tartar troops of Uzbek, Tokhtamish and Timur invaded the country.

Since XV century Dagestan started its expansion to Iran.

From XVI century Dagestan was considered to be an object of Russia’s great interest. In 1722 the troops of Peter I invaded the coastal part of Dagestan and joined it to Russia. However, according to Gandzha Treaty (1735) Russia being interested in the alliance with Iran against Turkey yielded these territories. Dagestan again formed part of Russia in accordance with the Treaty of Gulistan (1813) which put an end to the Russian-Iranian war (1804—1813).

The Dagestan mountaineers strongly resisted the Russian expansion to the Caucasus. People from Dagestan, Chechnya and Cherkassy participated in the Caucasian war of 1817—1864. The founder of independence movement was imam Ghazi Mohammed.  Then it was continued by the imam Shamil, Avar by nationality. During 25 years Shamil was leading the struggle of the mountaineers against Russia. He created a state-imamate in the mountains of Chechnya and Dagestan. The fight against Russians began to fade when Shamil surrendered himself to the honorable captivity (1859). In 1860 the Dagestan Region of the Russian Empire was formed.  From the middle of XIX century, especially after the construction of Vladikavkaz railway in 1890, the Dagestan industry was actively developed. By the beginning of XX century there were about 70 industrial enterprises in the region. In 1918—1920 the territory of Dagestan became the Civil War fighting center.

Dagestan got its political status after the revolution of 1917 and the Civil War in Russia. On November 13, 1920 during the Extraordinary Congress of people from Dagestan it was proclaimed the declaration of autonomy of Dagestan and on January 20, 1921 the decree of the formation of Dagestan ASSR was adopted.  

In 1991 as a result of collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of independent states from the former Soviet republics in its territory, Dagestan became a republic within a new state – the Russian Federation.  On September 17, 1991 Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic got the name of Dagestan SSR and on December 17, 1991 — the Republic of Dagestan.

Geography, natural resources, climate

The republic is located on the verge of Europe and Asia in the eastern part of Caucasus. It is the southernmost of part of Russia. The republic includes different physical and geographical zones: from the Caspian lowlands which are 28 meters below the sea level until the snowcap of more than 4 thousand meters high. Lowlands dominate in the northern part, the foothills and the mountains of the Great Caucasus (more than three quarters of the whole territory of the republic are within its area) – on the southern, and Caspian Sea on the eastern part.  

One can say that the republic is a water supplied region, although the river system is irregularly distributed. The major rivers are Terek, Sulak and Samur rivers. The rivers are widely used in agriculture for hydro energy power constructions, irrigation and water supply.

The climate zones of Dagestan are variable, from subtropical forests in the estuary of the Samur River to the deserts and semi-deserts in the north of the republic and alpine tundra and glaciers. The overall flora of Dagestan has nearly 4000 species, including many endemics and relicts.

The growing development of rest and tourism sectors is characterized by mineral water springs and curative mud. Among the most important recreating sources are a great number of lakes rich in medicinal mud which has particularly high reserves in the lakes of the coastal strip. First of all these are sulfide mud of Makhachka, AK-Gel, Big and Small Turali, Angie and other lakes. Sludge-peat mud of the lake close to Kayakent resort and hill mud of Berikey Lake are characterized by their valuable properties. The total area of mud deposits is estimated to 110 hectares.


The main industries in Dagestan include food industry, power generation, oil production and machine building.


The agriculture of the region includes plant cultivation, the main ones are cereals (wheat, corn, barley, rice), and the industrial crops include the sunflowers. The climate conditions contribute to the development of fruit growing, vegetable growing and viticulture. The main branch of cattle-breeding is sheep breeding.


One of the key objects of transport infrastructure of the Northern Caucasus is the commercial sea port of Makhachkala, the only ice-free port of Russia in the Caspian Sea due to its favorable geographic situation in the zone of international transport corridor North-South, East-West.

The Republic of Dagestan has an international airport and an extensive network of roads.

The most important rail, automobile, air, marine and pipeline routes of federal importance are passing through it. The length of the railway is 550 km.

The length of the paved roads is about 8 thousand km.

Type of tourism

  • Cultural
  • Active
  • Hunting and fishing
  • Beach


  • Samur subtropical forest
  • Eolian city
  • Sarh-kum dunes
  • Gunibsky plateau
  • Sulak Canyon
  • Shalbuzdab mountain
  • Karadakh gorge
  • Millitary and watch towers of Dagestan. Architectural and Landscape ensemble.
  • “Anciente Derbent”
  • Fortress “Kala-Koreysh”

Famous people of Dagestan

  • Rasul Gamzatov (1923—2003) — national poet of Dagestan.
  • Musa Manarov (1951) — pilot-cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union
  • Nariman Aliyev (1930—2007) — Hero of the Socialistic labor, doctor of agricultural sciences, professor, member of the Academy of Technological Sciences of the Russian Federation
  • Mohammed Tolboev (1951) — Hero of the Russian Federation and Honored Test Pilot of the Russian Federation
  • Fazu Aliyeva (1932) — National poetess of Dagestan, President of the Women’s union of the republic, Chief editor of “Woman of Dagestan”
  • Murad Kazhlaev (1931) — famous Soviet Dagestan composer and conductor, Honored Artist of Russia, National artist of USSR
  • Shirvani Chalaev (1936) — Dagestan composer, author of the hymn of the Republic of Dagestan
  • Bulach Gadjiev (1919—2007) — Honored Teacher of Dagestan and RSFSR, national teacher of USSR, author of more than 40 books

Emergency telephone numbers

  • Fire service — 01
  • Police — 02
  • Ambulance — 03
  • EMERCOM Service — (8722) 67-1494
  • Traffic Police Hotline — (8722) 67-2708
  • MIA service — (8722) 68-2728
  • SWAT service — (8722) 64-7154
  • Directorate of Internal Affairs — (8722) 68-2669
  • FSS Officer on duty — (8722) 67-5223

Sources of touristic information