The district is located in the southern part of Buryatia. It was established in 1927, its area is 4,532 square kilometers. The center of the district is Mukhorshibir village; the distance from the village to Ulan-Ude is 118 kilometers.
The historical heritage of the region is caves, stone barrows, rock carvings, tall stories, and legends. Early nomads left multiple traces of their stay in the form of rock carvings and tile graves. There are several such places: Mount Bain-Khan, burial ground Narsatui, Mount Gershelun.
The Tugnui valley was settled in the 12th-13th centuries by the tribes of Merkits, who bred cattle, farmed, built palaces and fortresses there. The mountains around the valley were used to signal the approach of the enemy, signal fires were set on them. The ancient name of the valley is Borbo. The new name Tugnui entrenched itself after defeat of the Merkits by Genghis Khan, who, as a sign of his victory, set his banner here – a Tug. The monuments of Tugnui Valley history are of that time.
Remains of the palace in the former headquarters of the Khan of Merkits – Tokhtoa-beki are found in the Narsatui district. The headquarters was ruined by the Mongols, and only the remains of bricks the palace was built of were preserved.
The name originates from the Buryat “Five fingers” – a monument of nature, isolated hill, which resembles an open palm. A series of splits led to the formation of an isolated hill. Wind and water erosion completed the nature-initiated drawing, which resulted in the appearance of a natural monument “Taban Khurgan”. People of the Tugnui Valley have long worshiped the natural monument. Every year, shamans conduct a ritual of veneration of this sacred place. Shamans are sure that this is not just a stone statue, but the right hand of a man, grown from the earth and asking happiness, prosperity, and luck from the Father-sky.
The decoration of the Tugnui Valley, one of the sacred mountains of Asia, is located 3 kilometers from the village of Narsatui. Songs and legends about the mountain had been composed. One of them is about Bain-Khan, a black rider on a black horse guarding the district. He represents wealth, greatness, goodness, the hospitality and friendship.
It is located on the western slope of the Zagansky range; it is a part of the international network of biosphere reserves. And also a part of the object “Lake Baikal” was included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List.
242 species of birds and 51 species of mammals live in the reserve, 67 species of animals are found in the red book of Buryatia, 21 species – in the Red Book of Russia. There grow unique high mountain virgin forests.