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Central Mongolia is beautiful, pristine and rich in wild species and has been keeping many important historical and cultural remains of different historical periods. In central Mongolia, you can discover distinctive natural zones of forested steppes, mountain steppes and Gobi desert and their breathtaking natural beauties and interesting cultural and historical items.

When you travel in central Mongolia, while driving from attraction to attraction, from scenic place to scenic place, you will have sights of nomads’ white gers and their countless animals grazing fenceless. Example of this is: When you travel Mongolia you won’t see big fences to fence animals inside of it. Maybe some small fences close to some gers to protect animals from lost in the stormy days and protect animals from wolves at night in some places. Once, our tourists saw a large fence has tall grasses in it while travelling and asked the guide about it. Then they found that the grass inside the fence is preserved to cut and feed animals in winter as an emergency feed. Then they had a joke that the farmers of the most of the countries keep the animals inside barn or fence, but for Mongolians, the fence is to keep animals outside of it.  


Ruins of Kharakhorum City

Located in beautiful, wide valley of Orkhon river, 360 km southeast of Ulaanbaatar. This wide valley attracted attentions of kings of Mongol states of different periods such as capital of Huns State 209BC-98AD, Syanbi State, Nirun State, Turkic State 552-745AD, Uigur State 750-850AD, Kidan State were established there. Kharakhorum was a capital of the Great Mongol Empire between 1220-1380. By the 15th years anniversary of Chinggis reigned as Khaan, who chose this area and issued decree to build capital city there. Building process of the capital city started in 1220 and continued by his successor Ogoodei Khaan. 413 silver coins of over 10 different countries found from where guaranteed that the city was more like trade center than capital city and was one of important stops of Silk Road. It surrounded by 4 by 4 km walls had 4 main gates. Different trade went on every gate. Residents of the city used to classified by their rank. There were over 10 temples, churches and mosques in Kharakhorum. It was totally sacked by warriors of Chinese Min dynasty in 1380.

Erdenezuu Monastery

One of the destroyed monasteries of Karakorum city started to rebuild by idea of Abtaisain Khan who was 29th golden generation of Chinggis Khaan using old building materials of Kharakhorum city in 1586. Erdenezuu is the largest and oldest monastery in Mongolia. By 1793, there were 62 temples, over 500 gers and houses resided by 10000 monks inside its 400 by 400 m walls. In 1937, communists destroyed many of the monastery's temples. Now there is a monastery consisted of 28 temples serving as a museum displaying masterpieces of Tankas, appliqués, embroideries and sculptures of the 17th -19th centuries. One of the temples is an active temple and the oldest Tibetan style temple in Mongolia. There are over 40 monks read religious mantra every day in warm seasons. The temples were built by Tibetan, Chinese and Mongolian combined architecture without using single nail is special.

Tovhon Monastery

Tovhon monastery built on the rocky top of Shiveet Ulaan Mountain 2312 m above sea level by Zanabazar as a creation temple and meditation center in 1654. Zanabazar was a leader of Mongolian Buddhism, first Bogd(living Buddha), famous painter, sculptor and created Soyombo alphabet in the monastery. First letter of this alphabet is used as a national emblem on Mongolian flag. There, he also created green Tara and many famous creations. The monastery had 14 temples. Some of temples were destroyed by soldiers of Galdnboshigt, who was Khan of Oirat Mongol/eastern Mongolia and his view were against Zanabazar who decided to submit Manchu. Some of the temples also destroyed by 1930s communist purge. Now, there are 4 temples and 2 stupas under state protection and its chanting activity has been recovered since 1992. The temples and stupas restored in 2001. The monastery registered in UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage in 1996. The monastery is not only reason to head to there, also in the sorroundings of the monastery, there are many interesting caves, huge sacred trees and you can have amazing vista from the top of the mounatin. The valley of the Orkhon River is full of ancient historical items and nomads and their countless animals pasturing freely in the wild makes tour more impressive. We recommend Tovhon Monastery people who like hiking, rock climbing and horse riding. 

Hugnu Khan Mountain Natural Reserve

Hugnu Khan Mountain is located in the distance of 280 km southwest of Ulaanbaatar by the paved road. This majestic mountain has been worshipping by locals since immemorial times until today as a sacred mountain. The mountain and its surrounding is special that it represents forest, mountain steppe and desert zone in an area. The mountain is rich in wild animals such as wild mountain sheep, ibex, lynx, deer, wolf, fox, hare, many pray of birds and much more. The mountain is keeping many historical items such as ancient tombs, burial mounds, rock inscriptions, rock drawings, monasteries and ruins of cities. Two monasteries, named Old and Young monasteries were sacked by soldiers of Galdanboshigt and monks were castrated while tied in rope. So the mountain was named Hugnu Khan meaning “a mountain where people tied in rope”. It is possible to travel around the mountain hiking, driving or riding horse. There you can have an opportunity to see Gobi and Khangai, ride horse and camel through sand dunes and green shored streams, visit or stay with nomad family in short period not far from Ulaanbaatar.

This article is only publisher's viewpoint.

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