Khustai National Park: Khustain Mountain lies in the Altanbulag sum of Tuv aimag, about 90km south of Ulaanbaatar. It stands at an altitude of 1842m. Even though it is far away from Khentii forest which is famous for its birch tree, Khustain Mountain has also a beautiful birch forest. The Khustain Nuruu National reserve was established in 1992 to preserve Mongolia’s wild Takhi horses (Przewalski’s horse) and the steppe environment in which they live. In 1998 it became a National Park of Mongolia.
Bogdkhan Uul. The mountain Bogdkhan Uul (2122m) was proclaimed a national park as far back as 1778. During the Soviet period the park’s status was formalised and it was renamed after Choibalsan. It is now designated the Bogdkhan Uul Strictly Protected Area (Bogdkhan National Park) (42,651 hectares). Unesco has also proposed to establish a wildlife park in the region, of up to 65,000 hectares. It seems that early legislation has ensured that the park won’t become part of Ulaanbaatar’s awful urban sprawl.
The protected area is immediately South of the river, the Tuul Gol, South of Ulaanbaatar and west of Nalaikh. It surrounds Tsetseegun Uul and contains the Zaisan Memorial, Nukht and Manzshir Khiid.
The map of Bogdkhan National Park
Four Holy Peaks. The 4 peaks surrounding Ulaanbaatar are considered holy. The Tsetseegum, Chingeltei, Songino Khairkhan and Bayansurkh mountains correspond, more or less, to the 4 points on the compass. These peaks are tremendous for hiking, and they’re popular for their forests of larch trees, grasslands and stunning bird and animal life, including ibex and sable. The in-depth information about Four Holy Peaks see on pages dedicated Bogdkhan National Park.
The Gorkhi-Terelj National Park – created 1993. It is one of the highlights of Mongolia. The spectacular valley with picturesque high eroded rock formations, pine covered hills and steppe with edelweiss and dazzling variety of other wildflowers, sparkling waters of Mountain Rivers. Most visited is the turtle rock and the dinosaurs park.
Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve is a local protected area for conservation of global threatened species. The Nature Reserve (NR) is founded by the Citizens’ Representative Hural (Local Parliament) of Bayandelger county, Tuv Province in 2003.
Nagalkhaan Mountain: Located next to Ar Janchivlan camp in Tuv aimag, approximately 90 km from central Ulaanbaatar. This mountain area is the Khentii Mountain’s ranges southernmost limit and stands at an altitude of 1970m. This area of some 31km² is designated to protect the southernmost limit of the Khangai and Khentiii mountain ranges, thus in 1957 it was listed as one of the Nature Reserves of Mongolia.
Mountain Bulgan Uul; Covers 1,840Ha in Arkhangai Province and is included in the watershed of the Mongol and Amar Lake basins and forms a special local microclimate. This area is suitable for the reintroduction of sables. The Mountain was established as a protected area in 1995.
The Monastery Zayiin Gegeenii Sum. The monastery was first established in 1586 but expanded in 1679, when it housed five temples and up to 1000 monks. Amazingly, the monastery escaped the Stalinist purges because it was made into a museum. The main hall concentrates on features of traditional Mongolian lifestyle, with exhibits of costumes, traditional tools, a ger, musical instruments, weaponry and saddles. The second hall concentrates on religious symbols. The third hall focuses on local artwork. Further up the hill there is a small abandoned temple. Behind the temple is a large, nearly vertical, rocky hill called Bulgan Uul, where there are some Buddhist inscriptions.
Tarvagatai Mountain Range National Park. This national park is the watershed region between the source and water of the Selenge, the largest river in Mongolia. The National Park is a composition of historical, cultural, and natural heritage. The area covers 525,440Ha in the territory of Arkhangai and Zavkhan Provinces and it was established as a protected area in 2000.
Noyon Khangai Mountain Range National Park. The national park is a special and beautiful formation of nature, as well as a home to many rare species of plant and wildlife. There are many sources of spas and springs. Since ancient time, a historical tradition to worship this area has been followed. The national park covers 59,088Ha in Arkhangai Province and it was established in 1998. It’s a very difficult place to reach, but worth the effort if the jeep road, which is either muddy or potholed, is passable.
The Khangai Mountain Range National Park. The Khangai Mountain Range is situated in central Mongolia, a beautiful National Park, including high mountains, rivers, lakes, forests and a rich historical background. The mountains include the headwaters of the Orkhon River, one of Mongolia’s largest rivers. The mountain range was established as a national park in 1996 with 885,455Ha. This National Park is a special significance in the water and climate change in Mongolia, as well as in maintaining ecological balance. The national park is located near the Ikh Nuuruud lowland covering a large area of desert steppe and arid semi-desert environment which plays a vital role in climate formation and composes a special ecological environment. It is a home and last refuge for many rare and very rare wildlife species.
Elsen Tasarkhai. Elsen Tasarkhai is a mountain pass that extends for about 80km and lies to the north west of Mountain Batkhaan and to the west side of Khogno Khan mountain.
The Uurtiin Tohoi. It is cold spring with carbonic gas, which lies in the sheer sided canyon of the Orkhon River. A small cliff and waterfall are located at the mouth of the Khurgan Khutem.
Orkhon River. The Mongolian longest river, Orkhon River has its source from the Khangai mountain range and flows 1124 km, joining the Selenge river in northern Mongolia and then to lake Baikal in Siberia. There are Jackfish, Lenok, Grey mullet, Acipencer schrenski. There are inscribed monuments of Turkic origin in Mongolia in the Orkhon valley.
Orkhon’s black ruin. It was created in 1751 and included a handicraft market, a Bastille, palaces and storage places. The ruins were registered by UNESCO World Heritage in 1966. Also it has enjoyed state protection since 1971.
Mountain Khugnu Khan Uul. The mountain Khugnu Khan was formed by granite rock of Paleozoic age. The mountain was declared as a National Park with area of 470Km² in 1997.
Khushuu Tsaidam. This monument is 3.3m high and 1.3m wide and the inscription consists of 68 lines. It is noteworthy that the “Orkhon inscription” has both a historical and scientific significance. There are more than 40 inscribed monuments of Turkic origin in Mongolia and more than 10 of these are in the Orkhon valley. The monument was registered by UNESCO in world heritage in 1996 and can be found north east of Karakorum city.
Shurangiin Tsokhio. The camel shaped rock is located 30Km to the west of Uyanga sum, on the way to Lake Naiman Nuur and in the valley of the Shuran River.
Naiman Nuur. The lakes of Naiman Nuur lie at an altitude of 2200m. Craters of extinct volcanoes occur nearby. These fresh water lakes are interconnected by ground water channels such as Shireet, Khaliut, Bugat, Khaya, Khuis, Onon, Doroo, Bayan-Uul altogether make up Khuisyn Naiman Nuur.
Batkhaan Uul. Mountain Batkhaan lies about 30Km from the boundary of Tuv and Uvurkhangai Aimags. The mountain is 2178m, where numerous medical herbs, fauna, and small springs abound. Mountain Batkhaan has enjoyed state protection in 1957.
Baga Bogd Uul. Mountain Baga Bogd is part of the Gobi Altai mountain range. The mountain has an elevation of 3590m. Argali, Siberian ibex and rare birds have been recorded here.
Moiltiin Am. The ruins of Moiltiin Am are west of the Orkhon River, near Karakorum. Moiltiin Am settlement is important in understanding the emergence of early society in Central and Northern Asia, because of the archaeological evidence of continuous occupation for thousands of years, from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic. Moiltiin Am appears to have had continuous human occupation for 20,000 years.
Arts Bogd Uul. The mountain Arts Bogd 2477m, is part of the Gobi Altai mountain range. There is a beautiful cliff named Uush Shakhlaga with a vestige of ancient animals on the south west of the Uush Mountain and north of the Arts Bogd. A Neolithic site was discovered on the back of this mountain.
Galuutiin Havtsal: Around 20km northwest of Galuut village, this is a 100-150m deep and 10m wide canyon that is only a meter wide in some places. Rock plateaus are formed aside the canyons and in spring time Geese lay their eggs here.
Uran Khairkhan Mountain: Located on the border of Ulziit, Baatsagaan and Bayanovoo villages, this mountain was a blacksmith place during the Stone Age period. Hundreds of stone weapons were found around this area hence it became the most ancient findings of stone weapons found in Mongolia. It became under state protection in 1998.
Argalant Uul: This Mountain is located on the way to Boontsagaan Lake. The area has rare animals including wild mountain sheep and wild goats thus it is one of the best hunting areas in the country.
Gazriin Khagarkhai: This crack was formed during the 11.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Ikh Bogd Mountain in 1957. The fissure stretches for about 270km from Orog Lake to Bayan Tsagaan Mountain.
Ekhiil Gol Oasis: Consisting of 3 springs, Ekhiin gol lies at the eastern side of Tsuvliur Mountain and covers an area of 17km by 15km. rare trees including Tooroi and Suhai are grown in the area around the oasis. It is said to be the hottest place in Mongolia with a maximum air temperature of +44.8˚C and an annual average temperature of +9˚C with as little precipitation as 13.4mm.
PALACE TO VISIT
Mandzshir monastery: This monastery is located northeast of Zuunmond in the valley of Bogd Khan Mountain National Park at an altitude of 1800m above sea level. There are carved portraits on the rock next to the monastery. This significant rare art dates back to 1773, and is dedicated to Mandzushir, the Buddha of Wisdom. The monastery was almost completely destroyed during the revolutionary purges of 1930’s though the remaining parts are now being restored. You can see a huge bronze cauldron with a brim diameter of 215cm, depth of 140cm, 1 tone capacity, made in 1726 is said to have provided food for 1000 monks at a single sitting; a recipe called for the meat of one cow or 10 sheep and would need 4 cartful of logs!
Khar Lake of Khag: In the foot of Baga Khentii Mountain, there is a hardwood force in Khiidiin Saridag Mountain which with a height of 1800m has a fresh water lake covering an area of about 4 km. The depth of this lake is 25-30m and Khongor river which drained from Khiidiin Saridag (a mountain with a glacier or covered with ice) flows into this fresh water lake.
Asralt Khairkhan Mountain: This Mountain is an even shaped rocky mountain. Right from the side hill, the River Zaan has its headstream here.
Yamaatyn Saridag or Mountain is located 10km west of Asralt Khairkhan Mountain. Yamaatyn Saridag is known for its flat top. There is no forest around this mountain area. A small lake lies in the east in where the forest starts.
Burkhan Haldun Mountain: Mongolia’s sacred mountain with an altitude of 2332m. The mountain is located in the 1.2 million Ha. Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area established in 1992. This mountain is considered the most sacred mountain in Mongolia because it was first designated as sacred by Genghis Khan himself. As it is noted down in Secret History of Mongolia, Genghis Khan said :
‘’As tall and proud it stands
The Mountain Burkhan Khaldun
Cherish him each morning
Worship him everyday
Admire him every generation’’
In 1995, people restarted the ceremony of offering to the mountain thus now the offering takes place every 3 year.
Khentii River: The River is located 3km from Burkhan Khaldun Mountain’s top ovoo (sacred stones gathered on the mountain pass or crossroad) and stands at an altitude of 1900m. The fresh water river covers an area of 1km which originated from a once frozen concave area. Since the concave side is abrupt it’s hard to reach this river. The easier way to get to this river is to follow the Bogd River which is flowing east of the valley that leads to the Khentii River.
Eej Khad – Near the village of Khoshigiin Ar in the sum (district) of Sergelen, 15km South of Zuunmod, is the sacred lock known as Eej Khad, or Mother Rock.
Chinggis Khaan statue Complex is located 53 km east from Ulaanbaatar at Erdene country of Tuv aimag (central province), there is a place called “Tsonji Boldog”. Chinggis Khaan statue Complex there is over 40 meter high statue. Far-sighted Chingis Khan hold a golden whip in his right hand.
Taikhar Chuluu. The rock is the subject of many local legends; the most common one being that a great Baatar or hero, crushed a huge serpent here by hurling the rock on top of it. There are more than 150 ancient inscriptions created since 6-8th century on the rock. These inscriptions included poems, wishing words and blazons, written in Uighur, Kidanian, Tibetan and Mongolian script.
Zuun salaa Mod (The sacred tree with 100 branches). A big larch is located on the way to Khorgo mountain. The tree is enormous having diameter of 1.5 meters and over 100 branches. Local people have worshipped it and covered it with khadag (specially made bands of silk, usually blue) money and other artefacts to wish for future health and happiness.
Chuluut Gol. The Chuluut River moves up in Egiin Davaa of the Khangai Mountain Range and flows for 415Km north to confluence the Ider River, thus forming the Selenge river. The Chuluut flows through a sheer basalt canyon which extends for around 100Km from the mouth of the Teel River to the Atsat. The basalt is created from lava flows of the nearby extinct volcanoes such as Khorgo Volcano and others. About 50km south of Moron, on the border with the Arkhangai aimag, is the area where the Ider, Bugsei, Chuluut, Delger Moron rivers join and empty into the Selenge river. The Chuluut River is very rich in fish.
Choidogiin Borgio. Choidogiin Borgio is a waterfall cascading from the Chuluut and Suman Rivers confluence, over a sheer cliff with a height of 2m. It is interesting to watch fish in the waterfall. Several other small waterfalls interrupt the flow to the Chuluut River.
Khorgo Uul and Terkhiin Tasagaan Nuur. Mount Khorgo and Terkhiin Tsagaan lake have been protected since 1965. The area covers 773Km² in total. The extinct volcano of Khorgo is on the shore of Lake of Terhiin Tsagaan, 180Km from Tsetserleg town, the centre of Arkhangai aimag. Khorgo is a basalt huge volcanic crater, about 200m wide and 100m deep. There is an interesting sight called “Basalt Ger” on the southern slope, which is an interesting formation of a bubble of solidified lava. Surrounded by extinct volcanoes, Terkhiin Tsagaan is one of the most beautiful lakes in Mongolia. Located at an altitude of 2,06m, the lake covers an area of over 300Km². The beautiful crystal clear lake water is renowned for its fish and bird life. Pike is found in plenty and bird species including Ruddy Shell Duck and Great Cormorant are common.
Khushuu Tsaidam. This monument is located in the Valley of Khugshin Orkhon River in the Khashaat sum. To the left of the Turkish State is the 3 meter high inscribed monument of the famous general Kultegin (684-731).The monument was raised in AD 732 and is inscribed in Runic and Chinese script. 2km away is another monument to Bilge Khan (683-734) brother of Kultegin. The place including these two monuments is named that Khushuu Tsaidam. The Russian expedition under Nikolai Yadrintsev discovered the Khushuu Tsaidam in 1889.
Khar Balgas. The ruined citadel of Khar Balgas is situated in Khotont sum on the banks of the Orkhon River. The city was founded in AD 751 as the capital of the Uighur state, which ruled Mongolia from 745-854. There’s not much left to see except the outer walls (with gates in the North and South) and a Buddhist stupa and a castle in the south-west corner. The city stretched for 25 km to the south and it had a king’s palace, stores, a castle, monasteries and a government house.
Lake Ogii Nuur. The lake Ogii nuur covers 25Km² and is at an altitude of 1337m. Lake Ogii Nuur is a wonderful place for birdlife – cranes and ducks, to name just a few species, migrate to the area around late April. The lake is also renowned for its fishing.
Basalt gers and the cave of yellow dog: Nearby are located ger shaped natural basalt rock formations (solidified lava). Some of these stone gers have a door and a toono (ger’s roof) with height of up to 1.7 m. Local people have given name to another tourist attraction, a cave formed by volcanic activity, as “the cave of yellow dog”. Some people believe in a local legend that assumes that a puppy or cub had once lived in this cave.
The ruin of Kharkhul Khan. The ruins of ancient walls and houses are located on the north valley of the Khanui River. It is named the ruin of Karkhul Khan who was nephew of Prince Angaakhai Darkhan in the 16th C and it has enjoyed state protection since 1998.
Tamir River. The Tamir River springs from the Khangai mountain range and flows north into the Orkhon river. The length of the so called three Tamirs (the Tamir River, North and South Tamir Rivers) is 280Km total.
Rectangular tomb of Toglokh Plain (IV-V C). The historical complex includes a rectangular tomb, a monument with stamp and zel chuluu (which counts hero’s victories) and is located on the south side of the Tamir River. This monument belongs to the Jujan state.
Khunui River. It takes source from the east side of Bugat Mountain of the Khangai mountain range and it flows 120km to the northeast, joining the Khanui River. Some carvings of horses can be seen on bank of Khunui River. Distinguished scientist B.Renchin said that it was named the Khunui River where people of Khun State (209BC-156AD) inhabited this valley.
Erdenedzuu Monastery. This was the first Buddhist monastery, erected on the initiative of Avtai Sain Khaan in 1486 at Kharakhorum. The Erdenedzuu Monastery has a rectangular shaped perimeter wall, 420 meters long and wide sides. There are 108 stupas, 25 of them on each of the 4 sides and 2 on each of four corners. The museum of the monastery has unique exhibits such as a cast god image, clothes and musical instruments which were created by Mongolian craftsmen in the 16-18th century. The monastery has been protected since 1944.
Karakorum. Ancient city ruins. Karakorum was the capital city of the Mongol empire. Chinggis Khaan and his sons – Ugudei, Guyug and Munkh had been ruling the empire since 1220. The ruins of Karakorum city have been protected since 1961. The Erdenzuu monastery and ruin of the city were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1996.
Hot spa of Khujirt. Khujirt spa is located on the banks of the Khujirt River, and lies at an attitude of 1660m. Its components are bicarbonate, carbonate, sodium and spluttered hydrogen. The temperature of the water is +55°С and the spring water is used for treating nervous, back, extremities and cardiovascular diseases.
Waterfall of Ulaan Tsutgalan. Ulaan Tsutgalan, a waterfall on the Ulaan River a tributary of the Orkhon River, cascades from an impressive height of 20 meters. Its width is 10 meters, and it extends for 100 meters into the Orkhon River. The Orkhon and Ulaan Rivers flow through a basalt rock canyon and this has formed the Waterfall.
Tuvkhun Monastery. Is on the peak of Undur Shireet, at 2,312mwhich is located on the boundary of Uvurkhangai and Arkhangai Aimags,40Km north west of Khujirt. It was erected by Zanabazar in 1654 and he created his famous letter “Soyombo” there in 1680. This temple has enjoyed state protection since 1998.
Red rock of Uuld. The Ongotsot Bridge of Ulaankhad is located in the Orkhon River valley, north of Bat-Ulzii and 30Km to the east of Orkhon waterfall. It was named ‘Uuldiin Ulaan Khad’ due to the soldiers of Galdanboshigt who was king of western Mongolia in the 17th century.
Shankh Monastery. The monastery was founded in 1647 by Zanabazar the first Bogda gegen of Mongolia. It has been recently rebuilt .
Ruined 17th century military camp. Chin Tolgoin Khurem (stone wall of defence) is 20Km northwest of the Kharbukh ruins and it is supposed to be a city wall from the Kidan State in the 10th century. The garrison of Tsogt Khuntaij settled here in the 17th century.
Taatsiin Tsagaan Nuur. Lake Taatsiin tsagaan is a Gobi lake with area of 10Km². The lake lies in the northern part of mountain Baga bogd and at the edge of a sand dune.
Shargaljuut Rashaan: located northeast of Bayankhongor town, this well-known health spa is at an altitude of 1492m and consists of over 300 springs that vary in temperature from very hot to icy cold. The water includes hydro carbonate, carbonate, sulfate and sodium. There is a sulfurous spa southwest of Shargaljuut rashaan which is used for spa and mud treatment.
Orog Nuur: Orog Lake lies in the territory of Bogd soum, at an altitude of 1198m, covering 140km² area. This saltwater lake has no outgoing streams and is rich in fish. Orog Lake is popular with birdlife especially the Relic Gull, Whooper Swan and Geese. Herbs such as liquorice grow around the area.
Tsagaan Agui: This 40m long cave located in the Tsahir mountain of Bayanlig has traces of ancient people from around 700,000 years ago. This site is the oldest that has been found in Mongolia. Also a rock painting can be found in the Bichigt gap of Ikh Bayan Mountain, located in Bayanlig som. These monuments are said to be from the Bronze age and in 1998 they came under the protection of the state.
Boontsagaan Nuur: located in the Baga Nuruu valley between the Khangai and Govi Altai ranges, this lake is at an altitude of 1326m and level covers an area of 248km². Due to the earthquake of 1975, the area expanded significantly. The lake is home to endangered bird species including Relic Gull, Whooper Swan and Geese which are listed in the Red Book of Mongolia
Baidrag Gol: Starting from the Khangai mountain range, this river runs 310km to empty into Boontsagaan Lake. It is said in the Mongolian history that Mongolian great Khans once all gathered here in the Valley of Baidrag. There are fish species including Altaic Yellow fish and Ruff to be found in the river.
Adgiin Tsagaan Nuur: located west of Boon Tsagaan Nuur and is the mouth of the Tsagaan Gol which is the left arm of Adgiin Tsagaan Lake. During the last Ice age, around 100,000 years ago, the size of the lake expanded but after the glacier fully melted, the lake water started to diminish.