Back to :The Countryside

Central Mongolia

Karakorum city ruin: Temujin (Chinggis khaan) unifed Mongolian nations and ruled the territory has extended to northwards Baikal lake, to southwards Great Wall, to westwards Irtysh river (nowadays Kazakhstan) , to eastwards Khalkha river (nowadays Mongolian eastern border). The Karakorum city has established in 1220 in Orkhon Valley by Chinggis khaan’s decree. It has been Mongol Empire’s center of administration, trade, craft and culture, besides that Karakorum was the crossroads of the Silk road, which was connecting East And West between 1220-1260.
During this period, Karakorum city has been played the role of the world’s center , which were linking world’s culture and gathering place Asian and Europian and Arabic travelers, officials, dignitaries and scientists. In Karakorum there were about 15 Buddist temples, Christian churches and Muslim mosques. World’s 3 major religions missionaries had been carried their activities in Karakorum city. In 1254, Munkh Emperor invited these three religion’s delegates in Karakorum and they held world’s first theory debate of these 3 religions.
In 1234, Ugudei Emperor has built “Perfect Peace” palace as a symbol of Mongol Empires’s prosperity and dignity. In front of the “Perfect Peace” palace, there was a famous “Silver tree” fountain designed by French skilled artisan Guillaume Bouchier. French King Louis IX’s envoy William Rubruck has reached in 1254 in Karakorum, and he described about the silver tree in his travel report. According to Rubruck report, there were an angel blowing a bugle on the top of the silver tree. The branches and leaves, fruits all were made of silver and on the foot of the tree there were 4 silver lions. When the banquet starts, the angel blows the bugle and 4 types of Mongolians favorite drinks, such as koumiss (fermented mare’s milk), wine, liquor, were run from the 4 lion’s mouth.
Many skilled workers from United Kingdom, Hungary, Tibet, Nepal, Persia, China, Korea has contributed to construct and work the Karakorum’s architects. By the excavation of Karakorum city ruin, there were found Pharaoh’s mask of, Arabian coins, metal, leather goods, weapons, copper as well, such as transportation equipment, silver, a number of archaeological findings. According to these findings, it can be seemed that the metal working has developed successgully. Khubilai Emperor has moved the capital city to Beijing in 1260. Then, Ming dynasty’s army has attacked th Karakorum in 1380 and in 1410. After these 2 attacks, Karakorum has completely collapsed.

Erdenezuu. The Avtai Sain Khaan, the descendant of Chinggis khan golden tribe founded first Buddhist monastery Erdenezuu by ancient capital Karakorum city ruin in 1586. The monastery surrounded by 108 stupas and it is built by traditional Mongolian urban planning. It was a biggest monastery of Mongolia, in 1872 there were 62 temples and 500 buildings with about 10.000 lamas. Erdenezuu is one of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape World Heritage’s site. The monastery is fascinating complex of Buddist architecture, preserved the culture, custom, beliefs and Buddist memorials in Asia. It was destroyed by communists in 1939, but in 1944 remained temples and buildings has protected by state.

Tuvkhun monastery. The Chinggis khaan’s golden tribe Ondor gegeen Zanabazar established Tuvkhun Monastery in 1651 as a meditation center and a temple of an Buddist art work. It was destroyed by communists in 1939, but ruins temple partially restored. Located on the top of the densely forested and picturesque mountain. Here, Zanabazar created the Soyombo script and many other unique artworks. Tuvkhun monastery is also one of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape World Heritage’s site.

The Orkhon waterfall. The Orkhon waterfall located in 50 km northwards from Bat-Ulzii soum, Uvurkhangai province. The waterfall was formed by unique combination of volcano eruption and earthquakes. The Orkhon waterfall cascades down from a height 25 m and pass through 60 kms throughout the 20 m high canyon. The Orkhon river flows to the north 1124 km, it is the longest river in Mongolia. The Orkhon river valley became a National Park in 2006.

Khuisiin Naiman nuur. The lakes are located 70 km from Orkhon waterfall in the beautiful nature of Khangai mountain range. There are 8 lakes, which were created by volcanic eruptions in centuries ago and locates 2700-3160 m above sea level. These lakes are fresh water lakes and connected underground by water channels, so these lakes are called Khuisiin Naiman lake (Navel’s Eight lakes). This place is famous by its natural beauty, rare medicinal plants, many kinds of birds and its unique formation.

he Orkhon valley Cultural Landscape-UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Orkhon valley heritage sites are located in Ovurkhangai province’s Bat-Ulzii, Khujirt, Kharkhorin soums and Arkhangai province’s Hotont and Khashaat soums, covering area is 121967 hectars along the Orkhon river.
The Orkhon valley place is very suitable to settle down for nomadic people. The nomadic tribes of Central Asia and Mongol descendants inhabited these areas over the several thousand years. The largest empires originated here were Huns, Syanbi, Nirun, Turks, Uighurs and Kidans. The last Mongolian great Chinggis Khaan built the united Mongolian empire. Also, many historical centres are situated here. Quite large numbers of archaeological remaining are found in this area.
The main memorial sites include Turkish memorial site, dated back to 6-7th century, 8-9th century Uighur capital Khar Balgas and the Mongolian ancient capital Karakorum, the Erdenezuu monastery, which is the earliest Mongolian Buddist monastery with Tuvkhun monastery and some other small historical monuments also includes in world heritage site.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee registered the OrkhonValley site to list of World Cultural Heritage Sites in 2004 by criteria the Orkhon valley is one of the example of nomadic exceptional and unique culture and important & unique example of presentation in one place and within one geographical location the interchange & link of cultural and human civilization values, over a spam of time.