Eastern Mongolia

Altan Ovoo (Golden stone shrine)

Altan Ovoo is a sacred mountain venerated in ceremonial rites. In 1990 a stupa was erected on the site of a golden roofed temple. It is an extinct volcano of Dariganga village in Sukhbaatar province, 1354 m high and is worshiped by Dariganga people, representatives of one of the ethnic groups living in six villages of Sukhbaatar. The mountain was proclaimed as ‘The mountain to worship’ in 1913 by decree of Bogd Khaan, Mongolian religious leader. In 2004, it became a ‘Majestic mountain to worship’. Women are not allowed to go to the top of the mountain, but to a lower place.

Ancestors’ Wall

It was built of big red granite rocks and half of which encircles a small rocky hill. The wall is about 3 feet wide, 8-10 feet high and 4.78 miles in length. It is thought that the wall was built in the 13th century, but remains in remarkably good condition. This is the place where Yesukhei, Genghis Khan’s father, was buried.

Asgat Mountain

It is average mountain in height located in southeast of Khan Khentii Mountain Range. This mountain is in the region of forest steppe.

Asralt Khairkhan

It is the highest peak of Khentii mountain Range. The peak has impressive elevation of 2800 m above the sea level. There are alpine and cliffs on the peak. You can see glacial top and moraine.

Avarga toson

Avarga toson is in fact two neighbor lakes called Avarga Toson and Toson that have carbonate-natrium, chloride and sulfur acid are located in the south of Bayantal steppe where feather-grass, couch grass and other plain vegetation grow.

There is yellow and black clay on the coast of the lake and people from far near places have been coming to this place for over a century in order to cure their illnesses of nerves and venereal disease using the clay and take spring for their digestive system and joint ami dermal diseases. Aristocrats used to stay on the south coast, monks on the north coast and ordinary people on the east and west coast of the lake. Now, Sanatorium of Avarga Toson and "Khuduu Aral" tourist camp hold their activity nearby the lake.

Baldan Bereiven Khiid (Baldan Bereiven Monastery)

The monastery was erected by granite rocks and was sanctified in 1724. The monastery of Baldan Bereeven is surrounded by four mountains each said to resemble an animal: a lion on the east; a dragon on the south; a tiger on the west; and a Garuda on the north. Each cardinal point is also guarded by a Protector Deity. The monastery settled in beautiful landscape with forested mountain and lake. There was a big temple that was 3 stories high with 32 pillars around it. It became one of the most important temple complexes with 20 temples and 4 religious schools. At its peak it was one of the three largest monasteries in Mongolia and home to 1500 lamas.

The originally temple was demolished during the persecutions of the late 1930s and by fire in the 1970s only the Red Jamsran rock painting in the temple now is thought by some to be the original but no one is quite sure. Now only the ruins are remained.

On the rocky hills that surround the monastery there are art works of religious paintings.

Binder Ovoo

It is located in the territory of Batshireet village of Khentii province. It is considered to be very peculiar Ovoo (pile of stones) as its formation built by woods.

Buir Nuur (Buir Lake)

This beautiful lake is the largest in eastern Mongolia (the northern shore is actually in China). It has an area of 235 square miles (609 square km). It receives the Halkh River from southeast, and its outlet, the Orkhon (Orshun) River, flows into Lake Hulun to the north. Buir Lake locates in Khalkh gol village of Dornod province. The surrounding countryside is mostly grassland, though there are few trees. The lake has a maximum depth of 50 m and, if you are equipped with the proper paraphernalia, is a good place to fish. 

Burkhan Khaldun Mountain

The Burkhan Khaldun is a mountain of the Khentii Mountains in Khentii province in Mongolia. The mountain itself and/or its proximity areas are rumored to be the birthplace of Genghis Khan also known as a great mountain worshipped by Genghis khan, as well as the purported location of his tomb.

The mountain is located in 12,000 Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area established in 1992. It is considered the most sacred mountain in Mongolia, because it was first designated as sacred by Genghis Khan, although it previously had strong religious significance prior to Genghis Khan making it such a powerful landmark. This mountain is noted in Mongolian secret history book as the historical note during Genghis khan’s ruling.  It has been officially worshipped by Mongolian government since 1818. The mountain is covered with forests in its back and front side. By oval gorge near Ikh Ovoo on the summit of the Burkhan Khaldun there is transparent beautiful small lake. Since 13th century, Genghis khan and his descendants have been buried in this mountain according to the historical notes. 

Buriat culture

The Buryats or Buriyads, numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia. They are the northernmost major Mongol group.

Buryats share many customs with Mongolians, including nomadic herding and erecting yurts for shelter. Today, the majority of Buryats live in and around Ulan-Ude, the capital of the republic, although many live more traditionally in the countryside. They speak in a dialect of Mongolian language called Buryat.

The name "Buriyat" is mentioned as one of the forest people for the first time in The Secret History of the Mongols (possibly 1240). It says Jochi, the eldest son of Genghis Khan, subjugated the Buryats in 1207. The Buryats lived along the Angara River and its tributaries at this time. The historical roots of the Buryat culture are related to Mongolians. After Buryatia was incorporated into Russia, it was exposed to two traditions- Buddhist and Christian. Buryats in the west of Lake Baikal and Olkhon (Irkut Buryats), are more "resifted", and they soon abandoned nomadism for agriculture, whereas the eastern (Trans Baikal) Buryats are closer to the Khalkha Mongols, may live in yurts and are mostly Buddhists. In 1741, the Tibetan branch of Buddhism was recognized as one of the official religions in Russia, and the first Buryat datsan (Buddhist monastery) was built. And some of Buriats’ religion is shamanism. They wear traditional dress. Also they have national music and songs.

Degee Nomrog protected site (3112 sq km)

It is located in 420 km east of the town Choibalsan, Mongolia. Moose are endemic in this area of hills and winding streams. It remoteness has kept this area untouched and it is perhaps the only place in Mongolia where the destructive effects of overgrazing are non-existence.

Deluun Boldog, a Birthplace of Genghis Khan

For his 800th birthday, a statue of Genghis Khan was erected in 1962 at Deluun Boldog; a place believed to be the Great Khan's birthplace, close to what is today Dadal village, an attractive forested area in north-west Khentii region. 
The area contains trails and lakes for visitors as well as monuments where you can learn why this fierce warrior and great leader is still memorized today. Dadal village once housed one of three great Lamaist temples consecrated to Genghis Khan, but which was destroyed in 1930s. Now there are stone monuments devoted for him in beautiful nature. It is elevated at 1231 m above the sea level and located northwest of the center of Binder village.

Eastern Mongolian Steppe

Eastern Mongolian Steppe Strictly Protected Area-wildlife park/sanctuary/reserve located at Matad and Erdenetsagaan villages, in Dornod and Sukhbaatar provinces, Mongolia. The area needed to be protected due to the endangered fauna and flora. The animals are: Mongolian gazelle, Wolf, Corsac Fox, Red Fox, Badger, Great Bustard, Steppe Eagle, Upland Buzzard, Kite, Rough-legged Harrier and Asiatic Grass Frog etc. There are three large Strictly Protected Areas (SPA) were established in the province in 1992.

Erdenemandal Khiid

It was founded in 1991 as a ger temple. The following year permanent buildings were constructed. The old monastery Mandal destroyed in 1938 which was 20 km from this new site. It had seven temples and could accommodate 1000 monks. Nothing remained except two statues from the main hall that have been placed in new buildings. Before the purge of the 1930s there were many monastic complexes in this provinces, including those of Eguder ovoo and Mandal villages.

Genghis Khan

He was born in 1162 and named Temujin. His father, Yesukhei was leader of Kiyagt-Borjigin tribe. When his father was poisoned by the Tatars in 1171, the nine-year-old outcast was plunged into years of struggle as he strove to keep himself and his family alive. Temujin eventually married his long-betrothed wife, Burte from Konggirait tribe.

In 1189, he was proclaimed Genghis Khan or “Oceanic King”, and the khan of Borjigin Mongols, when eight princes swore allegiance to him.

Within 15 years he had defeated Tatar, Taichuud, and Naiman tribes and at a Khuraltai (tribal meeting) in 1206 he was proclaimed leader of “all the people who live in felt tents” and announced this empire as the “Great Mongol Empire”. Within a few years, he managed to create confederation of Mongol tribes, assemble a loyal army of up to 200.000 men and, with the help of his brilliant generals Subedei and Jeve, created the largest empire that the world had ever seen. On August 1227, the 66-year-old Genghis died near Yinchuan, in modern China’s Gansu province, from injuries sustained after, of all things, falling off his horse.

Temujin- Temujin is the name of young Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan–Khuduu aral

Khuduu Aral is a plain about 30 km long and 20 km wide on the meander of the Kherlen River, at an altitude of 1,300 m above the sea level. The site of Ikh Aurag (palace) of Genghis Khan is on this plain. It is significant place for Mongolian history especially connected to Genghis Khan so the location is mentioned in “The Secret History of the Mongola” and is where the book was completed by an unknown Mongolian historian in 1240.

Great Aurag Palace

It is located in the territory of Delgerkhaan village, Khentii province. Genghis khan ordered to build several palaces to house food and goods collected as taxes from ruled countries in 13th century. It has been settled as a city kind of capital with huge ger palace on the chariot for the King for about 30 years since 1189. Now only the ruins are remained. 

Gurvan Nuur

Gurvan nuur (means “Three Lakes”) is a picturesque place with pine forest, small lakes in the forest and variety of birds. First day we will take a day trip in the surrounding area Three Lakes.

Jargalan River

It is a small river that flows out of east slope of Khan Khentii mountain Range. The river flows for 70 km and join to Khurkh River. Along the river, there are historical and cultural sites such as Baldan Bereeven monastery, Deer stones and ancient burial mounds.

Juramt Gatlaga

It is a ferry of Onon River, locates next to Bayan Adraga village in Khentii province. Here, the travelers can cross over the Onon River by floating ferry.

Khagiin Khar Lake

It is a picturesque lake, between the Khiidiin Saridag Mountain, Khunkhur Mountain and Asgat Saridag of the Khentii Mountain Ranges. The water of the Lake of Khagiin Khar Lake is about 25 m to 30 m deep and the surface is at an altitude of 1800 m above the sea level, covering an area of about 4 sq. km. The lake was formed as the result of glacial action, which occurred during Quaternary Era.

Khalkh gol memorials (Khalkh river memorials)

In Khalkh-Gol village of Dornod province, there is a battlefield dating back to 1939; the Khanan statue; a statue for Yakovlev; a statue for the Mongolian border troops; the Statue complex for Victory, the commanding point of G.K. Jukov, the Commander of the Red Army Corps; the entrenchment of L. Dandar, where he was entitled as the Hero of Mongolia. There are many statues in Choibalsan town, including those for H. Choibalsan who was the communist leader of Mongolian Republic, Soviet pilots, honored author Ts. Damdinsuren; Burte Ujin, poet Z. Nyamsuren, N.F. Gastello; Soviet hero General Kurilatkin; and a memorial statue at the place where Byantumen town was bombed; as well as tombs of Soviet troops. Khalkh River is historical place of World War II. Mongolian side won in favor of Russian country in Khalkh river battle against Japan.  

Khangal Lake

This generating tectonic fresh water lake with 1.5 sq. km is on the basin of Khurkh River in Umnudelger village.

Khentii Aimag

Khentii aimag (province) is homeland of the 13th century conqueror Genghis Khan. So that there are many important places mentioned in Mongolian history which many scientists and historians are interested in especially belonged to Genghis Khan’s time starting from his birth until the death. The prominent ethnic minority is Khalkh and some of Buryat groups. Khentii is drained by two large rivers as Kherlen and Onon which have their source in the north and belonged to the Pacific Ocean basin.

Its capital is Genghis Khan located 331 km from Ulaanbaatar, 1027 m above the sea level. It is best known as the birthplace and likely final resting place of Genghis Khan.

You can see beautiful landscape and outstanding nature with different formations while being introduced to the historical sites belonged to significant moments took over Mongolia.

Kherlen River

It is one of the three famous rivers which is formed of Khentii Mountain Ranges, and it flows for 1264 km to drain into the lake of Dalai Nuur in China.

Kherlengiin Huduu Aral

Huduu Aral is 20x30km and is a fairly wide Steppe. There was found first Mongolian city Aurag by an excavation. The world-famous Secret History of the Mongols was written 1240. Most related events of this book took place here. Many people follow the footsteps of the great Khaan Genghis in 13th century. The healing source here is a major destination for Mongolians. Here the river Kherlen flows, where many go for fishing. Also surrounding lakes are ideal for birdwatchers, because of different species of rare birds.

The area is located approximately 240 km from Ulaanbaatar.

Khukh Lake of Kharzurh

Literally means Blue Lake of Black Heart.

This is the place, where in 1189 the ceremony was organized to grant a title Genghis Khan to young Temujin, and thus he became the King of the Great Mongol Empire. It is connected lakes situated in Udeg river basin in the front side of Khar Zurkh Mountain. They are separated from Basin of Tsenkher River by a mountain pass called Tsagaan Davaa. Khar Zurkh is a point topped mountain with forest in its shady side and no trees in its front. The stone of ger ruin with diameter of 15 m is on the south side of this lake. It could be ruin of the palace where Genghis khan was proclaimed as a King of the Mongols. The land around the lake is a region as taiga forest zone and vast depression surrounding mountain range.

Khurkh River

This river takes its source from east slope of Khan Khentii Mountain Range and flows for 150 km to Onon River. The flow of the beginning of the river is quite strong. But it becomes gentle in the mouth of the river. On the north bank of Khurkh River, there are plenty of Mongolian ancient historical sites including Binder Ovoo, Rock Paintings of Rashaan Rock, Ancestors’ Wall, dwelling of ancient people and remains of Paleolithic Age.

Ikh Burkhant complex (Big God)

Interesting site in the east region is Ikh Burkhant, where there is a huge image of Janraisig (Avalokitesvara) carved on the hillside. Ikh burkhant complex locates in Khalkh gol village of Dornod province. The carving was commissioned in 1864 by local regent Bat Ochir Togtokhtoor or Tovan (van means 'lord') and was reconstructed between 1995 and 1997.Carving of Ikh Burkhan is 30 m long. About 20 carvings of god are circled around the big lying god monument.

Maihan Khar Mountain

This is a high mountain locates front side of Khan Khentii Mountain Range. Maikhan Khar Mountain (Black Tented Mountain) is in the natural zone of forest steppe. This mountain is rich with forest, beautiful flowers and wild animals.

Onon River

Mongolian second largest river inhabited by Taimen, Baikal Sturgeon, Lenok, Amur Chub, Freshwater Cod, Khadary Whitefish, Amur Pike, Barbel, Amur Grayling, Amur Ide and Burbot. This river was mentioned 30 times in the book named “Mongolian secret history”. This river flows of the area close to Onon hot spring and then flows for 445 km until the Mongolian border, totally 800 km, and then join the Inge river of Russia forming Shilkha river. Total area of its water collection is 94040 km. It is 80-160 m wide and 0.5-3.0 m deep.

Rashaan Khad

This rock is located near the east of Binder Ovoo (a pile of stone). There are about twenty different scripts including Orkhon-Enisey, Kidan, Arabian, Persian, Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese on it. In the area near the rock there are ancient burial sites that dated to 20000 years BCE and also archaeological findings of stone and bronze ages where found from this area. On this rock, there are plenty of ancient rock paintings of ancient animals and people and hundreds of descriptions of various kinds of stamps that belonged to different periods. These rock paintings include ancient rhinoceros, a giant mammoth that lived for longest time with human kind. Rock paintings of Rashaan Khad proved that ancient people who lived in Khentii Mountain Range, used to hunt those mammoths, rhinoceros and wild ass with weapon made by flint 40.000-14000 years ago.

Shiliin Bogd Mountain

Shiliin Bogd Mountain, a holly mountain is 1777m and 70 km south east of the village center. Its crater is 2 km wide and 300 m deep and there are dozens of small ovoos (piles of stones) covering it. Just 14 km to the North West Shiliin Bogd is the basalt cave of Taliin Agui, which is full of stalagmites and said to be one of the largest in Mongolia. (200 meters long, 100.000 cubic meters in size).

Taliin agui (Steppe cave)

Taliin Agui is the largest cave in Mongolia 14 km to the north of Shiliin Bogd Mountain in Dariganga village of Sukhbaatar province. The cave is located in the middle of vast steppe and stretches 200 m in length and occupies total space of 100.000 cubic meters. 

Taliin Agui is a creation of volcanic air pressure underground. The cave is basalt, considered to be one of the biggest caves in Mongolia and the most beautiful cave of all 200 caves found around Mongolia. It is peppered with stalagmites and the basalt walls are striking.

Toroi Bandi (statue)

Toroi bandi was a locally famous bandit who used to steel horses from the Chinese tradesmen and passed them to local people in his country-like Robin Hood of the steppes. The statue shows that he crouched on the ground, surveying the Chinese Border, which is just a few km away. About 21 km east of the village center is a statue of Toroi Bandi, built in 1999.

Ugtam Uul Reserve

It is located in the north of the province about 30 km east of Bayandun village, total area is 300 This wooded area includes Ugtam Mountains, Khairkhan Mountains and a functioning Buddhist monastery. Mongol daguur protected zone (1030 sq km) lies in two separated parts. The northern end is a continuation of the Russian reserve of Daurski, and the southern part includes the Ulz River. It has six very rare varieties of crane, including the threatened Siberian crane, live here. The Administration of the Protected Area is in Ereentsav village.

Zuun Kherem

About 20 km from Genghis village there are the ruins of Qidan State (ruled Mongolia during 907–1125) city of Zuun Kherem (eastern fortification). This was the most northern of the Qidan Empire towns and it played the role of vanguard along the northern of the borders. Crops were grown behind the town, in Kherlen basin and along the Murun River. The Baruun Kherem (western Fortress) was located 2 kilometers west of Zuun Kherem with seven gates. You can see the remains of the base of the city with watch-tower. The present thickness of the wall is 7 to 12 meters, and their height varies from 1.5 to 3 meters.