Explore Central Mongolia: A Rich Cultural and Natural Haven
Updated: May 17
Central Mongolia is a treasure trove of history, culture, and breathtaking natural wonders. Located in the heart of the country, this region offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to both nature enthusiasts and history buffs. From the majestic landscapes of the Orkhon Valley to the fascinating ruins of the ancient city of Karakorum, Central Mongolia is a destination that should be on every traveler's bucket list. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the top attractions, activities, and practical information to help you plan your Central Mongolia adventure.
1. Central Mongolia's Natural Beauty:
Central Mongolia boasts a remarkable blend of landscapes, showcasing the country's diverse natural beauty. From rolling steppe grasslands to stunning mountain ranges, this region offers a myriad of outdoor opportunities. Some of the must-visit natural attractions in Central Mongolia include: - Orkhon Valley: Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Orkhon Valley, renowned for its magnificent waterfalls, meandering rivers, and lush greenery. Take in the stunning views, hike through picturesque trails, or horse ride across the vast grasslands. - Khustain Nuruu National Park: Witness the endangered wild horses, known as Przewalski's horses, in their natural habitat at Khustain Nuruu National Park. Marvel at the pristine landscapes, encounter other wildlife species, and learn about ongoing conservation efforts. - Hustai National Park: Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Hustai National Park, famous for its population of wild Mongolian horses, known as Takhi or Przewalski's horses. Embark on a wildlife safari, hike through scenic trails, or simply enjoy the tranquility of this pristine wilderness.
2. Cultural and Historical Gems:
Central Mongolia is steeped in rich history and offers a fascinating glimpse into Mongolia's past. Discover ancient ruins, monasteries, and traditional nomadic life as you explore the region's cultural and historical attractions: - Karakorum: Visit the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire, Karakorum. Explore the ruins of the once-glorious city, including the iconic Erdene Zuu Monastery, and learn about the empire's legacy through museums and exhibitions. - Tsenkher Hot Springs: Soak in the rejuvenating waters of Tsenkher Hot Springs, a popular relaxation spot amidst the scenic beauty of Central Mongolia. Unwind in the natural hot springs while enjoying the surrounding landscapes. - Nomadic Culture: Experience the traditional nomadic way of life by staying with local herding families in ger camps. Engage in daily activities such as milking livestock, making dairy products, and horseback riding, while gaining insight into the nomadic culture and customs.
3. Outdoor Adventures and Activities:
Central Mongolia provides ample opportunities for thrilling outdoor adventures and activities. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie or a leisurely explorer, the region has something to offer for everyone: - Horseback Riding: Embark on horseback riding expeditions across the vast Mongolian steppe, accompanied by experienced local guides. Explore remote corners of the countryside, interact with nomadic communities, and witness breathtaking landscapes. - Trekking and Hiking: Lace up your boots and set out on unforgettable treks and hikes through Central Mongolia's diverse terrains. Discover hidden valleys, traverse mountain ranges, and be rewarded with awe-inspiring views along the way. - Camel Trekking: Experience the unique sensation of camel trekking in the Gobi Desert,
Khangai Mountain Range
The Khangain Nuruu Mountain Range in central Mongolia is the second highest mountain range in Mongolia. The range extends for about 800 kilometres, and its average altitude is 2500-3000 meters above sea level. Most of the ancient Mongolian states’ histories connect to this area. Khangai mountains are well-watered, covered with abundant forests, lovely meadows and plenty of fresh streams. The Khangai zone is home to diverse species of flora and fauna including elk, red deer, musk deer, wild boar, brown bear, wild sheep, ibex, wolf, fox and more. Horseback and camel riding, fishing, boating, bird watching and trekking in spectacular nature are all available here.
The Karakorum was established in 1220 and was the capital city of the Great Mongolian Empire. Chinggis Khaan and his descendant Khaan Ugudei, Guyug, and Munkh lived here ruling the empire. Soldiers of the Chinese Ming Dynasty destroyed the town in the 14th Century. The ruins of Karakorum have been protected since 1961 and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. There are several interesting sites to visit in the Karakorum including the Erdenezuu Monastery, the Great Khan’s monument, the legendary Turtle of the Karakorum and the Phallic Rock statue.
Erdenezuu is the first Buddhist monastery of Mongolia established in 1585 by Abtai Sain Khan on the ruins of Karakorum. The Erdenedzuu Monastery has a rectangular shaped perimeter wall of 420 meters. One hundred eight beautiful stupas are surrounding the monastery. The monastery has been protected since 1944 and has also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The museum of the monastery has unique exhibits such as the cast image, clothes and musical instruments that were created by Mongolian craftsmen in the 16-18th Centuries.