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Khogno Khan Uul Nature Reserve. Bulgan aimag.



Khogno Khan Uul Nature Reserve

Although it's just off the main Ulaanbaatar-Kharkhorin highway, this nature reserve sees relatively few visitors. Its arid terrain of rocky semi-desert is good for short hikes and there are a few old temples to explore, both ruined and active. At the southern foot of the mountain are the ruins of Ovgon Khiid, built in 1660 and destroyed (and the monks massacred) by the armies of Zungar Galdan Bochigtu, a rival of Zanabazar's in 1640. About 10 monks reside here in the summer months. The head lama is a charming woman who professes soothsaying abilities.

The mountain is in Bulgan aimag but most easily accessed from the Ulaanbaatar-Arvaikheer road.

The ruins of the earlier destroyed monastery (GPS: N47∞ 26.267', E103" 42.527') are a lovely 45-minute (2km) walk along a well-defined path up the valley to the right. The surroundings belong to the 46,900-hectare Khb'gno Khan Nature Reserve and you might spot ibex, wolves and many varieties of hawk. There are lots of hiking possibilities around here.

Camping is excellent in the valley, though the only water comes from a hard-to-find well at the lower end of the valley. All of the following ger camps have horses for rent for about US$3 per hour.
tivgon Erdene Tour Camp (Monastery Ger Camp; with meals US$25) This well-built ger camp and wood lodge is a short walk from the temple. It is run by the monks at the Ovgon Khiid.
Khogno Khan (with/without meals US$30715) Located 4km southwest of Ovgon Khiid.
Bayangobi (with meals US$40) Some travellers have stayed for about US$15 without meals when the camp isn't busy. The camp can be reached by branching south for 6km off the main road, 3km west of the turn-off to Khogno Khan Uul.

To get to Khogno Khan Uul from Kharkhorin by jeep, turn north off the main road, 80km east of Kharkhorin. The road passes several ger camps until, after 8km, you reach Khogno Khan ger camp, where you turn right for the remaining 4km or so to the monastery ruins. There is a shortcut if you are coming from Ulaanbaatar (turn right after the Bichigt Khad ger camp).

Mongol Els

As you approach the border of Ovorkhangai from Ulaanbaatar, one surprising sight that livens up a fairly boring stretch of road is the sand dunes of Mongol Els. If you don't have the time to visit the Gobi (where there are not a lot of sand dunes anyway), these are certainly worth wandering around.



  • Facts about Mongolia 2000. by Da. Gandbold. ADMOND Co.Ltd., Mongolia.



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