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Uvurkhangai aimag. Region of Mongolia. Aimag. Place to visited in region of Mongolia. Sights of intersest.

Uvurkhangai aimag, Kharkharin, Kharakhorum, Shankh Monastery, Khujirt, Orkhon waterfall, Orkhon Khiirkhree

ABOUT MONGOLIA

THE REGIONS OF MONGOLIA

UVURKHANGAI AIMAG.
 

  • Arkhangai aimag Bayan-Khongor aimag. Bayan-Ulgii aimag. Bulgan aimag. Dornod aimag. Dornogovi aimag. Dungov aimag. Gobi-Altai aimag. Khentii aimag. Khovd aimag. Khuvsgul aimag. Selenge aimag. Sukhbaatar aimag. Tuv aimag. Umnugov aimag. Uvs aimag. Uvurkhangai aimag. Zavkhan aimag. Territory - 24,286 square miles (62,900 sq. km.)
  • Center - Arvaikheer town, located 261 miles 
    (420 km.) from Ulaanbaatar.
  • Number of somons - 19
  • Population 118,400
  • Uvurkhangai aimag was established in 1931.
     


Uvurkhangai aimag is located in the central part of Mongolia. The Khangai mountain stretches in the North-West, and the Altai mountain towers in the south-west. The steppe lies in the middle of the territory. The Gobi desert is located in the South.
 

The annual average temperature is around 34∞ F (1∞ C), and the average precipitation is about 5 inches (135 mm.). The soil in the south of the area is semi-desert grey and steppe pale areas, in the north part of the area it is mountain type brown and black. 2 percent of the area is covered with poplar, birch, pine, larch forests. There are beautiful oasises with shrubs, cargana, haloxyan, and almond growing everywhere. Wildlife includes wild sheep, ibex, wild horse, wild camel, gazelle, fox, antelope, snow-leopard, lynx, and birds such as swan, pelican, snow-cock, black grouse, wood grouse. In the province there are majestic mountains like Khyatruun, and plain steppes like Noyokhon Dalai, Arvai, Khar nuden, clear-water rivers such as Ongi, Taath, Orkhon and lakes of Khuis, Tsagaan, Sangiin dalai. The 79 feet (24 m) high waterfall of the Orkhon river (Red Fall), is the major tourist attraction. Amazing places in the province include Khuis eight lakes, Tamchi Yol khad, Yamaatiin Tsant, Khorgoi Khurem, of big and small springs the most famous one is Khujirt, a popular resort. Uvurkhangai is a well-khown tourist destination. Uvurkhangai is a homeland of the ancient Mongolian civilization. There are many ancient monuments, one of them being the Maanit monument with Turk inscription. This monument was erected in 731, CE. Also there are ruins of Kharkhot of Uighur capital city, and ruins of Kharakhorum, former capital of the Mongolian Empire, and Erdene Zuu, the 16th century Buddhist temple. Animal husbandry is the key economic sector. Coal mining, construction materials and wood processing plants are major industrial activities.

PLACES TO VISITED.
  • Arvaikheer. A nondescript but friendly aimag capital, Arvaikheer is of little interest except as a place to eat and rest, refuel the jeep or arrange onward public transport to places further west. Arvaikheer has the requisite hotel, bar, cinema, school and administrative building, and the monastery and museum are worth a look.
    Gandan Muntsaglan monastery. This comparatively large monastery, about 300m north of the town square, contains a fine collection of scroll paintings (thangka), including one depicting the original monastery, which was destroyed in 1937. The current monastery was opened in 1991, and now has about 50 monks in residence. Visitors are welcome. To the left of the temple is a small shop selling religious items.
    Museums. Since Ovorkhangai lies partly in the forested Khangai region and the Gobi Desert, the Aimag Museum boasts a better than-average selection of stuffed mountain and desert animals. There are also some fossils and arrows, local artwork and leftovers from Karakorum. Upstairs are intricate carvings.
    Just around the corner is the Zanabazar Memorial Museum, which has a collection of religious artwork connected to the master sculptor.
     
  • Kharkharin (Kharakhorum) Ц former capital of Chinggis Khan, was founded 1220 in the Orkhon valley, center of the empire for more then 140 years, destroyed in 1391 by Chinese troups. Only two turtles of granite can be seen nowadays. The first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, Erdene Zuu, was founded on the ruins of the old capital in the year 1586. It is surrounded by a quadratic wall (420m long on each side) with 108 stupas. In 1792, it housed 62 temples and 10.000 lamas. During communist area nearly destroyed, it contains today 3 temples, one stupa and some smaller buildings but became active monastery again and open for visitors. This is the place to "learn about religious and cultural traditions of Mongolia".
     
  • 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.
     

  • Shankh Khiid. Shankh Monastery, once known as the West Monastery, is the only one of the region's monasteries other than Erdene Zuu to have survived. Shankh was renowned because of its connections with the great Zanabazar and is said to have once housed Chinggis Khaan's black military banner. At one time the monastery housed over 1500 monks. As elsewhere, the monastery was closed in 1937, temples were burnt and many monks were shipped off to Siberia.
    During the years of repression, five monks secretly kept the monastery alive in a local ger at great risk to themselves. One of these monks reopened the monastery in 1990. It is currently trying to raise funds to build a stupa in his honour.
    Of the three main buildings only the central main temple has been restored.
     
  • Khujirt. South of Erdene Zuu, Khujirt is a small, soporific town noted for its mineral hot springs and health resort. There's not much else to see here, except for the tiny Gandan Piljeling Khiid, which has a contingent of 15 part-time monks. Most travellers pass through the town en route to the waterfall Orkhon Khiirkhree. There are some interesting grave sites worth looking out for a couple of kilometres out of town on the road to Kharkhorin.
    The road between Kharkhorin and Khujirt (a bumpy 54km) is one of the best places in the country to see falcons and hawks, particularly the saraa (moon) hawk. If you are ever likely to get a photo of one of these birds, this is the place.
     
  • Orkhon waterfall (Orkhon Khiirkhree). Apart from the springs at Khujirt, the main attraction in the area is the Orkhon waterfall (GPS: N46∞ 47.234', E101∞ 57.694'). The waterfall is situated in the historically significant Orkhon Valley, whose river flows an incredible 1120km to the North before it joins the mighty Selenge Gol. Also called Ulaan Tsutgalan, the waterfall was formed by a unique combination of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes about 20,000 years ago. The fall is naturally most impressive after heavy rain. (Photo album. Orkhon waterfall.)
     
  • Tovkhon Sum. High in the mountains marking the north side of the Orkhon Valley lie the ruins of this ancient temple and retreat. Zanabazar founded the site in 1653 and lived, worked and meditated here for 30 years. Several pilgrimage sites have grown up around the temple and hermit's caves, including one that is said to be Zanabazar's boot imprint.
     
  • Naiman Nuur. Also worth visiting if you have a jeep is the area known as Naiman Nuur (Eight Lakes), which was created by volcanic eruptions centuries ago and is now part of the 11,500 hectare Khuisiin Naiman Nuur Natural Reserve. The lakes are 70km south-west of the Orkhon waterfall, but the roads are often virtually impassable.
     
  • Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape. Date of Inscription: 2004. Core zone: 7537 ha. Buffer zone: 143867 ha. N47 33 24 E102 49 53. Ref: 1081rev

    The 121,967-ha Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape encompasses an extensive area of pastureland on both banks of the Orkhon River and includes numerous archaeological remains dating back to the 6th century. The site also includes Kharkhorum, the 13th- and 14th-century capital of Chingis (Genghis) KhanТs vast Empire. Collectively the remains in the site reflect the symbiotic links between nomadic, pastoral societies and their administrative and religious centres, and the importance of the Orkhon valley in the history of central Asia. The grassland is still grazed by Mongolian nomadic pastoralists.

    Criterion (ii): The Orkhon valley clearly demonstrates how a strong and persistent nomadic culture, led to the development of extensive trade networks and the creation of large administrative, commercial, military and religious centres. The empires that these urban centres supported undoubtedly influenced societies across Asia and into Europe and in turn absorbed influence from both east and west in a true interchange of human values.

    Criterion (iii): Underpinning all the development within the Orkhon valley for the past two millennia has been a strong culture of nomadic pastoralism. This culture is still a revered and indeed central part of Mongolian society and is highly respected as a СnobleТ way to live in harmony with the landscape.

    Criterion (iv): The Orkhon valley is an outstanding example of a valley that illustrates several significant stages in human history. First and foremost it was the centre of the Mongolian Empire; secondly it reflects a particular Mongolian variation of Turkish power; thirdly, the Tuvkhun hermitage monastery was the setting for the development of a Mongolian form of Buddhism; and fourthly, Khar Balgas, reflects the Uighur urban culture in the capital of the Uighur Empire.
     
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
PAGES OF THE PICTURE ALBUM
BIBLIOGRAPHY:
  • Facts about Mongolia 2000. by Da. Gandbold. ADMOND Co.Ltd., Mongolia.

 
 

 

- Ulaanbaatar 
 

 

 

- Darkhan uul

- Govi-Sumber

- Orkhon  
 

 

 

- Tuv Aimag

- Uvurkhangai Aimag

- Arkhangai Aimag  
 

 

 

- Khuvsgul Aimag

- Bulgan Aimag

- Selenge Aimag  
 

 

 

 - Khentii Aimag

- Dornod Aimag

- Sukhbaatar Aimag  
 

 

 

- Bayan-Ulgii Aimag

- Khovd Aimag

- Uvs Aimag

- Zavkhan Aimag  
 

 

   

- Dundgovi Aimag

- Umnugovi Aimag

- Dornogovi Aimag

- Bayan-Khongor Aimag

- Gobi-Altai Aimag
 

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