Orkhon Valley Heritage
The Orkhon Valley covers an area of 1,220 square kilometers and is one of the most important cultural regions in the world and was recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage as a cultural landscape in 2004. The extensive area encompasses the pasture land on both banks of the Orkhon River and includes numerous archaeological sites dating back to the 6th century. The Orkhon Valley Cultural landscape includes sites such Karakorum - the 13th century capital of Genghis Khan's Empire, Erdene Zuu monastery, Tuvkhun monastery and Khar Balgas from the Uyghur Empire, which are all located in Uvurkhangai Aimag.
Karakorum - the ancient capital of Mongolia
Karakorum - the ancient capital of Mongolia was established by Genghis Khan in 1220 in the Orkhon valley, on the way of Silk Road. City creation was completed during the reign of Khubilai Khan. It was an important cultural, commercial and religious center of the Mongol Empire, where all religions can come together in harmony. William of Rubruck, a Flemish Franciscan missionary and papal envoy to the Mongols reached Karakorum in 1254, later wrote that Karakorum is a walled city with four main entrances facing the four directions (south, north, west and east gates), has two large districts with many houses, buildings, temples and markets. For 140 years Karakorum served as the capital of the united Mongol tribes until it was damaged by war and conquests.
In 1586, Erdenezuu, the oldest surviving buddhist monastery in Mongolia was built on the ruins of the 13th century capital. The Avtai Sain Khan, ruler of the Khalkh Mongols and grandfather of Zanabazar, the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, ordered construction of the Erdenezuu Monastery in 1585 after his meeting with the III Dalai Lama and the declaration of Tibetan Buddhism as the state religion of Mongolia. Erdenezuu Monastery is part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site. In the early 20th century Erdenezuu was walled monastery with 108 stupas (108 being a sacred number in Buddhism), about 60 temples, and housed up to 1500 monks. Tourists can visit the "Karakorum" and "Erdenezuu" Museums, where about 7,900 exhibits are preserved in "Erdenezuu" Museum and in the other museum are stored precious heritages of Stone Age, Bronze Age, as well as exhibits displaying eras of early States, Great Mongol Empire and Mongolia's ancient capital city of Karakorum.
Tuvkhun Monastery located prominently on top of a forested Mountain Shiveet-Ulaan at the boundaries of Arkhangai and Uvurkhangai aimags, 40km north-west of Khujirt sum of Uvurkhangai aimag. The monastery was established in 1651 by Saint Zanabazar, Bogdo Zanabazar, also known as Undur Gegeen Zanabazar and Bogd Jebtsundamba (1635-1723), sculptor and spiritual leader of Mongols, the grandson of Avtai Sain Khan and a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. Since 1992 the monastery stands under state protection and was restored in 2001. Originally, Tuvkhun Monastery consisted of 4 temples, 2 stupas. Its buildings have Tibetian and Mongolian architectural influences. Tourists can reach the monastery by hiking about 5km from the bottom of the mountain. Attractions: horse tethering place post and seats of Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, Mother Cave, Swaddling Cave, which have interesting ancient legends.
Orkhon waterfall (Ulaan Tsutgalan Waterfall)
Located in Orkhon valley (UNESCO World Heritage Site) on the Orkhon River in Bat-Ulzii sum of Uvurkhangai aimag, Orkhon waterfall is the largest waterfall in Mongolia with the most impressive view. Having a width of about 10 meter and dropping 20 meter, this waterfall is known as " Ulaan Tsutgalan Waterfall". Tourists can enjoy the natural beauty, fishing, horse riding.
Khorgo-Terkh National Park
Khorgo-Terkh Tsagaan Nuur National Park located in the Arkhangai aimag include some of the most amazing and majestic scenery such as Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur and Khorgo Mountain. The park is comprised of 1,252 square miles of land.
Terkh Tsagaan Lake
Terkh Tsagaan Nuur known as Terkh White Lake is a crystal freshwater and volcanogenic lake in the Khangai Mountains, located 648km from Ulaanbaatar city. This lake was created as a result of a 4050cm thick basaltic blockage of Terkh River, following the eruption of Khorgyn Togoo and some other volcanoes. Lake length - 16km, width - 6 km; its depth is 20m (65ft). The Great White Lake at an altitude of 2,060 meter is surrounded by extinct volcanoes and covers an area of 61 square km. In the middle of the lake there is a small volcanic island with 500sq km area and 28m relative altitude, called Nuuryn Tolgoi, covered with bird nests made of the fragrant grass Samkhan. Terkhiin River river flow into the lake, as well as 20 smaller rivers and streams. There is one major outflow, Suman River. Lake rich of prosperous species of fish such as taimen, perch, lenok and pike. It's registered in Ramsar's Convention because many birds including swans, shelducks, ducks, gulls, common herons and great white egrets gather here.
Khorgo extinct volcanoe
Its peak is nearly 2210m above sea level, has a crater, 200m in diameter and around 70-80m deep. The last eruption occurred in approximately 8,000 years ago. Near the crater of the Khorgo volcano there are dozens of small caverns with stalactites hanging from the ceiling and walls. Also, Khorgo zone include about 33 extinct volcanoes such as right and left Gichgene, Uvliin togoo, Tsagaan Uul, Zalaa tolgoi, Mandlyn togoo, Shavryn Tsalam, Suman, Gichgene and Chuluu rivers winds through the Khorgo zone makes a a fascinating combination of geology and mystical landscape. Khorgo dormant volcano, Terkhiin Tsagaan River and Khuduu River have been protected as a National Park since 1995. This unique scenic places are surrounded by beautiful mountains of Altad, Choidog Falls at the southern side of Murun, Chuluut River which flows amidst steep rock cliffs, Suman River, Suvraga Khairkhan of Tsenkher Sum which has a crystal, blue spring lake in its frontside, Suvraga Khairkhan with its refreshing aroma of juniper, Khukh Lake which is found on top of the mountain in Ikhtamir Sum, astonishingly beautiful Gurvan Tamir Wooded Valley, Senjit Cliff, Ikhtamir Sum's Uran Mandal and Noyon Khangai mountains, Khuslent Cliff, Bichigt Khangai, Sant Buluu Tsagaan, Duvkhun, Telee, Mankhan Erdene, Bulgan, Khairkhan.
Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes
Elsen tasarkhai sand dunes are some of the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia. 80km long dunes stretch through Burd sum of the Uvurkhangai aimag, Erdenesant sum of Tuv aimag, Gurvanbulag sum of Bulgan aimag territories. Federal paved road divides Elsen tasarkhai sand dunes into 2 parts: south part is called Mongol Sands, north – Khugnu Tarnyn Els. Sand dunes takes wet from Tarnyn river and there are various plants such as willow, elm, dogwood that grow in the sands. Elsen tasarkhai sand dunes has a number of "tourist ger camps", tourists can discover how to ride a Bactrian camel around beautiful natural scenery.
Mt. Khugnu Khan National Park
Mt. Khugnu Khan National Park, known that combines flora, fauna of taiga and steppe together, is located on the territories of Gurvanbulag and Rashaant sums of Bulgan aimag, the highest point is the peak of larch, birch and cedar forested Khugnu Khan Mountain at 1962m above sea level. Park area is home to 399 species of vegetation such as cornel, almond, apricot, sallow etc. Mt. Khugnu Khan National Park is inhabited mammals such as deer, Mongolian gazelle, boar, marmot, grey wolf, fox, corsac, Pallas' cat, badger, skunk, rabbit, daguurs edgehog, racket, long-tailed squirrel, monolian gerbil, sibirian jerboa; and birds such as the Great bustard, eagle, magpie, hawks, falcon, raven, woodpecker, grouse, cuckoo, goose, duck. Tourist activities in the park include exploring wildlife, horse and camel riding, hiking. Also, tourists can enjoy the natural beauty, visit the key attractions including Uvgun temple, Zaluu temple, Ungut temple, Bronze Age cave paintings, ancient tombs, deer stones. Park is popular among mongolians that the movie Mandukhai Sechen Khatun (Queen Manduhai the Wise, c. 1449 – 1510) was filmed in these mountains.
Khushuu Tsaidam Memorial Complex
This sacred memorial complex, dedicated to two princes of Turkic Khaganate, Bilge Khan (Khagan) and his younger brother Kul Tigin (684-731), which flourished during the VI-VIII century, is situated 40km northeast of Kharkhorin sum, Arkhangai aimag. Kul Tigin's grandson, Yolug Tigin, had this memorial built. Bilge Khan's stele, well known as Orkhon Inscription, is 3,3m high, 1,3m wide and has 68 rows of inscription. Bilge Khan, who was the latest King of Turkic Empire, ruled its country for 19 years. During the excavation of the memorial in July of 2001, over 2,000 finds were revealed and the most important one among them was a gemstone inlaid golden crown of Bilge Khan. It was formerly an entire complex, but only this stele has been remained currently. These memorials were recognized as a "cultural landscape" of the UNESCO World Heritage in 1996 and under state protection since 1961. Khushuu Tsaidam museum was established according to the Mongolian Government Resolution No. 32 of 2010 related to research, protect monuments and artifacts related to the history and culture of Turkic kingdom that existed on the territory of Mongolia. Museum consists of permanent exhibition and temporary exhibition halls, exhibition area outside the museum.
Freshwater Ugii Lake (Ugii Nuur) is located in Ugiinuur sum of Arkhangai aimag, at 1337m above sea level. Lake length – 7km, width - 5km; total area - 25km²; its maximum depth is 15m (49ft). The lake belongs to the Orkhon River System, drains into the Orkhon River. 14 species of fish have been encountered in the lake, including pike, lenok, carp, perch. Also, Ugii Lake is an important area for birds, and includes a number of endangered species. Ugii Lake declared as a Ramsar site in 1998 (Ramsar sites are wetlands that are identified as having international importance).
Tsenkher hot springs
Tsenkher hot springs located in a forested mountain valley near the Tsenkher river, 16km south-west from center of Tsenkher sum of Arkhangai aimag about 490км west of Ulaanbaatar. Thermal springs temperature is about 86.5'C, debit is about 10 l/sec, its water contain a lot of hydrogen sulfide, silicon dioxide and famous for its therapeutic effect on digestive, muscular/skeletal, nervous, cardiovascular conditions.