Central Mongolia is beautiful, pristine and rich in wild species and has been keeping many important historical and cultural remains of different historical periods. Ancient capital of Mongol Empire called KharKhorum is located this part.The Khangai mountain range in central Mongolia is over 750km long with an average altitude of 2500-3000m. The cool, humid coniferous forests of this Eco region supports a high species diversity of flora and fauna.When you are driving between place to place you will see countless animals grazing without fence. Then they had a joke that the farmers of the most of the countries keep the animals inside barn or fence, but for Mongolians, the fence is to keep animals outside of it. The Central Mongolian trip will offer you both cultural and adventure tours. Highlights of this trip will be Mongolia’s oldest Monastery ErdeneZuu Hiid and Takhi, seeing Mongolian Wild horses, and enjoying Terkh wite lake horse trekking to Khorgo Volcano.Relax in the hot spa to trump Water fall.
Main destination of Central part
Tuv aimag boasts three national parks as the Bogdo Khan National Park, the first national park in the world established in 1778, the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, and Khan Khentii National park that runs both in Tuv and Khentii aimags.
Manzushir monastery built in 1733 lies on the southern end of the Bogdo Khan National Park. At one time the monastery had 70 temples and more than 1,000 lamas. Unfortunately, the Manzushir monastery was destroyed in 1932 by the Communists. Nowadays, the only remaining temple has been restored to its former glory. A visitor to the area can enjoy the beautiful landscape, visit the museum displaying the original photos and artifacts of the temples and displays from the flora and fauna of the surrounding area, touch the copper bowl that once fed 1,000 lamas, and take a hike to visit the paintings of Taras and deities on the rocks overlooking the valley.
Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Terelj, about 80km north-east of Ulaanbaatar, is a deservedly popular destination. At 1600m, the area is cool and the alpine scenery is magnificent, and there are great opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, swimming (in icy water), rafting, horse riding and, for hard-core extreme sports fanatics, skiing in the depths of winter. Most visited is the turtle rock and the dinosaurs park.
Terelj was first developed for tourism in 1964 and 30 years later it became part of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. To the north-east, the park joins into the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area, comprising over 1.2 million hectares of the Tov, Selenge and Khentii aimags. The Khan Khentii park is almost completely uninhabited by humans, but it is home to endangered species of moose, brown bear and weasel, to name but a few, and to over 250 species of birds.In later summer, the mosquitoes at Terelj can be appalling - at times, the worst in the country - so make sure you have insect repellent with you.
The Turtle Rock, or called Melkhii had by the locals, is an interesting rock formation looking like a turtle. If you are fit and slim, you can climb behind the rock and access the head of the turtle, here you can find a very small hole where you squeeze through. When if you managed that, once here there is a superb view point over the valley. Coming back in is more difficult as there is nowhere to put your feet, usually someone has to pull you from the other side.
The temple was built in 1740 by Efu Dondovdorj to commemorate the death of his Manchurian wife Amarlangui. Once part of a huge monastery containing about 70 sq metres of blue walls, five other temples and a tower, Gunjiin Sum is one of the very few - if not the only - Manchurian-influenced temple in Mongolia to survive over the centuries.
Unlike most other monasteries in Mongolia, Gunjiin was not destroyed, but just fell into ruin from neglect, vandalism and theft. Only the main temple, and some of the walls of the monastery, remain. Although you wouldn't know it, extensive restoration has been carried out - and is still being carried out - which gives you some idea of how damaged it must have been.
Gunjiin is about 30km (as the crow flies) North of the main area where most of the ger camps are situated in Terelj. With a guide you can hike directly over the mountains, or take the easier but longer route along the Baruun Bayan Gol to get there. You can reach it in a day on horseback, while trekkers should allow two days each way for the journey.
Aryabal Meditation temple
From the Turtle rock, trek along (2 hours walk) to a temple on the top of a hill (then another hour to climb to the temple), along the way you can see wild flowers such as Edelweiss. Temple shaped as an elephant, main steps are exactly 108.Bueatiful surrounded Buddhist meditation center.
Khustai National Park
The Przewalski’s horse or takhi, the last wild horse in the world has been successfully reintroduced into the wild in the Khustai National Park in Tuv aimag. The landscape ranges from grassland steppe to forest steppe. The best time for visitors to see the wild horses and other animals such as deer and gazelle is at dawn and at dusk. Within the reserve there are a number of Turkic graves and stone men (Khun chuluu), and the Ongot archaeological complex is nearby.
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.
Hugnu Khan Mountain Natural Reserve
Hugnu Khan Mountain is located in the distance of 280 km southwest of Ulaanbaatar by the paved road. This majestic mountain has been worshipping by locals since immemorial times until today as a sacred mountain. The mountain and its surrounding is special that it represents forest, mountain steppe and desert zone in an area. The mountain is rich in wild animals such as wild mountain sheep, ibex, lynx, deer, wolf, fox, hare, many pray of birds and much more. The mountain is keeping many historical items such as ancient tombs, burial mounds, rock inscriptions, rock drawings, monasteries and ruins of cities. Two monasteries, named Old and Young monasteries were sacked by soldiers of Galdanboshigt and monks were castrated while tied in rope. So the mountain was named Hugnu Khan meaning “a mountain where people tied in rope”. It is possible to travel around the mountain hiking, driving or riding horse. There you can have an opportunity to see Gobi and Khangai, ride horse and camel through sand dunes and green shored streams, visit or stay with nomad family in short period not far from Ulaanbaatar.
Ugii Nuur lake is known as a wonderful spot for watching migratory birds as well as for fishing.
Khar Balgas or the Black ruins is the ancient capital of Uigur Khanate founded in 751 AD that ruled Mongolia from 745-854. The ruined citadel located on the banks of Orkhon river has very little left to see except for the outer walls, a stupa, and the ruler’s kagan (castle).
Maanit monument with Turk inscription erected in 731 BC stand tall in the middle of the steppes of Uvurkhangai. Ruins of Kharkhot, capital city of Uigur.
Kultegin Monument is a 3 m high inscribed monument dedicated to Kultegin who ruled the Turkic khanate before the establishment of the Mongol Empire. The monument erected in 732 AD is inscribed in Runic and Chinese script. About 1 km away there is another monument erected in honor of his younger brother Bilge Khagan (683-734).
Kharkhorin, ancient capital of Mongolia was established by Chinggis Khan in 1220 in the Orkhon valley. For 140 years Kharkhorin served as the capital of the United Mongol tribes until it was destroyed by the Chinese troops in 1391. The remains of the capital that stood at the crossroads of the Silk Road are extensive underground archaeological assets and two granite turtles that once stood at the main gate to the city. Four of these turtle sculptures used to mark the boundaries of ancient Kharkhorin, acting as protectors of the city (turtles are considered symbols of eternity).
In 1586, Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia was built on the ruins of the 13th century capital. Vast walls of 400 m in length with 108 stupas surround the monastery, symbolic of Kharkhorin. time and history were not merciful to Erdene Zuu monastery but it still carries the traces of its former glory and provides a great insight into the rich religious and cultural past of Mongolia.
The Orkhon waterfall water flows for remarkable 1,120 km to the North and lies in the historically significant Orkhon Valley, UNESCO World Heritage site. The waterfall formed by combination of volcanic eruption and earthquakes some 20,000 years ago cascades down from a height of 27 meters. The waterfall is a good spot for bird watching and fishing.
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.
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.
Tovkhon monastery built on the rocky top of Shiveet Ulaan Mountain 2312 m above sea level by Zanabazar as a creation temple and meditation center in 1654. Zanabazar was a leader of Mongolian Buddhism, first Bogd(living Buddha), famous painter, sculptor and created Soyombo alphabet in the monastery. First letter of this alphabet is used as a national emblem on Mongolian flag. There, he also created green Tara and many famous creations. The monastery had 14 temples. Some of temples were destroyed by soldiers of Galdnboshigt, who was Khan of Oirat Mongol/eastern Mongolia and his view were against Zanabazar who decided to submit Manchu. Some of the temples also destroyed by 1930s communist purge. Now, there are 4 temples and 2 stupas under state protection and its chanting activity has been recovered since 1992. The temples and stupas restored in 2001. The monastery registered in UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage in 1996. The monastery is not only reason to head to there, also in the surroundings of the monastery, there are many interesting caves, huge sacred trees and you can have amazing vista from the top of the mountain. The valley of the Orkhon River is full of ancient historical items and nomads and their countless animals pasturing freely in the wild makes tour more impressive. We recommend Tovhon Monastery people who like hiking, rock climbing and horse riding.
Khorgo Terkh white lake NP
It is situated in 580 km northwest of Ulaanbaatar. It has been protected since 1965, fully in 1997, to safeguard spectacular mountain scenery and endangered flora and fauna. It's surrounded by the Khangai Mountains, which reach as 3000 meters above the sea level. The most area of the National park is covered by poplar and peach forest, where grow wild berries, rare herbs and great variety of berries and flowers. There are lots of animals such as deer, wild goat and other animals, as well as various kinds of birds. Khorgo volcano crater is situated at an altitude of 2210 m, 200 m wide and 100 m deep. Near the crater there are dozens of small caverns with stalactites hanging from their ceiling and walls. Because of volcanic eruption, the nature has very unique formation. One of them was deep ground cave with ice inside, which is called "Yellow dog's hell". The ice is left even in the hottest summer of the some years. Some of 13 stone shelters reach 1.7 m high, are formed with the lava flow.
Terkh white lake
Another spot in this National Park is Lake “Terkhiin Tsagaan” which is 16 kilometers wide, 20 kilometers in length 20 meters in depth, and 61 square kilometers in this area. The Lake is extremely beautiful with fresh water and rich species of fish and birds.There is another name for the lake which is White Lake means when the full moon night it liiks like milk that’s why lake called “White”.