Kharkhorin was established by Chinggis Khaan in 1220 as a capital city of Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in history. It was a busy spindled city with high civilization built by the best artists and masters of antiquity. Kharkhorin was not only the capital of the vast Mongolian Empire, but the epic center of trade along Silk Road, and a cultural melting pot bridging east and west until Khubilai Khan moved the capital to Beijing in 1260. Following the move to Beijing and the subsequent collapse of the Mongol empire, Karakorum was abandoned and then destroyed by vengeful Manchurian soldiers in 1388. A few relics still remain, notably two granite turtles, the base of a palace, some stone lions, two columns and a few traces of irrigation channel.
Near Kharkhorin city ruin Erdene Zuu monastery was built in the 16th century and various construction materials from the ruin was used. Lately built soviet town of Kharkhorin that is couple of kilometer away from Erdene-Zuu monastery doesn’t show the glories of Middle-age of Kharkhorin, however, both Erdene Zuu monastery and the impressive museum offer some evocative insights into the region's golden era.
The Erdene-Zuu monastery preserves marvelous works of Mongolian artists, painters, cutters, sculptors, embroiders and craftsman of the XVII-XIX centuries. It had between 60 and 100 temples, about 300 gers inside the walls and, at its peak, up to 1000 monks in residence. Erdene zuu Monastery was destroyed in 1930s during the Stalinist purges. Suprisingly, many Buddha images and statues, tsam masks and thangkas were saved by locals. The monastery was closed until 1965 and reintroduced as a museum to public. After democratic revolution in 1990, religious freedom was restored and monastery became active again.
Kharkhorin museum established by the basis of Orkhon valley archaeological sites. The Kharkhorin museum exhibits include dozens of artifacts dating from the 13th and 14th centuries which were recovered from the immediate area, plus others that were found from archaeological sites in other parts of the provinces, including prehistoric stone tools.
Khogno Khan Uul National Park covers 469-sq-km hectares of land and is located at 250 km from Ulaanbaatar, on the way to Kharkhorin. It is the place where mountains, forests, steppes, Gobi-type desert and mineral water sources all in one location because two different type of natural zones of taiga and steppe meet here. Khogno Khan, a splendid mountain is situated in the border area of Uvurkhangai, Tuv and Bulgan province. This mountain consists of yellowish granite stones and rocks. This is home to many types of wild animals such as red deer, boar, wild cats, ibex and wolves. The mountain has been protected since 2003 as a National Park.
There are many historical places including; Uvgun(old) Temple, Erdene hambiin Temple, rock paintings in Senget Khad dating back to the bronze age, ancient rock paintings in Yamaat tsgaan hutul, granite stone statues, and many tombs.
Southwest of Khogno Khan National Park, there is an extraordinary sand dunes called Elsen Tasarhai.
Elsen Tasarkhai, the natural scenic area, surrounded by sand dunes, hills with bushes, a small forest near a river. This beautiful sand dune divided into two sand belts as Khogno Tarnyn Els and Mongol Els and auto lane pass through between these sand belts. It feels like in the Gobi Desert, and visitors can walk or have camel riding on the sand dunes.
We will drive to Kharkhorin the ancient capital of Great Mongolian Empire. It is the main treasure of Mongolian Buddhism. Overnight in ger.
After breakfast, we'll visit Erdene Zuu monastry and the museum. Then, we'll drive to Khogno Khan Uul National Park. Go hiking to Khogno Khan mountain to see Ovgon temple. Overnight in nomadic family's ger.
Have camel riding to Elsen Tasarkhai sand dune. The local guide will help and teach us how to ride. Two humped camels are very comfortable and gentle to ride. Drive back to Ulaanbaatar.
For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.
Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.