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Khuvsgul aimag. Region of Mongolia. Aimag. Aimak.

Khuvsgul aimag, Khuvsgol, Khovsgol, Five rivers, Lake Hovsgol, Tsagaan Nuur

ABOUT MONGOLIA

THE REGIONS OF MONGOLIA

KHUVSGUL 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 - 38, 842 sq. miles (100,600 sq. km)
  • Center - Murun town, located 430 miles (692 km) 
    from Ulaanbaatar.
  • Population : 124,500
  • Population density : 1,24 p/sq. km
  • Elevation of Capital City : 1283m
  • Livestock & Crops : Sheep, Goat, Cattle, Horse/ Hay
  • Ethnic Groups : Khalkh, Buryat, Tsaatan, Uriankhai, Darkhad
  • Average temperatures : July + 16,9C January - 23,8C
  • Number of somons - 23
  • Khuvsgul aimag was established in 1931.
     


Khuvsgul aimag borders on the North with Russian Federation. The altitude of high mountains of Burenkhaan, Khordil saridag, Erchim range, Tagna, and Soyon is up to 11,483 feet (3,500 m.) above sea level. There are beautiful passages in the mountain such as Jigleg, Jar, Toom and Uli. Tagnuur, Shiluust, Uran dush, Delgerkhan are highest mountains. Foreign tourists refer to Khuvsgul aimag as "Mongolian Switzerland".
 

There are many rivers flowing through the province such as Ider, Tes, Delger, Selenge. Khuvsgul lake is one of the deepest in Asia. Other lakes include Erkhel, Achmag, Tsengel, Sangiin dalai. The province accounts for 134,276 cubic feet (3,800 cubic m) of wood per capita, which makes the province the richest in forest resources. The soil in the territory of the province is grey and there is black soil in the valleys. The annual precipitation is 12-16 inches (300-400 mm) and more. This is the most humid region in Mongolia. Khuvsgul aimag is rich in natural resources such as phosphorite, coal, nephrite, graphite, and precious stones including rock crystal, green jade and chalcedony. Asbestos, fluorspa and mica can be found in many places. The Khuvsgul area is also rich in medical herbs, such as peony, liquorice, astragalus, wild rose, saussurea involucrata, hawthorn, valerian, thyme, thermopsis. Of wildlife species, in Khuvsgul there are brown bears, foxes, wolves, squirrels, badgers, ermines, wolverines, muskrats, martens, steppe polecats, and protected species, such as deer, roe deer, elk, wild sheep, ibex, musk deer, sable, beaver and otter. Khuvsgul aimag, located in the northern part of Mongolia with its fresh and deep lake of Khuvsgul and Khoridol Saridag mountain range, isolated and deep forests and peculiar customs of many ethnic groups is the main destination of foreign tourism in Mongolia.
 

This is the northernmost and absolutely one of the most scenic aimags in the country. It is a land of crystal clear lakes, icy streams and tall green taiga forests. As the crown jewel it is dominated by the magnificent Khovsgol Nuur - one of the most scenic spots in Mongolia. There are also mountains with peaks near 3000m. Here also lives the Tsaatan reindeer people.

KHOVSGOL NUUR

Try to imagine a 2760 sq km (1080 sq mi) alpine lake, with water so pure you can drink it. Then add dozens of 2000m (6560ft) mountains, thick pine forests and lush meadows with grazing yaks and horses, and you have a vague impression of Khuvsgul Nuur, Mongolia's top scenic heartstopper. This is the deepest lake in Central Asia, and the world's 14th largest source of fresh water. Situated along the border with Russia, the lake is sacred to local Mongolians, who refer to it as 'mother'. It's full of fish and the area is home to sheep, ibex, bear and moose, as well as over 200 species of birds. There are numerous caves around the lake, though they're hard to find without a guide. Three separate peoples live in the area: Darkhad Mongols, Buryats and Tsaatan.
 

An amazing 90 rivers flow into the lake, but only a single river flows out - the Egiin Gol, which ultimately reaches Lake Baikal in Siberia. Khuvsgul Nuur freezes in winter, allowing huge trucks carrying fuel to cross from Siberia. Visitors can kayak on the lake when it unfreezes, and hike or ride on horseback (or yakback) around it.
 

The southern boundary of Khuvsgul Nuur is about 775km (480mi) north-west of Ulaanbaator and is reachable by occasional plane, bus or your own jeep. The best time to visit is in spring (around April and May). It's still very cold at this time and the lake may be frozen. The summer (July and August) is warmer but more crowded. Permits are required to visit the lake. They're available on the main road into Khuvsgul Nuur National Park, a few km before the southern entrance at the town of Khatgal.
 

It is impossible to imagine Mongolia without the uniquely magnificent and pristine land of Khuvsgul or lake Khuvsgul. Lake Khuvsgul covers an area of 2760sq.km and exists at 1605 m above sea level. Khuvsgul is the deepest lake in Central Asia, with a maximum depth of 262metres. It's water is crystal clear and fresh.

WHAT TO SEE

In the province you will find cave paintings and deer monuments dating back to the Stone and Bronze ages. There are 2m-3m high deer stones; 3m-4m high tombs; the ruins of Munkh Khaans palace and monuments to Kul Bilge Khaan in Uushgi Uvur, Burentogtokh soum; stone figures; the Arig River and its monument in the homeland of Alungoo, the highest grandmother in Chinggiss family; ruins of the capital of Khubilai Khaan in Tsagaan-Uur and Chandmani soums; a dirt wall of Erchim castle and a wall of Chingunjav; the legendary cave of Dayan Deerkh of ancient shamanism; 100 beautiful deer stones, the Sukhbaatar ship on Khuvsgul Lake; the Khoridol Saridag natural reserve; the reindeer people of Tuva; and the stupa of the famous Gelenkhuu.

PLACES TO VISITED.
  • Moron. Population 28,000. Elevation 1283m. This rather scruffy aimag capital is cooler than most Mongolian cities, and has relatively few gers because nearby forests supply abundant timber. Moron (which means river) has few sights and most travellers just drive through en route to Khatgal at the southern end of Khovsgol Nuur.
     
    Moron Museum. Given the variety of wildlife in the aimag, stuffed animals are, not surprisingly, the main feature of the museum. There's a large tusk from a woolly mammoth, but you won't see one of those in the flesh - they haven't inhabited this region for over 40,000 years. Photographic exhibits of the Tsaatan people are also intriguing.
     
    Danzandarjaa Khiid (Monastery). The history of this khiid (monastery) is unclear, but the original monastery (Morongiin Khuree) was built around 1890 and was home to 2000 monks. It was rebuilt and reopened in June 1990, and now has 30 monks of all ages. It's a charming place, designed in the shape of a concrete ger, and contains a great collection of scroll paintings (thangka).
     
  • Lake Hovsgol 1645m above sea level, frozen from January until May, is located in the most northern province and called the Dark Blue Pearl of Mongolia. Untouched by industry and modern urban life, the Lake Hovgols water is unbelievable clear and clean. The scientists have announced that the lake contains 2% of worlds fresh water resources. The second largest fresh water lake in Central Asia is the home of the Tsataan Reindeers herders which live in this taiga and forest steppe since centuries. The best and fastest way to come to this area is by plane to Moron and then by four wheel cars.
     
  • Tsagaan Nuur. About 50km west of Khovsgol Nuur, in Renchinlkhumbe sum (district), is a large depression called Darkhadyn Khotgor, often referred to as Tsagaan Nuur (White Lake), after the main village in the area. The Darkhadyn Depression is roughly the same size as Khovsgol Nuur and was indeed originally formed as a glacial lake.The difficulty in reaching the region ensures that the unique Tsaatan people who inhabit the valleys are able to continue their traditional lifestyle - but tourism is slowly making an impact. Darkhadyn is one of Mongolia's strongest centres of shamanism.
    This is one of the best-watered regions in Mongolia: the aimag has about 300 lakes and 200 of them are in this area. The lakes are a vital part of Mongolia's very limited commercial fishing industry - white carp and trout are packed in salt and flown out to Ulaanbaator to be served in the fancier hotels. Salmon and huge taimen can also be found in the region.
    One definite drawback to visiting the region is the insects that invade the area.
     
  • Chandiman-Ondor & Surround. The village of Chandiman-Ondor, a day's drive East of Khatgal, is in a beautiful area, which would make a good exploratory trip for hardy travellers. The town also has a decent museum and dining rooms.
    Surrounding sites include the Bulnai hot springs, about 50km north-west of town, which offers simple cabins around a former Soviet resort. Further East, 30km south-east of Tsagaan-Nuur, is the Dayan Derkhiin Agui cave, considered holy by local Buddhists and shamanists, and a nearby ruined monastery. Many Buryats live in this area. With a few days up your sleeve this could make a rough but beautiful alternative route from Khovsgol to Bulgan.
    In the north-east of the aimag, the area around the Khokh, Arig and Kheven rivers, is particularly good fishing.
     
  • Five rivers. About 50km South of Moron, on the border with the Arkhangai aimag, is an area where the Ider, Bugsei, Selenge, Delger Moron and Chuluut rivers converge. In September and October this is one of the best fishing spots in the country.
SERVICES

There are a number of hotels to choose from, including the Dul, Gobi, Juulchin, Delgermurun, Ider, Khangarid, Tamir and Javkhlan. Among these hotels, Dul, Gobi and Juulchin are the biggest. Restaurants include the Dul, Gobi, Juulchin, Ider, Jargalan and Chinggis. There are three supermarkets and 50 stores in Murun. There are also branches of Khan Bank, XacBank, Zoos Bank, Capital Bank, Golomt Bank, Mongol Post Bank and Savings Bank. Visa and Mastercards can be used. Moneygram, a money transfer service, can transfer money in five minutes locally and within one hour internationally.

INFORMATION:
PAGES OF THE PICTURE ALBUM

 
More pictures see in photo album

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

 
 

 

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- Uvurkhangai Aimag

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- Khuvsgul Aimag

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- Bayan-Ulgii Aimag

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