Zoonmod, Manzhir monastery, Eej Khad, Mother Rock, Bogdkhan Uul, Four Holy Peaks
THE REGIONS OF MONGOLIA
TUV (TOV) AIMAG
Zoonmod. Nestled in a valley some 40km South of Ulaanbaatar, Zuunmod - the capital of Tov - is a laid-back town. If
traveling independently, you may need to stay in Zuunmod to
visit the nearby monastery, Manzshir Khiid, or hike in the nearby mountains. Otherwise there's little reason to linger. The chief attraction in Zuunmod is the Central Province Museum,
opposite the south-east corner of the park - look for the sign in English. Like most aimag museums, it gives a good summary of the local geology, flora and fauna, and has a stuffed-animals
section - the moose is gigantic. There are also some interesting black and white photos of Manzshir Khiid, including the once-regular
tsam dances. The nearby Ethnography Museum is currently closed.
Not in the same league as Manzshir Khiid but worth a brief visit, Dasnicnoinkhorlon Khiid is a 500m walk directly East of the department store and across the creek. If you ask the monks, you can go inside the temple. Ceremonies start at around 11 a.m. on most days.
PLACES TO VISIT:
- Manzhir monastery (Khiid) is about 1.5 hours from
Ulaanbaatar in the lovely valley of Bogd Khan Mountains National
Park. Built 1733 with 20 temples and 300 monks, it was destroyed in 1932. The last remaining temple was restored and contains now a small museum.
- Museum of the central aimag
(New information's !!!)
- Eej Khad - Near the village of Khoshigiin Ar in the sum (district) of Sergelen, 15km
South of Zuunmod, is the sacred lock known as Eej Khad, or Mother Rock. Mongolians often
come here to seek solace and advice, and make offerings of vodka, milk and silk scarves called khatag.
Pilgrims ask for three wishes to be granted, circle the rock three times and make
three separate visits. The earth around the rock is sacred, so any rubbish that is dropped cannot be picked up; unfortunately, the area is now extremely dirty, with rubbish and broken bottles
There are several other sites which are thought to generate good luck. One is Dog Rock, which Mongolians rub their body against to cure ailments. The other, a few kilometres
North of Mother Rock, is called Rich Rock and locals touch their wallet to it to ensure financial security.
- Bogdkhan Uul. The mountain Bogdkhan Uul (2122m) was proclaimed a national park as far back as 1778. During the Soviet period the park's status was formalised and it was renamed after Choibalsan. It is now designated the Bogdkhan Uul Strictly Protected Area
(Bogdkhan National Park) (42,651 hectares). Unesco has also proposed to establish a wildlife park in the region, of up to 65,000 hectares. It seems that early legislation has ensured that the park won't become part
of Ulaanbaatar's awful urban sprawl.
The protected area is immediately South of the river, the Tuul Gol, South of Ulaanbaatar
and west of Nalaikh. It surrounds Tsetseegun Uul and contains the Zaisan Memorial, Nukht and Manzshir
The map of Bogdkhan National Park
- Four Holy Peaks. The 4 peaks surrounding Ulaanbaatar are considered holy. The Tsetseegum, Chingeltei, Songino Khairkhan and Bayansurkh mountains correspond, more or less, to the 4 points on the compass. These
peaks are tremendous for hiking, and they're popular for their forests of larch trees, grasslands and stunning bird and animal life, including ibex and sable. The in-depth information about Four Holy
Peaks see on pages dedicated Bogdkhan National Park.
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