Bayan-Ölgii is the westernmost of Mongolia’s 21 aimags (provinces). The country’s only Muslim and Kazakh majority aimag was established in August 1940. Its capital is Ölgii. The province is located in the far west of the country and borders Russia and China. However, the border between the two neighboring countries is very short and ends after about 40 kilometers at the eastern end of Kazakhstan. Within Mongolia, the neighboring provinces are called Uvs in the northeast and Khovd in the southeast.
The culture of the Kazakh majority of the population is strongly influenced by Islamic traditions. The Mosque of Ölgii is also home to the Islamic Center of Mongolia. It is placed at an unusual angle within the city because the building faced Mecca exactly. There is also a madrasah, an Islamic school in the same place.
Bayan-Ölgii Province is famous for traditional hunting with trained eagles. The captured eagles, which are brought out of the nests for training as chicks, work in a similar way to hunting falcons. An estimated 80% of the world’s eagle hunters live and work in this province. The annual Golden Eagle Festival is held in Ölgii every October to demonstrate the skills of the eagle hunters. Around 70 hunters take part in the event every year. The spotlight on these festive days is aimed specifically at the hunters, who let their eagles perform complete tasks, such as flying down from the mountain to land on the arms of their owners. Additional events include a camel race, exercises on horseback to pick up objects from the ground,
Chustain Nuruu National Park
National park in Mongolia
According to topschoolsintheusa, the Khustain Nuruuu National Park is located about 100 kilometers west of Ulaanbaatar and is part of the UNESCO “Man and Biosphere” reserves, which have been included in the world biosphere list of nature reserves. The Takhi, the Mongolian wild horses, live here on over 50,000 hectares of land. The steppe and forest steppe landscapes of the park are also inhabited by steppe gazelles, deer, wild boars, wild cats, wolves and lynxes; In addition, there is an interesting world of birds with eagle owls, owls and wandering crows and around 450 species of plants to marvel at.
Release of the Przewalswi horses
The takhi, the Mongolian wild horses roamed freely through the steppes of Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia’s Siberia until the 18th century. But then the number of animals began to dwindle. By the 1960s, these short stocky horses were almost extinct. In 1967 the last herd of takhi was sighted and in 1969 the last single horse. This has been the case for over 30 years. There were only 13 surviving takhi horses kept in various zoos around the world. They were carefully bred and the population slowly rose to more than 1,500, after which they were reintroduced into the wild. One of the places where the resettlement took place in 1992 was the hometown of the horse in Khustain Nuruuu National Park. A year later, the 50,000 hectare park was declared a special conservation area. Its main role is to maintain and build a sustainable population of these rare creatures. In 1998 the area was converted into a national park with the aim of saving the forest steppe ecosystem.
The park is easy to get to for visitors. There is a local bus, but it is best to use your own borrowed jeep. Tourists should also note that it is worth spending a night in Khustain Nuruuu National Park, as the wildlife is best seen at dusk and dawn. Especially the Przewalswi horses and marmots are easy to see in the early morning hours. Other animals require a little more patience. The special charisma of the Chustain Nuruu National Park can easily be enjoyed on hikes, motorcycle tours or horse riding.
Birthplace of the Mongolian nation state
Karakorum was the old capital of the Mongolian Empire, the ruins of which lie on the upper Orhon River in the north of central Mongolia and whose visit is one of the highlights of a Mongolia tour.
The changeable history of Qara Qorum
The Karakoram site could have been settled around the year 750. In 1220, Genghis Khan, the great Mongol conqueror, established his headquarters there and used it as a base for his invasion of China. In 1267 the capital was moved to Khanbaliq, modern Beijing, by Kublai Khan, the greatest successor to Genghis Khan and founder of the Mongolian dynasty in China. In 1235, Genghis Khan’s son and successor Ögödei surrounded the Karakoram with walls and built a rectangular palace, which was supported by 64 wooden pillars on granite plinths. Many brick buildings, 12 shamanistic shrines and two mosques once belonged to the city, which was also an early center for sculpture, especially notable for its large stone turtles. In 1368 Bilikt Khan returned, the son of the last emperor of the Mongolian dynasty of China, who had been exiled from Beijing, returned to Karakoram, which was partially rebuilt. At that time it was called Erdeni Dzu, the Mongolian name for Buddha, because in the 13th century Lamaist Buddhism had made progress under Kublai Khan. In the Battle of Puir Nor in 1388, Chinese troops led by Emperor Hung-wu invaded Mongolia and won a decisive victory by capturing 70,000 Mongols and destroying Karakoram. Later it was partially rebuilt, but then completely abandoned. The Buddhist monastery Erdeni Dzu was built on the city grounds in 1585.
In 2004, then Prime Minister Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj appointed a working group of professionals to develop a project to build a new city on the site of the old capital, Karakoram. According to him, the new Karakoram should be conceived as an exemplary city with the vision of becoming the capital of Mongolia. After his resignation and the appointment of Miyeegombyn Enkhbold as Prime Minister, the project was abandoned.