Orkhon Valley & Kharkorin Monastery

Orkhon Valley & Kharkorin Monastery

Orkhon Valley is a beautiful green valley in Central Mongolia surrounded by forests, desert and steppe. The region is named after the huge Orkhon River which you can cross during a tour with a 4 × 4 when the water level is low, and the famous Orkhon waterfall. You can make excellent walks and overnight hikes. This is also the area where camping is Mongolia is an option; adventurers who bring (or rent) their own tents and sleeping bags can, from some local guesthouses take a scenic tour along the river by bike or on foot. The route to the waterfall is the most popular. The climate in the fertile valley varies widely, from -30 degrees Celsius in the winter to +35 degrees Celsius in the summer.

Kharkorin (or Karakorum) Monastery

Orkhon Valley is of great historical significance for Central Asian people; in this valley once the Turkish Uighurs, the Huns and the Mongols settled their cities. The best known is the Kharkorin Monastery, the former capital of the great Mongol Empire founded by Genghis Khan. Kharkorin was a strategically perfect location; here important trade routes crossed together and many caravans passed on their way to East Asia.

The 13th and 14th century city Kharkorin can only be viewed for a small part, most of the foundations of this ancient city are still underground. The stones that were aboveground were picked in the 16th century and used to build the nearby Erdene Zuu Monastery. However, the ancient capital is still worth a visit during a trip to Central Mongolia. Have a look at the museum that mainly shows excavated objects. On-site you also find three temples which you can visit, especially in the morning when the monks sing as part of their morning prayer, is this highly recommended.

Travel routes with Orkhon Valley