Sunday, 29 June 2014

Kuipwagen in Mongolia (some good photo's)

It is not very often that people travel through Mongolia, make a lot of good quality pictures and put them on the internet with a good description about where and how.

An exception are Coen en Marijke who with a Toyota Landcruiser from 1994 are making a grand tour through Asia this year and are "doing" now Mongolia.

Their site is, there are a lot more photo's there and the text is in Dutch but with your eyes and google translate that's not a problem at all.

Khukh Nuur – Blue Lake
 The full name of the lake is the Blue Lake of Black Heart.
Black Heart is the pointed topped mountain on the north side of the lake. Blue Lake is a very important place in Mongolian history particularly of Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan).
Here Temuujin (Chinggis Khaan’s childhood name) was given the title, “Chinggis Khaan”, and was invested as a “The Great Khaan of all Mongolia” in 1189.
The stone ruins of a ger with a diameter of 15 meters on the south side of this lake could be the ruins of the palace ger where Chinggis Khaan was proclaimed Khaan.
There are also wooden statues in the forest dedicated to Chingis Khaan and the next 32 khaans of Mongolia.
The surrounding area of Khukh Nuur is quiet, peaceful and wonderful for hiking & relaxation.
On this photo it is still cold and there is ice on the lake.

Öglögchiin Kherem
Literally ‘Almsgivers Wall’, but also known as ‘Chinggis Khaan’s Castle’ or ‘Red Rock’, this 3.2km-long stone wall, believed to date from the 8th century, stretches around a rocky slope in Batshireet sum. It was once thought to be a defensive work or a game preserve, but recent archaeological digs by a Mongolian-American research team have identified at least 60 ancient graves within the walls, indicating that it may have been a royal cemetery. As you walk inside the grounds you may see small red signs, marking the location of graves excavated in 2002. The site is 8km west of the road to Batshireet. Öglögch Wall Ecolodge is about 2km before the wall. This well-run place can organise a variety of trips in the area, including mountain-bike rides, rafting and horse riding. The camp makes a concerted effort to limit its environmental impact; it also promotes local income-generating projects. Close to the turn-off to Öglögchiin Kherem is Rashaan Khad, a huge rock with 20 different types of (barely discernable) script carved upon it. About 2km past the turn-off towards Binder are more deer stones.
Rashaan Khad
Rashaan Khad is a rock with numerous types of ancient rock inscriptions and drawings depicting animals, people and ancient Mongolian tribes’ seals. This rock is located near the east of Binder Ovoo, one of Mongolia’s largest and most sacred religious places.
The rock inscriptions are in around 20 different scripts such as Orkhon, Kidan, Arabic, Persian, Mongolian and Tibetan.
An ancient tomb dating from BC 20000 lies near this rock and many monuments of Paleolithic Neolithic Huns and others are also found here.
The rock has been protected by the Mongolian government since 1998.

Kherlen Bar Khot
Kherlen Bar Khot is the location of some small-scale ruins and a 3m-high tower from a 12th century city, once part of the ancient state of Khitan.
There are also some balbals (Turkic stones believed to be grave markers) and, predictably, a Chinggis Khan memorial of sorts: a rock called the ‘Chinggis Bed’, which commemorates his stay here.
You can see a picture of the tower in the Choibalsan History Museum.
Kherlen Bar Khot is about 90km West of Choibalsan, in the sum of TsagaanOvoo.

Near Öndörkhaan stands this balbal. That is a tomb of a high-ranking person (his face is shown) from the Turkic period (6th to 8th centuries). Now this balbal is honored by school, seeing all the blue rags, for good grades. During our lunch, there were 20 children there. They run three laps around the balbal, lay stones on the piles of stones at the four corners, whispering their desire in his ears, and conclude with another three rounds. There are also a lot of pens and notebooks as offerings.

Gandantegchenling Monastery, one of the three monasteries in Mongolia that (partly) survived religious cleansing and destruction of monasteries by Stalin in the late 1930's  stands in Ulaanbaatar.

The ruins of Ongiin Khiid are spread over a large territory

The ruins of Khar Bukh Balgas, used by the Khitan from 917 till 1120. There's more left here than in Taijin Tsagaan Balgas.

These ruins are a good hiding place for Hawks. This nest has four small ones!

On the way to Kharkhorin are the two stelae of Kul and Bilge Khagan Teginii. Kul Tegin was the leader of the Turkic state in Mongolia in the 8th century and Bilge was his older brother. Both stelae are about three feet high and described with Turkish and Chinese text. It is the oldest known text in Turkish in which the word 'Turk' is used. To the left is a detail of the Kul-Tegin stele, the right is the Bilge Khagan stele.

Located in the valley Khannui Jargalantyn Am, is with about 30 pieces one of the biggest collections of the so-called "Deer Stones" in the world. Deer Stones are tombs from the Bronze Age in which deer are carved. It was then believed that the soul of the deceased went to heaven on the back of a deer . At the bottom of the stone is sometimes a belt carved in which spears and axes are hung, in order to survive well in the afterlife.

Just outside Mörön lies Uushiginn Uver, a collection of 14 deer stones.  Most stones are pretty weathered, except these two. On the left you can still clearly see the deer and the right one is special because of the face that there is carved. On the side is even visible an earring (with a size very popular around 1980, shall we say ...).

About 10 km's past Tsengel these deer stones with faces.

In the Mogoit valley is this Kazakh cemetery. Old graves mixed with recent ones from last year. The people are buried within the walls under a heap of rocks. Around some heaps a wooden contraction has been build as the one on the right.
In the valley of Mogoit is also this balbal. That is a tomb from the Turkic period (6th-13th century). The special feature of this one seems to be his moustache!
Somewhat further in the Mogoit valley this balbal which has a robe and a drinking bottle on his belt

Thanks Coen and Marijke for these excellent photo's

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