Discovering Fascinating Sights Of Mongolia – Part II



Mongolia indeed suits the title of an adventurous destination; people who relish fun in outdoor and adventurous activities should definitely give a hit to this worthwhile country at least once. It offers special enchantment in the form of vast plains; horse rides, camping with nomads which altogether lend feeling of re-entering the ancient simplicity and innocence. Truly it remains to be an enchanting and rejuvenating experience while touring in Mongolia, also it offers some of the most beautiful and untouched destinations in Asia.

Tourist attractions

Khovsgol Nuur

Khovsgol Nuur:

‘Blue Pearl’ of Mongolia, Khovsgol Nuur is a serene and extensive lake stretching to 136kms deep in the Siberian Taiga. Encompassed by undulating mountains and tranquil lake, the national park forms a major attraction for both the domestic and international tourists. Going by the surface area, it gauges to be the second largest lake of 2760 sq km, outshined just by Uvs Nuur, a shallow and salty lake located in the western side of the country. However, Khovsgol also transliterated as ‘Hovsgol,’ is Mongolia’s deepest lake up to 262m. It also basks the glory of being the 14th largest source of fresh water as it contains up to 1% to 2% of world’s fresh water that makes a sloshing and awe-gaping amount of 380,700 billion litres. Even your awe might be dropped after hearing this.

Going by geology, Khovsgol tends to become the younger sibling of Siberia’s Lake Baikal, which is 195kms to the northeast that is formed by the tectonic forces. Here, tourists can easily spot plethora of diverse wildlife as the lake is filled with fishes like lenok, sturgeon, salmon and grayling. Also, the terrain caters as a sanctuary to argali sheep, ibex, bear, sable, moose and hardly seen wolverines. Its bird populace reaches up to 200 species of birds comprising of Baikal teal, black stork, Atlai snowcock and bar-headed goose.

Also, the area serves as home to three distinct people i.e. Darkhad, Tsaatan a.k.a. Dukha and Buriat. The lake water remains to be pristine, however its use as livestock for winter pastures, has led to polluting the lake waters and Feeder Rivers. So for a better stay, drink purified water. This lake experiences visit of flocks of people, so while you visit here make sure that your activities don’t harm the purity of lake.

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Darkhad Depression:

To 50kms towards the west of Khovsgol Nuur at the back of mountains, lies the rolling grasslands of prairie, forests and 300-odd lakes dotted over a large plain known as Darkhad Depression. By the size area, Darkhad Depression is approximately the same as Khovsgol Nuur. Its original formation was as a glacial lake.

Darkhad is one of the strongest centers of Shamanism, accessing to the region is a tedious task, however, after you reach there, you will get to see the distinct Tsaatan inhabitants of the valley who continue to follow their traditional lifestyle. However, tourism industry is leaving its huge brunt. Darkhad has a pleasant ambiance as it is one of the best watered regions of Mongolia. The lakes are filled with abundant white carp and trout, whereas salmon and large taimen can be spotted in this region.

Caution: Trips during the summer can face interruption of insects as they amass in the area. Beware as these tiny creatures have a unquenched thirst for foreign skins and they can spoil your fun trips. Before visiting, don’t forget to carry mosquito nets and repellent.

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Kharkhiraa Uul & Türgen Uul:

Overlooking the western region of Aimag, Kharkhiraa Uul (4037m) and Türgen Uul (3965m) are the large twin peaks which lie between the halfway of Achit, Uureg and Uvs Nuurs. Visit the spot during summer, as it offers excellent hiking opportunities, also if you are lucky enough you will get to meet Khoton nomads. These nomads bring their cattle in the area for grazing. Khoton nomads are popular throughout Mongolia as Shamans.

Altai:

This beautiful avenue is perched in between the mountains of Khasagt Khairkhan Uul (3579m) and Jargalant Uul (3070m). It is an eye-soothing Aimag capital with green trees waving by the sides of the streets. Also, the indigenous people are affable and welcoming. It is an off the track spot which lies far way from the rest of the exciting spots, so before you move ahead, rest here to energize yourself.

Altai Mountain

Gurvan Saikhan National Park:

This is a comprehensive spot which affords thrilling opportunities for viewing vast sand dunes, ice canyon, striped badlands and stunning mountains. Although you may get to explore beautiful spots in the major sites, if you have ample time in your hand, then drive ahead to the isolated landscapes of western areas to spend time in solitude. The area is lonely and you might feel that you have landed in a new planet.

‘Gurvan Saikhan’ meaning three beauties earned this name after its three ridges, although there are four. Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts will love this spot as it is a virtual paradise for them with beautiful scenery, almost 200 species of diverse birds ranging from cinereous vulture, houbara bustard, Mongolian desert finch and desert warbler. It experiences large visits of migratory birds during spring.

This park is filled with affluent flora and fauna with diverse species of animals and almost 600 types of various plants. The thin vegetation supports several animals like the black-tailed gazelle, wild ass, Kozlov’s pygmy jerboa. It also shelters wild camel, snow leopard, ibex and argali sheep species which are vulnerable to extinction.

Discovering Fascinating Sights Of Mongolia – Part I

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