The Hills of Siriguleng and Halagatu
As the most powerful conqueror of the ancient human world, many legends on Genghis Khan are still passed on today. One of them goes like this: When Genghis Khan crossed the Gobi Desert, he lost two of his best and most beloved horses. The emperor was so furious he destroyed all settlements he came across, desperately looking for his horses.
When he came across the grasslands of Wuzhumuqin and climbed a small hill to overlook the valley he found his two horses grazing near the river Qiduer. Genghis Khan was so relieved he renamed the hill he was standing on after his horses; Siriguleng and Halagatu. This famous hill, 25 km away from Xiwuqi, host town of the event, is the place to overlook the beautiful valley with over 100 km2 of untouched grasslands.
Conservation Area of Nomadic Culture (游牧部落 “Youmu Buluo” = Hordes )
South of Xiwuqi, a preservation program protects the culture of the nomadic people that inhabit the grasslands since centuries; a nice chance for visitors to catch a glimpse of the unique Mongolian culture and lifestyle, with its local delicacies, its own customs and colorful costumes.
The Imperial City of Kharakhorum
In the late nineteenth century, the worlds scientific community learned of an extraordinary archeological discovery in the valley of the upper Orhon Gol in Central Asia. Where this river emerges from deep gorges and flows in a wide curve into the plain, the ruins of a vast city had been discovered, apparently watched over by a giant stone tortoise, symbol of eternity.This was the famous Kharakhorum, capital of the Mongol Empire founded in the thirteenth century by Genghis Khan. It was situated on the right bank of the river, 400 kilometres south-west of Ulaanbaatar, the present capital of Mongolia, in an area which was suitable for both crops and livestock and which possessed very old-established mining deposits, the Dalakyn-tal–an area which, indeed, had been the cradle of many Central Asian civilizations.
Situated on the banks of the Orkhon rive, Kharakhorum is the most important cultural and religious site in Mongolia. Sadly today little remains of what was once a great city but some religious sites such as the grand site of Erdene Zuu which was Mongolia’s largest and grandest monastery.