Chinggis Khan’s fabled city was founded in 1220 and it was from there that the Mongol Empire was governed for 40 years until the capital was moved to Beijing. In the subsequent collapse of the Mongolian empire, Karakorum was abandoned and then destroyed by Manchu soldiers in 1388. Most traces of the original city have vanished except for the most unique remains of two giant stone tortoises, which used to hold inscribed stele (stone tablets). The ruins of the city’s bricks and stones were used to help build the glorious Erdene Zuu Monastery in the 16th century. This important temple survived the communist era and carpenters especially will be fascinated to see the temples built without the use of a single nail. The wall has 108 stupas, each for a special event, some containing the remains of important lamas. The Golden stupa, built in 1799, contains 100000 different Buddha’s and 55070 Bodhisuburgan. With the advent of democracy in 1990 Erdene Zuu has become an active monastery again where visitors are asked to respect the sacred nature of this place of worship.
Available: May – October (winter tours are possible but will not follow this itinerary. Please contact us directly for details)
(Recommended 3 days, 2 night)
Day 1: After breakfast at guesthouse leave by car for Bayangobi (175 miles). Bayangobi is an area of rich wildlife and contrasting landscapes. Your chance to see camels and sand dunes without visiting the Gobi desert. Visit a nomad family. An opportunity for an hour horse riding and a visit to the Ovgon Temple. Return to family ger. Dinner with family. Overnight at family home stay.
Day 2: Karakorum. After breakfast transport to Karakorum. Visit Erdene Zuu Monastery, once one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia, which was almost destroyed in the 1930s. Tour of the monastery grounds and several chapels with excellent examples of Buddhist iconography dating from the 16th century. Visit to the symbolic ruins of Karakorum, the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire and the “phallic” rock monument. Stay in a ger camp for dinner and overnight in a ger.
Day 3: Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast at ger camp. Drive back to Ulaanbaatar via Hustain National Park protected area. Visit the protected area and see the wild Takhi horses. Arrive in Ulaanbaatar late afternoon.
Included: Excursion as per itinerary, meals, ger camp, entrance fees to monasteries and national parks, guide service and all transfers.
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Thank you! Safe travels!