Wintertime in Khuvsgul Aimag – Nature of Fairytale

2024-02-12 10:46:47

Ulaanbaatar, February 12, 2024 /MONTSAME/. Khuvsgul aimag, located in the northern part of Mongolia, is home to magnificent towering snow-capped mountains, the deep blue pearl Khuvsgul Lake, tall green taiga forests, unique Tsaatan reindeer people, serene landscapes, and the pristine beauty of nature. Every visitor discovers untouched wilderness in Khuvsgul aimag and refers to it as "Mongolian Switzerland." 

Khuvsgul aimag has become a favorite destination of international tourists in recent years because of its breathtaking winter scenery resembling a fairyland. For winter tourists, Khuvsgul aimag annually hosts the "Khukh Suvd – Blue Pearl" Ice Festival, "Khuvsgul Cup" Foreign Ice Fishing Competition, and the "Snow and Reindeer Festival." 

Magical Jargant River: Unfrozen at -50°C 

A never-freezing river despite winter temperatures of down to -50 degrees Celsius, the Jargant River in Renchinlkhumbe soum of Khuvsgul aimag is a natural wonder called “living water” by locals. During winter time, the river is a warm and regularly visited place, and its flowers and plants thrive in emerald green. 

The river's steam transforms nearby trees and bushes into a white wonderland, making it a popular spot for photography. 

Tsaatan People: Nomadic Reindeer Herders in Four Seasons 

Exploring the western and eastern taigas of Tsagaannuur soum in Khuvsgul aimag offers a unique opportunity to experience the lives of the Tsaatan people, who herd reindeer, the sixth kind of jewels in Mongolia, throughout the year. 

Visitors to the snowy taiga are able to get acquainted with the peculiar customs of the Tsaatan - nomadic reindeer herders who have lived in harmony with nature over centuries. Tourists can spend unforgettable moments by riding reindeer, staying in traditional urts [huts], a housing of tsaatan people, and taking pictures with them. The “Snow and Reindeer Festival” is celebrated annually in March to promote the rich heritage and unique lifestyle of the Tsaatan people. 

Khoridol Saridag Mountain Range: An Appealing Natural Formation

The Khoridol Saridag mountain range, located 130 kilometers southwest of Khuvsgul Lake and southeast of the Darkhad Valley, has unique natural formations and endangered flora and fauna. 

The Khoridol Saridag Mountains are a 150 km long mountain range in Khuvsgul aimag, Mongolia, running longitudinally from south to north between the western shore of Khuvsgul Lake and the Darkhad Valley. It is 3093 m above sea level. The highest peak is Delgerkhaan Uul (3093m), while two other notable peaks are Ikh Uul (2961m) and Uran Dush Uul (2702m) on the shores of Khuvsgul Lake. With its unique natural formation and endangered flora and fauna, the Khoridol Saridag mountain range was officially recognized as a National Park of Mongolia in 1997. 

Crystal Clear Khuvsgul Lake: 

Formed by seismic activity and tectonic faulting, Khuvsgul Lake is one of the world's clearest lakes, stretching from north to south. 

The 34th International Co-ordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme designated Khuvsgul Lake as a Biosphere Reserve to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2022. Khuvsgul Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Mongolia and is the source of 93 percent of Mongolia’s fresh drinking water. Also, it holds one percent of the world's freshwater. 

By the end of November, water freezes completely, forming a layer of ice 70 cm to 1 meter thick. 

Today, the "Blue Pearl" Ice Festival, initiated in 2000 to promote winter tourism in Mongolia and protect the Lake, has evolved into an international event. The next "Blue Pearl" Festival is scheduled to take place on March 2-3, 2024. 

Boshloi Rock – Where History of True Love Stands Still:

Boshloi Fold Mountain is a giant cliff with unique stripes and folds located at the Beltes River, near the Delger River in Bayanzurkh soum of Khuvsgul aimag. Known for its true love story of man Boshloi, the Mountain is a favorite place for couples, offering pleasing scenery for photography. 

Cave of Dayan Deerkhi:

The Cave of Dayan Deerkhi is one of the largest and most famous caves in Mongolia. It is located near the Uur River, 35 kilometers northeast of Tsagaan-Uur soum in the Khuvsgul aimag. 

People from all over Mongolia visit the Cave of Dayan Deerkhi, believing that anyone who visits is blessed for three years with the forgiveness of their sins. 

Wishing Tree with 100 Boughs:

Five kilometers west of the center of Tsagaan-Uur soum in Khuvsgul aimag, there is a tree with 100 boughs growing from a single root. Locals entrust their lives to the tree, presenting their first pour of tea and milk as a gest.