Interesting facts about Mongolia

mongolia

Mongolia is a landlocked country in East Asia known for vast, rugged expanses and nomadic culture.

The official name of the country is Mongolia.

The two countries that border Mongolia are Russia on the north and China on the south, east and west.

The official language is Mongolian.

As of 1 January 2017, the population of Mongolia was estimated to be 3,037,393 people.

At 1,564,116 square kilometers (603,909 square miles), Mongolia is the 18th largest and the most sparsely populated fully sovereign country in the world. It is also the world’s second-largest landlocked country behind Kazakhstan.

Ulaanbaatar, formerly romanized as Ulan Bator is Mongolia’s capital and largest city. Located in north central Mongolia, the city lies at an elevation of about 1,310 meters (4,300 feet) in a valley on the Tuul River.

ulaanbaatar

The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south.

Mongolia is one of the world’s highest countries, with an average elevation of 1,580 meters (5,180 feet).

Khüiten Peak is the highest point in Mongolia, on the west side of the country along the border with China. It is 4,374 meters (14,350 feet) high and has a permanent snow cap.

khüiten peak

Southern Mongolia is dominated by the Gobi, which is the largest desert in Asia and is the fifth largest in the world.

17% of Mongolia’s total landmass is now designated as one of four kinds of “protected areas”: Strictly
protected areas, national parks, nature reserves, and natural historical monuments. There are 99 areas
in total, with 24 National Parks.

Khustain Nuruu National Park was established in 1993 and is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Ulaanbaatar. The 50,620-hectare (12,5080-acres) reserve protects Mongolia’s wild horse, the takhi, and the reserve’s steppe and forest-steppe environment. In addition to the takhi, there are populations of maral (Asiatic red deer), steppe gazelle, deer, boar, manul (small wild cat), wolves and lynx.

khustain nuruu national park

Mongolia has 4 UNESCO world heritage sites.

The Erdene Zuu Monastery is probably the earliest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. Located in Övörkhangai Province, approximately 2 km north-east from the center of Kharkhorin and adjacent to the ancient city of Karakorum, it is part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site.

erdene zuu monastery

The Gandantegchinlen Monastery is a Chinese-style Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar that has been restored and revitalized since 1990. The Tibetan name translates to the “Great Place of Complete Joy”. This monastery is one of Mongolia’s most important, and also one of its biggest tourist attractions.

gandantegchinlen monastery

The Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, part of the Genghis Khan Statue Complex is a 40 meters (130 feet) tall statue of Genghis Khan on horseback, on the bank of the Tuul River at Tsonjin Boldog (54 km (33.55 mi) east of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar), where according to legend, he found a golden whip. The statue is symbolically pointed east towards his birthplace; it’s the highest statue representing a man on a horseback in the world.

genghis khan rquestrian statue

The Mongol Empire gained power as Genghis Khan and his sons conquered much of Asia and Europe during the 13th century.

In the 16th century, Tibetan Buddhism began to spread in Mongolia. By the early 1900s, almost one-third of the adult male population were Buddhist monks.

The southern portion of Mongolia, known as Inner Mongolia, is part of China. The northern region became independent from China in 1921 with Russia’s help. Mongolia became a communist country in 1924, but in 1990 multiparty elections were held by the people.

Many Mongolians still live in a traditional ger, which is a type of tent. Also known as “yurts,” these portable dwellings were traditionally used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia as their homes.

mongolia ger

Approximately 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic; horse culture is still integral.

The majority of its population are Buddhists. The non-religious population is the second largest group.

Mongolia is referred to as “Land of the Blue Sky” because it has over 260 sunny days a year.

Mongolia’s temperature can fluctuate as much as 35 degrees in one day.

The extreme continental climate has affected the traditional diet, so the Mongolian cuisine primarily
consists of dairy products, meat, and animal fats. Use of vegetables and spices are limited.

Mongolia’s national dish is a steamed dumpling filled with meat (usually beef or mutton) called Buuz.

mongolian buuz

Mongolia’s national drink, fermented mare’s milk, is called airag or kumiss, in other parts of Central Asia.

The national animal of Mongolia is the Przewalski Horse.

The national bird of Mongolia is the Saker Falcon.

Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ was named as the National Flower of Mongolia. The flower symbolizes Mongolia`s lifestyle in harmony with nature.

Naadam is a traditional festival in Mongolia. The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery, and are held throughout the country during midsummer. In 2010, Naadam was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.

naadam

The largest Mongolian wrestling tournament involved 6,002 participants. It was organized by the Mongolian National Wrestling Federation (Mongolia) and was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, between 17 and 25 September 2011.

Khöömei or throat singing is a form of singing originating in western Mongolia, in the Altai mountains. The performer imitates sounds of nature, simultaneously emitting two distinct vocal sounds: along with a continuous drone, the singer produces a melody of harmonics.

Ulaanbaatar has an average annual temperature of −0.4 °C or 31.3 °F, making it the coldest capital in the world.

The Mongolian Stock Exchange is the smallest in the world and is housed in a refurbished children’s cinema.

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