Location: 360 km from Ulaanbaatar in Uvurhangai province.
Features: Kharakhorum was one of the most important city on the Silk Road, even it has the relatively small size. It was first founded by the great Chinggis Khaan in 1220, but the development of becoming the capital of Great Mongol Empire has occurred in 1230s under the rule of Chinggis Khaan’s son Ogedei. As the Mongolian Empire vast through to the east, west and connecting their trade across the Central Asia were facilitated by the Parks Mongolia, that made the whole territories a safe, peaceful, stable situation under the Mongolia rule. Kharakhorum is located on the most important east-west route across Mongolia in the Valley of Orkhon River-UNESCO World Heritage Site. This river valley has been the sacred homeland by steppe inhabitants, who in history placed their capitals here, like Turegs, Chinese, Uighurs and Sogdian from 8th and 13th century AD. The city was destroyed by Ming troops in 1388. In 1585 near the ruin of Kharakhorum city constructed Erdenezuu Monastery. Stones from the nearby ruins of the ancient Mongol capital of Kharakhorum were used in its construction. Planners attempted to create a surrounding wall featuring 108 Stupas (108 being a sacred number in Buddhism), The monastery was damaged in 1688 during one of the many wars between Zuungar (left side of Mongolia) and Khalkh Mongols. Locals dismantled the wooden fortifications of the abandoned monastery. It was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples and housed up to 1000 monks. The monastery went through periods of neglect and prosperity until the Stalinist purges of 1937 put it completely out of business. Most of the temples in Erdenezuu were destroyed and an unknown number of monks were either killed or sent to Siberian gulags.