Geography of Mongolia
in the landlocked plateau of Central Asia between China
and Russia, Mongolia covers an entire area of 1.566.500
km- it takes the 15th place with its size in the world.
Mongolia stretches about 2.400 km form the west to the east
and about 1.260 km from the north to the south. The total
length of the country's border is 8.156 km. The total area
of Mongolia is larger than the combined areas of Great Britain,
France, Germany and Italy.
The northern part of the country is covered by forest mountain
and the southern part by desert, desert steppe, and steppe
areas with low mountains. High snow-capped mountains and
glaciers and the eastern part by vast plains and wild heaths
dominate the western part. The Mongolian environment has
a large variety of features. Mongolia can be divided into
six zones; desert, mountain, mountain taiga, mountain forest
steppe, arid steppe and taiga.
The mountain belt of the Mongol Altai, Khangai and Khentii
mountainous regions, with their perpetual snow, glaciers,
traces and signs of ancient ice covers, has been well preserved
due to a constantly cold climate and strong winds. The area
is inhabited by some endangered animals (such as the Argali
sheep, Ibex, Snow Leopard, Rock Parmigan and Altai Snowcock)
and plants (such as the Dwarf Siberian Pine and White Gentiana).
About 81% of the country is higher than 1000 meters above
sea level and the average elevation is 1580 meters. The
highest mountain is Tavan Bogd in Bayan Ulgii Aimag at 4374
meters and the lowest point is Khukh Nuur in the east at
and dense forests predominate central and northern Mongolia
and grasslands cover large areas of this region. Across
the eastern part of the country stretches the vast land
grasslands of the Asian steppe. The steppe grades into Gobi
Desert, which extends throughout southern Mongolia from
the east to the west of the country. The Gobi Desert, which
extends throughout southern Mongolia from the east to the
west of the country. The Gobi is mostly gravelly, but also
contains large areas of sand dunes in the dries areas of
Gobi near the southern border. The country has numerous
saltwater and freshwater lakes. Although it boasts over
260 sunny days a year and is known as the "Land of
the blue sky", Mongolia's climate is extreme. Long
subarctic winters are harsh with average tempratures dropping
to -34'C (-88'F) in January and early February. So some
rivers remain frozen until June. The general landscape of
the country is concerned its natural origin, which is comparatively
less destroyed by human activities and remained keeping
its original nature.
Great Lakes Water of Mongolia:
to long term studies, Mongolia gets about 230 mm or 361 km.qube
water of average annual precipitation . The most of it evaporates
and only 10% or 36 km.qube stays on the surface and 37%
of which waters the soils and 63% or 22 km.qube supplies
the surface water-rivers and streams.
6898 springs are currently in use. Most of Mongolian 3500
lakes are located in the western and northern parts of th
country- biggest lakes like Uvs, Khovsgul, Khyargas, Khar,
Boon Tsagaan, Orog, Achit and many more. 1194 lakes of Mongolia
do not dry all the year around.
has comparatively high levels of surface and ground water
resources. The rivers of Mongolia belong to the inland drainage
basins of the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and Central
Asia. The water network is of a greater density in the north
of the country. The longest river is the Orkhon at 1124
kilometers in length. There are some 3000 rivers in total
with a combined length of 67,000 kilometers.
Winter-Spring-Summer-Autumn Climate of Mongolia
main characteristics of the climate of Mongolia are sunny
days, long and cold winters, low precipitation and large
annual, seasonal, monthly and diurnal fluctuations in air
temperature. The average mean temperature recorded in January
is -34'C in the plateau and depressions, but extreme temperatures
have been recorded between -50 and -56 degrees centigrade.
In the northern mountains the average mean temperature in
the warmest warmth is between +35'C and +41'C, depending
on the area.
The total annual precipitation in mountainous regions averages
to about 400 mm, in the steppe from 150-200 mm and in the
desert-steppe less that 100 mm, About 75-85% of the precipitation
falls during the three summer months. The spring season
is often very windy and dust storms are common in the desert
Fauna of Mongolia
science study of Mongolian fauna was started in the second
half of the 19th century. Everyone traveling in Mongolia may
find it difficult to distinguish between wild and domesticated
animals as both roam freely on the open, vast steppe. Though
Mongolia does not have the large games such lion, elephant
that attract visitors to Africa, it has many rare and endangered
species such as the snow leaopard, Argali and Ibex. So our
company no longer offering our hunting
for some rare species like Argali, Ibex, Deer, Elk,
Bear, Gazelles and Roe Deer.
Mammals in Mongolia:
Currently 136 species
of mammals concerning 8 classes, 22 families, 70 types of
mammals have been registered in Mongolia, most of them are
endemic in Central Asia. 60 species of them are hunted as
they are game animals.
Mongolia has a rich composition
of bird species due to the migratory routes from the Pasific
ana Indian Oceans to the
Sea and to Arctic Ocean and Northern Tundra.. 426 species
of birds have been observed in Mongolia- 322 species or 78%
are migrated. 30 species of birds are included in the "Red
book of Mongolia" as they are concerned as rare and endangered.And
some lakes as Khovsgul, Uvs, Khar Us, Dayan, Dorgon, Terkhiin
Tsagaan and also some rivers where high density of birds is
observed have been strictly protected partially. Birds such
as Grus leucogeranus, Grus vipio, Chlamydotis undulata, ciconia
migra, Pelecanus crispus, Platalea leucorodia, Anas formosa,
Limnodromus semipalmatus, Larus relictus have been protected.
Currently 22 species of reptiles have
been registered in the country such as alsophylax pipiens,
teratoscincus przwalskii, cyrtopodion elongatus, laudakia
stoliczkana, phrynocephalus versicolor, phrynocephalus helioscopus,
lacerta agilis, lacerta vivipara, eryx tataricus, elaphe dione,
coluber spinalis, elaphe schrenckii, natrix natrix, vipera
berus, qkistrodon halys... most of these reptiles are endemic.
Amphibians in Mongolia: In the world currently,
3 types, 29 families, 3000 species of insects have been
registered, of which 2 types, 4 families of 8 species of
amphibians have been observed in Mongolia such as Bufo danatensis,
Salamandrella keyserlingii, Rana chensinensis, Hyla japonica,
bufo raddei, ...some of the amphibians are endemic.
of Mongolia: Mongolia has 75 species of fishes.
Fish that are not listed in the "Red book of Mongolia"
are sport fish. Common fish in Mongolia: taimen, great kalyga,
strugeons, arctis cisco, siberian whitefish, pikes- amur
pike, northern pike, cyprinid fish, carp, roach, dwaft altai
osman, mongolian grayling, mongolian redfin, look up, haitej
Insects in Mongolia: Insect life is the
richest in the wild life of Mongolia as 13000 species of
insects are observed in the country.
Flora of Mongolia
There can be said to be three distinct types of ecosystem
flora- grassland and shrubs, forests and desert vegetation.
Crop cultivation and human settlements make up less than 1%
of Mongolia's territory. Although there is so much grassland
here, used for grazing, overgrazing is a problem in some areas.
The natural regeneration of Mongolian
forests is slow, fires and insects due to the harsh climate
often damage the forests. 8.1% of the total territory is covered
by forest, totaling 140 species of trees, shrubs and woody
are used as a source of fuel, whether it is the larch, pine
or birch in the north, the saxaul in Gobi Desert.
Vascular and Lower Plants:
There are 2823
species of vascular plants, 445 species of moss, 930 species
of lichen, 900 species of fungi and 1236 species of algae.
845 species of plants are used in traditional Mongolian Medicine,
1000 species of fodder, 173 for food and 64 for industry.
There are now 128 species of plants listed as endangered and
thraetened in the Mongolian Red Book 1997.
Nomadic Civilization and Culture of Mongolia
is totally landlocked country so that its climate is sharp
continental and dry with 4 seasons, the geographical location
is diverse. Influenced by these, Mongolians have developed
unique nomadic civilization since Neolite. They have run
animal husbandry in their vast land and move for the best
pasture and water frequently. But it does not mean that
Mongols are all nomads living in their gers (traditional
dwelling), also they have developed their own urban civilization
and architecture. The first Mongolian Empire the Khunnu
had its capital city on the bank of the River Orkhon. Each
Empire of Mongolia had capital cities. Mongolian Architecture
was influenced by Buddhism a lot like many other Buddhist
Countries. You can see it from number of monasteries.
National Holidays of Mongolia
Tsagaan Sar - Lunar New Year:
is long in Mongolia and it may be very cold in March and April,
it is an accepted practice to mark the advent of Spring in
February. It coincides with the New Year celebrations according
to the oriental lunar calendar. Some researchers believe that
the lunar calendar was invented by the nomadic tribes of Central
Asia. Living in contact with nature and noticing the natural
cycles, the nomads had long organised their life according
the lunar phases.
The sports most popular with the Mongols
since ancient times are wrestling, horse racing and archery.
Together they form Eriin Gurvan Naadam – the three manly
The three manly sports make up the core program of the National
Day festivity which has been held annually for the past two
centuries. Earlier, Naadam was often associated with religious
ceremonies (worshipping the spirit of the mountains, the rocks
and the rivers). At present it is a national holiday held
11-13th July each year to commemorate the Mongol People's
TRADITIONAL DWELLING- "Mongolian Ger
has been used since the Mongols started nomadic life with
animal husbandry. A ger consists of felt covers (deever, tuurga),
wooden columns(bagana), and a toono (a square window) and
uni or thin wooden poles and floor, khana or wall (wooden
lattice attached together with animal's hide ropes) and ropes.
Most of gher materials are made of animals like felt- sheep
wool, ropes- camel or sheep wool, horse or yak's tail, and
of course wood. A ger size depends on the owner's wealth,
khana numbers decide the size, the biggest gher in Mongolia
or in the world was called Bat-Olziit and its diameter was
40 m and it had 32 khanas. A usual Mongol gher has 5 khanas
and 88 unis.
TRADITIONAL COSTUME OF MONGOLIA - "the Deel"
The main costume of the Mongols is the deel. It is usually
made of silk and cotton. The Mongols have wearing this costume
for centuries, it is perhaps as old as the gher. A deel design
varies in different ethnic groups, and the materials also
differ in different seasons. For example: in winter they wear
sheepskin, their warmest deels, in summers they wear their
Religions in Mongolia
By now Mongolia's main religion is Buddism, with 90% of
the whole population are Buddhists. The rest are Muslims,
Shamanist and few Christians. Mongolans' first religion
was shamanism, it arose during the Clan structure. At that
time it was simple, just magic. According to archeological
findings, about 100000-40000 years before the people lived
on the land of today's Mongolia had this religion. On the
ancient earth, every clan had a belief about their origin
that they were descended from an animal or a plant, and
they called it tutelary genius. The Mongols adored deer
The clans lived on the land of today's Mongolia moved
to a class society. From clan structure people believed that
there was an external force of the nature that made them poor and weak beneath it. So the early humans worshipped
to the supernatural force, and it was the base of Shamanism. According
to Mongolian shamanism there are 99 heavens, 55 of which are the heavens
of the west - influence good to human beings, and the
rest 44 are the heavens of the east - considered as evil.
The Mongols worship the good 55 heavens once a year by worshipping
a sacred mountain or an ovoo. During
the ceremony of ovoo worship, shamans offer fire and food
to the spirits of the mountains nd the waters. And once
a year shamans perform a special deed to abuse the bad heavens.
According to Shamanism, after a death of someone his spirit
goes to the heavens and his body stays under the ground.
Today there are number of ethnic groups-Shamanists live
in the north western part of the country.
Buddhism in Mongolia
People say that Buddhism first came to Mongolia 3rd cenruty
BC, but the historical resources date Modun Shanyu's reign
209-171 BC. After that till now over 2000 years, Buddhism
has been being developed in Mongolia. By 1937, there were
over 700 active monasteries in the country but after the
communist destroy only 5 of them were left. After the democratic
revolution of 1990, people have started reconstruction of
History of the warriors started 750000 years ago from now
on, and that is subdivided into 9 parts according to historians: