|Mongolia is a landlocked country located between China and Russia.
It is a vast emptiness that links land and sky, and is one of the last
few places on the planet where nomadic life is still a living tradition. Mongolia may have geopolitical, cultural and geographical meanings. Mongolia consists of historic Outer Mongolia. The province of Inner Mongolia is geographically and politically separate and located in northern part of China yet it shares common borders with Mongolia.|
With only 1.7 people per km▓, Mongolia has the lowest population
density of any independent country, and it is this vast and majestic
emptiness that is the country's enduring appeal, bringing the
traveller, as it does, into a close communion with nature and its
nomadic inhabitants. Mongolia is entirely landlocked, between China and Russia.
The country is nicknamed the "Land of Blue Skies," and with good
reason. There is said to be about 250 sunny days throughout each year.
The weather is bitterly cold during the winter, dropping down to -40║
in some parts. With many types of terrain--from desert to verdant
mountains--the weather during the summer varies from region to region,
but is generally hot. Outside of the Gobi desert, this time of year is
marked with many rains in some areas, and it can become quite cool at
For several letters, the ISO 9 standard transliteration of
Cyrillic is not widely used and there is no consensus either in
Mongolia nor in Wikitravel. Specially, the same Cyrillic letter "х" is
transliterated "h" or "kh", the letter "ө" is transliterated "˘", "÷",
"o" or "u", but Latin "o" is also the transliteration of the Cyrillic
"о", and Latin "u" is also the transliteration of Cyrillic "у" and "ү"
(the latter should be transliterated "¨" according to ISO 9, but this
is rarely done). So, if you can't find a name as you wrote it, try
The recorded history of ancient Mongolia dates back to third century BC
when the Xiongnu came to power among many other nomadic tribes.
Due to illiteracy and nomadic lifestyle, little was recorded by Huns of
themselves. They first appear in recorded Chinese history as
"Barbarians" against whom the walls were built. Those walls later
became known as the Great Wall of China.
There have been several Empires in Mongolia after the Hun Nu. For
example, the A Tureg Empire around 650AD, with its capital
approximately 110km north of Har Horin (Kharkhorum). There was also the
Uighur Empire, with its capital Har Bulgas (Khar Bulgas or Xar Bulgas)
near Har Horin. The Khitans who controlled North China around 1000AD as
the Liao Dynasty had an administrative center (Har Bukh) 120km to the
northeast. The Government of Turkey has been promoting some Turkish
Empire monuments and there is a museum full of artifacts at the Bilge
The struggle for mere existence and power over other tribes kept going
until the time of Genghis Khan. Chinggis Khan, as he is known in
Mongolia, came to power and united the warring tribes under the Great
Mongol Empire in 1206. He was proclaimed Genghis Khan (Chingis Haan),
meaning ruler of all Mongol tribes. The Mongolian Empire was extended
all the way to eastern Europe under
Genghis Khan. His grandson, Kublai Khan, subsequently conquered much of
China, to establish the Yuan Dynasty. The Mongols were, however, driven
back to the steppes by the Chinese Ming Dynasty under Emperor Hongwu.
They were later conquered by the Manchurian-Chinese Emperors Kangxi and
Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty.
independent Mongol nation would only emerge again in 1924 but was not
recognised by China until 1945, as the Chinese were forced to grant
independence to Outer Mongolia by the Soviet Union, in exchange for
Soviet assistance in fighting the Japanese invasion. Thus, the historic
region of Mongolia was split into two, with Outer Mongolia becoming the
independent nation of Mongolia, while Inner Mongolia remained a province of China. Since that time, Mongolia has had a close relationship with the Soviet Union (and Russia after
the breakup of the Soviet Union). Mongolia even replaced its
traditional script with the cyrillic alphabet. (The traditional script,
however, continues to be used by ethnic Mongols in China). As Inner
Mongolia was the more populated area before the partition, to this day
the number of ethnic Mongols living in China outnumbers the population
The Secret History of the Mongols is
one of the great recordings of Mongolian history. Every Mongolian reads
the book in the modern Mongolian language. This is one of the the
oldest books in the Mongolian language. There are vivid similarities
with the Bible in literary style, wording and story telling. It is
speculated that the author could have been a Christian or at least was
very knowledgeable about the Bible. According to Hugh Kemp, Qadag (pp
85-90, Steppe by Step) is the most likely candidate for authorship of
Secret History of the Mongols. He writes about the history of ancient
Mongolia and connects the modern reality with the ancient world. Even
though the book is about the history of Christianity in Mongolia, it
paints a view of ancient Mongolia from the height of 21st century. The
"History of Mongolia" by B. Baabar is a good source for the Modern
History of Mongolia.
On the trail of Marco Polo covers some travel through the Mongol Empire in the time of Genghis' grandson, Kublai Khan.
|External Links (In case you decide to visit Mongolia):|