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Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia where today there is a small local township. In the history, the city of Karakorum was founded in 1220 in River Vally Orkhon, at a busy point on the route of the Silk Road which is in the first large break in the chain of mountains.

The state of Mongols in the 13th century was among the most powerful of all in the world. Center of the empire was Karakorum city until Khuvilai Khaan decided to move his capital to Dadu or Beijing. After collapsing of Yuan dynasty Min state’s invaders sacked the city and massacred its inhabitants in 1388 and ruined it. Though Karakorum was partially reconstructed later, it was nevertheless eventually deserted.

On arrival you will notice the first and most obvious landmark which is the massive wall of monastery Erdene Zuu. Erdene Zuu, built in 1586, is the first Buddhist monastery to have been built in Mongolia and by a well-known Mongolian king called Abtai Sain Khaan, and is surrounded by a vast 400m wall. Various construction materials were taken from the ruins of Karakorum to build this monastery. Not a single nail was used in the construction of the ornate temples, only a few of which remain standing after the communist purges. In previous times the grounds held over 60 temples with 10,000 monks using them for their daily worship. Also, you will see the monastery of Erdene Zuu which was built in 1586. It is the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia and, at its peak in the late 18th century the complex of ornate gardens and 62 temples was home to over 1000 lamas. Today Erdene Zuu monastery complex remains an active Buddhist monastery as well as a museum that is open to tourists.

Also, you will see turtle rocks, great imperial maps and phallic rock there.

View Karakorum in a larger map

Tourist camps: Mönkh Tenger TC


Turtle rock is only completely survived items from ancient Karakorum city


Phallic rock is also one of the interesting attraction there


Wall of Erdene Zuu monastery complex


Inside of Erdene Zuu monastery


Modern Kharkhorin town


Great Imperial map on the top of the hill