Top 500 places to visit before you die (P.122) Karakorum: Ancient capital of the Mongol Empire


( Mongolia, a land of vast steppes and nomadic traditions, holds within its borders a treasure trove of historical wonders. Known as the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire and home to the world-famous Genghis Khan, Karakorum became one of the most important and developed meeting points of the Silk Road.

Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire between 1235 and 1260 and of the Northern Yuan Dynasty during the 14th–15th centuries. The ruins of this ancient capital are located in the northwest corner of present-day Övörkhangai province of Mongolia, near the town of Kharkhorin, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery. They are part of the World Cultural Heritage Orkhon Valley cultural landscape.

The ancient Karakorum became one of the most important and progressive cultural convergence destinations of the Silk Road. Because of this, Karakorum quickly became a destination for cultural exchange and people living in solidarity with each other. It is also a place that accepts all different religious beliefs, including at least 12 temples, 2 mosques, and at least one Buddhist temple located within the city walls.

Erdene Zuu Monastery, or "Temple of the Emerald", was built between 1585 and 1586. It is Mongolia's oldest Buddhist monastery. The establishment of the Erdene Zuu Buddhist Monastery in Karakorum in the 16th century, a time when the area was abandoned and reduced to ruins, had a significant impact on revitalizing the ancient city. The design of the monastery follows traditional Tibetan Buddhist architectural principles, with a central temple surrounded by a wall containing 108 stupas (Buddhist relics). These stupas represent the 108 volumes of the Kangyur, which are Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.

Mongolian calligraphy holds an important place in Mongolia's cultural heritage, reflecting the rich history and artistic traditions of the region. It was in the ancient city of Karakorum that Mongolian calligraphy developed and flourished as a distinctive form of expression. Erdenesiin Khuree Mongolian Calligraphy Center is one of the most prominent centers for the preservation and promotion of Mongolian calligraphy.

Concerts showcasing traditional Mongolian music as well as classes on khoomei, or traditional Mongolian throat singing, will be held throughout the summer.

In addition, outdoor activities on the outskirts of the old city are also an attractive option. Seeing the vast savannah will make visitors forget the pressures of modern life.

Brian (Collect & Edit) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos : internet )

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