Cradle of Great History
History of the Mongol nomads started over 2000 years ago with the Hun – the first nomadic state in the Central Asia. The world knows the Hun by Attila. From Hun (209 BC) till the 13th century, 8 nomadic states from both Mongol and Turkic origin inhabited current Mongolia’s territory. In the beginning of the 13th century, Temujin, prince of Hamag Mongol tribe, founded Mongol Empire by uniting the 32 nomadic tribes, and started to conquer the world. He was later named “Chinggis” or Genghis Khan. He and his successors founded the mankind’s largest empire “Great Mongol” that reached from India to Russia and from Arabia to Korea. In the ancient capital of Great Mongol Empire Karakorum you will see many remains from the period. During the 16th century Mongolia was converted in to Buddhism and famous Erdene Zuu monastery was built. Erdene Zuu is still an active monastery with lamas chanting and domestic and international prayers visiting. The Mongols were invaded by Manchu empire of Hamnigan origin in the 18th century and got its independence back in 1921 led by the last king of Mongolia. His winter palace now shows his and the lives of the Mongolian aristocrats, religious authorities of the early 20th century. After 70 years of communist regime Mongolia became a democratic country in 1990 and opened its door to the world.
Wonderful People & Unique Culture
The Mongols are world widely known for their fantastic arts, the 2 stringed “Morin Khuur” – Horse Headed Fiddle, “Hoomii” – throat singing, “Contortionism” – Elastic girls, Long songs, Traditional dance, Mongol painting and so on. The Buddhist and Shamanist influences in Mongol art make it more wonderful.
Mongolia is one of the biggest religious centers in the world with a great many features of both Buddhism and ancient shamanism. Today Buddhism and shamanism exist together in Mongolia as the Mongols practice both of them. During the time of the Great Khans Tibetan Yellow Sect form of Buddhism gained influence in Mongolia. Genghis Khan, leader of the biggest empire ever was well-known for his religious tolerance, having Nestorian Christians, Moslems, Maniche’s and shamans within his realm.
The nomads could find the pastoral animal husbandry that perfectly suits Mongolian ever changing 4 seasons, sharp continental climate. The Mongols live peaceful close to the nature, conserving it, keeping their distinctive lifestyle and unique culture. Mongolian nomads with real smiles on their faces are the most hospitable people that one ever meets. Mongolia has a dozen ethnic groups and each has its own dialect, costumes and traditions. The Kazakh people inhabiting the Altai mountains are the only Muslims in the country and they differ from the others by their culture, religion, language, renowned Hunter Eagles and beautiful embroideries. Also the Tsaatan people keeping reindeers, living in huts in the taiga, are still practicing shamanism and have a very unusual lifestyle.
source: Mongolia brochure by Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism of Mongolia
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