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Mongolia Sacred Mountains: Bogd Khan, Burkhan Khaldun, Otgon Tenger

Date of Submission: 01/08/1996
Category: Mixed
Submitted by:
Ministry of Enlightenment
Coordinates: Bogd Khan: Lat.47°43' - 47°54' N ; Long.106°46' - 107°10' E Bur.Khakdun: Lat. 48°30' - 48°50' N Long. 108°50' - 109°20' E Otgon Tenger: Lat. 49°30' - 49°50' N Long. 97°20'
Ref.: 936
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The tradition of protecting nature, flora, and fauna has a long history in Mongolia. The three sites being proposed for inclusion all represent sacred values first identified by Chingis Khan in the 13th centuries and further included in the laws of "Khal`kh Juram" which were in place between 1709 and 1799. They are the most important of the 16 sacred mountains of Mongolia protected by tradition, common law and royal decree. The designated of these sites as sacred natural areas has meant that they have been conserved and treated with respect for centuries. BOGD KHAN MOUNTAIN: This mountain is the world's oldest official protected area. In 1778, the Emperor of Manchur passed resolutions to formalize the sacred values of the Bogd Khan Mountain and provide for official protection of the site. On the south side of the protected area, monks have begun the process of rebuilding the Monastery Manzushiry. Established in 1750, the monastery housed more than 350 monks and 20 temples, including schools of medicine, astrology, and philosophy, before it was destroyed in the 1930's. Numerous archaeological sites have been discovered in the preserve, including cave paintings that archaeologists date to three thousand years ago. BURKHAN KHALDUN: As another of the sacred sites proclaimed by Chingis Khan, this mountain is rich in archaeological history, with over 800 burial sites identified by archaeologists. The mountain is located the 1,2 million hectare Khan Khentii Strict Protected Area established in 1992. This mountain is considered the most sacred mountain in Mongolia, because it was first designated as sacred by Chingis Khan. OTGON TENGER: 95,500 hectare area including Otgon Tenger were taken under protection and was designated as National Strict Protected Area in 1992. This mountain was sacred from ancient times and included in the laws of "Khalkh Juram" as a protected mountain, where logging and hunting were proLibited. Together these three mountains mark the physical and psychological "triangulation marks" which define the boundaries of the Mongolian sacred homeland.