Khogno Khaan

Erdene Khamba Monastery, also known as Khogno Tarnyn Khiid, is located only 18 km north of Elsen Tasarhai, at the Khogno Khan Uul Mountains (1967 m ASL.) Today there are only the ruins. Erdene Khamba Monastery had two sections: the lower one called the Zaluu Khiid, or the Novice Temple and the upper one called the Uvgun Khiid, or the Elders Temple, which was built on top of the mountain. Our sightseeing excursion includes the lower temple.

The monastery was built in a sacred valley, according to Mongolian Buddhist traditions. Plus, the area is very similar to Manzshir Khiid and it belongs to the Khogno Khan Natural Reserve, a protected area. The Erdene Khamba Monastery was destroyed during Middle Age feuds between Western and Eastern Mongolians (Dzungaria and Khalkh Mongolia) after the collapse of the Mongol Empire. The armies of Dzungarian leader Galdan Boshigt noticed the golden roofs of the temples in Khogno Khan Mountain and massacred the partisan-monks of the rival Zanabazar in 1640, killing them by tying their necks with a rope (the Mongolian verb for the action is khognokh) as if they were goats and sheep. Later on, the Soviet troops, based in Mongolia during the 1970-80s, added a few bullets to the ruins during their outdoor trainings. The surrounding area is excellent for hiking and trekking.

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