Huvsgul aimag has at its jewel the vast Lake Huvsgul, one of the World’s largest lakes, big enough to the regarded as an inland sea, yet of pure fresh water. The western and eastern parts of the province are mountainous, and the area is mostly covered with forests.
30 families of Tsaatan (reindeer breeders) with a unique living traditional culture live in taiga and forest steppe to the north and west of Lake Huvsgul retaining their ancestral culture based on shamanistic rituals and nomadic reindeer herding. The reindeer people live in the Northwest regions of Huvsgul, which is pretty much like a taiga. Mongolian people called the Reindeer people –Tsaatan people.
Known as the “Dark blue pearl”, Huvsgul Lake, located in the northernmost province, is Mongolia’s largest and deepest lake and is the largest tributary stream of the Lake Baikal. This is the deepest lake in Central Asia, and the World’s 14th largest source of fresh water. Huvsgul Lake is 136 km long, water beneath 100 meters and 36 km wide, 262 meters deep and is located at an altitude of 1645 m above sea level. The lake is surrounded by mountains, meadows and forest, a complete contrast to the rest of Mongolia. An amazing 90 rivers flow into the lake, but only a single river flows out, the Egiin Gol, which ultimately reaches Lake Baikal in Siberia. Different ethnic groups live within the Lake Huvsgul National Park: Mongols or Khalkha, Buryat, Darkhat.
Mongolian Shamanism derives from worshipping nature. The Mongolians considered the earth “Mother Earth” and the sky “the Father”. The shaman acts as intermediary between the man and the spirits. Shamanism determined the behavior of nomads towards nature. Nowadays, shamanism is still practiced especially in the northern region (Lake Huvsgul).
This respect for nature is still alive in the ritual of the “ovoo”. Before going up a mountain, Mongolian people throw a handful of stones to a cairn-like pile (called “ovoo”) and walk three times around this pile of stones. To honor the spirits, bottles of vodka and pieces of blue silk are also added to the stones. Ovoos are abundant in the countryside on mountains peaks or passes.
This is an extinct volcano with a crater of 600 meter wide and 50 meter deep filled with a small “crater lake” about 20 meters in diameter. It has been protected since 1965, and today enjoys the statue of “Natural Monument ”. There are green woods in the center of the Crater Lake. It is a really fascinating mountain. Red deer, Argali, Wild boar, Siberian Ibex, ruddy Shelduck, and duck are found in this area.
The Amarbayasgalant Monastery, the biggest Buddhist center in Northern Mongolia, is located 360 km north of Ulaanbaatar. Built in 1727-1736, the Monastery was the second most important in Mongolia after Erdene Zuu Monastery in Karakorum. The Monastery established in 1727-1736 dedicated for Mongolian Religious First Bogd Gegeen. There were 27 kinds of big and small temples. According to Mongolian history in 17th -19th century, Amarbayasgalant was Mongolia’s greatest pilgrimage Buddhist Center.