Mongolia’s Otgon Tenger Mountain – The Abode of the Gods

Rock and Roll In Ondorkhan – On the road update
September 24, 2013
Landscapes of the East – Through The Eyes Of One Of Our Guests
November 1, 2013
Although the nights are now cold and ice is starting to form on the streams and rivers here in Zavkhan Province, we’ve consumed enough calories to keep us going through the harshest weather. Otgon Tenger is the reason we’re here.

En-route through the Khangai
We’ve spent the last two nights camping at the foot of and exploring the surrounds of Otgon Tenger – considered by many as the spiritual centre of the land and Mongolia’s most sacred mountain. This is the highest mountain in the central Khangai Range – with its permanent snow-capped peak it is said to be 4021m. Tenger (the God of the Eternal Blue Sky) has been on our side – granting us spectacular views. 

In the Abode of the Gods

Mongolians consider the mountain to be the mystical abode of Ochirvan – the fierce, dark blue protective deity of the Buddhist religion (traditional Mongolian beliefs have held that wrathful deities inhabit many of Mongolia’s sacred mountains). 

The peak and its environment are protected to conserve the high alpine ecosystem and form part of the 95,500-hectare Otgon Tenger Strictly Protected Area. In fact, it is the only mountain in the entire Khangai range to have a permanent glacier. Övör Badarkhundaga Nuur is a glacial lake nestled in a cirque just below the south face of Otgon Tenger. 

Otgon Tenger is remote and spectacular and although considered a pilgrimage site by many Mongolians (according to the ranger we spoke to,  the president of Mongolia is required to come to Otgon Tenger at least once every four years and make an offering) it receives very few western visitors.

We offered  khadags (prayer scarves) and burned artz (juniper) at the main ovoo. Hopefully we paid sufficient respect to the mountain. We certainly felt honoured to be there.

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