Due to its historical and cultural value as well as rich flora and fauna, Khugnu Tarna natural reserve became national park in 2003. The name derives from Khugnu Khan Mountain and Tarna River. Main attractions include Khugnu Khan sacred mountain, Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes and Shireet Tsagaan Lake. You can explore Bronze Age rock paintings near Khugnu Khan Mountain and enjoy a camel ride through the sand dunes. Khugnu Khan Mountain has two monasteries respectively called Uvgun and Zaluu. And there are several rock paintings of ibex, wolves and deers in Senjin Cliff on the mountain that date back to the Bronze Age. Steep rock cliffs and lush green forests make gorgeous scenery and because of that one of the biggest and most important movies of Mongolia named “Mandukhai Setsen Khatan” was filmed here. Elsen Tasarkhai is a part of the Mongol Els sand dunes that continues 80km long, 5km wide across Burd, Bulgan and Gurvanbulag soums of Uvurkhangai province. It is located 280 km west of Ulaanbaatar and 80 km east of Karakorum - the ancient Mongolian capital. The area is surrounded by sand dunes, hills covered with rare bushes and a small forest near a river. Together this presents a unique combination of Mongolian mountains, forests and Gobi-type landscape in one location. Local people call this sand dunes Duut mankhan (Singing sand). Shireet Tsagaan Lake is located 27km to the north of Burd town and the area surrounding the lake is a combination of the Gobi and Khangai mountains. The sixteenth Jebtsundamba Khutuktu Zanabazar or Undur Gegeen Zanabazar was anointed as Gegeen in 1639 when he was five years old on the shores of Shireet Tsagaan Lake and the first capital city of Mongolia was founded here. Khugnu Tarna National Park has rich flora and fauna as mentioned before. There are various types of wildlife living here and 17 very rare, 100 medicinal, in total, 400 species of plant grows around the area. Fauna include Siberian roe deer, wild boar, Pallas’s cat, corsac fox, red fox, wolf, badger, skunk, Daurian hedgehog, whiskered bat, golden eagle, hawk, saker falcon, ural owl, duck, goose and great bustard and so on.
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