Khövsgöl Province

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Khövsgöl Province
Хөвсгөл аймаг
Scenery in the Khövsgöl Province
Mn flag khovsgol aimag 2014.svg
Mn coa khovsgol aimag 2014.svg
Coat of arms
Khovsgol in Mongolia.svg
Coordinates: 49°38′N100°10′E / 49.633°N 100.167°E / 49.633; 100.167 Coordinates: 49°38′N100°10′E / 49.633°N 100.167°E / 49.633; 100.167
Country Mongolia
Established 1931 (1931)
Capital Mörön
  Total 100,628.82 km2 (38,853.00 sq mi)
Population (2017)
  Total 132,146
  Density 1.3/km2 (3.4/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+8
Area code(s) +976 138
ISO 3166 code MN-041
Vehicle registration ХӨ_

Khövsgöl (Mongolian : Хөвсгөл) is the northernmost of the 21 aimags (provinces) of Mongolia. The name is derived from Lake Khövsgöl.

Mongolian language language spoken in Mongolia

The Mongolian language is the official language of Mongolia and both the most widely-spoken and best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. In Mongolia, the Khalkha dialect, written in Cyrillic, is predominant, while in Inner Mongolia, the language is dialectally more diverse and is written in the traditional Mongolian script. In the discussion of grammar to follow, the variety of Mongolian treated is Standard Khalkha Mongolian, but much of what is to be said is also valid for vernacular (spoken) Khalkha and for other Mongolian dialects, especially Chakhar.


Geography and History

Lake Khovsgol Hovsgol.jpg
Lake Khövsgöl

The Aimag is largely mountainous. The south and southwest are dominated by the round-topped Tarvagatai, Bulnain and Erchim sub-ranges of the Khangai massif. The areas west and north of Lake Khövsgöl are formed by the alpine Khoridol Saridag, Ulaan Taiga, and Mönkh Saridag mountains. The center and east are less mountainous, but still hilly.

Khangai Mountains mountain range

The Khangai Mountains are an old mountain range in central Mongolia, some 400 kilometres west of Ulaanbaatar.

Khoridol Saridag mountains

The Khoridol Saridag mountains are a 150 km-long mountain range in Khövsgöl aimag, Mongolia, between Khövsgöl nuur and the Darkhad valley. The range covers parts of the Renchinlkhümbe, Ulaan-Uul and Alag-Erdene sums. The highest peak is Delgerkhaan Uul (3093m), two other notable peaks are Ikh Uul (2961m) and Uran Dösh Uul (2702m) on the shores of Khövsgöl nuur.

Ulaan Taiga is a mountain range in north-western Khövsgöl, Mongolia, between the Darkhad Valley and Mongolia's border with Tuva, Russia. The range covers parts of the Ulaan-Uul, Tsagaannuur and Bayanzürkh sums. Notable peaks include Mt. Lam Taiga (2619m) and Mt. Belchir (3351m). The Shishged River and the Delgermörön have their sources in this area. A part of the area along the border with Tuva has been put under natural protection.

Within Mongolia, the region is well known for its natural environment,[ citation needed ] and Lake Khövsgöl is one of the country's major tourist attractions. The largest forest areas of Mongolia are located around and to the north of the lake, extending the south-siberian Taiga.

The aimag was founded in 1931. Khatgal was the administrative center until 1933, since then it has been Mörön.

Khatgal is a village in Mongolia on the southern tip of Lake Khövsgöl. Khatgal has an airstrip and a small port, plus a school and a post/telecom office. There is a wooden bridge nearby over the Eg River.


Khövsgöl aimag population [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

The region is home to many ethnic minority groups: Darkhad, Khotgoid, Uriankhai, Buriad, and Tsaatan. Both the Darkhad and Tsaatan are famous for their practice of shamanism.

The Darkhad, Darqads, or Dalhut are a subgroup of Mongol people living mainly in northern Mongolia, in the Bayanzürkh, Ulaan-Uul, Renchinlkhümbe, and Tsagaannuur sums of Khövsgöl Province. The Darkhad valley is named after them. The regional variant of Mongol language is the Darkhad dialect. In the 2000 census, 16,268 people identified themselves as Darkhad.

Uriankhai Several ethnic groups in Mongolia

Uriankhai, Uriankhan or Uriankhat, is a term of address applied by the Mongols to a group of forest peoples of the North, who include the Turkic-speaking Tuvans and Yakuts, while sometimes it's also only applied to the Mongolian-speaking Altai Uriankhai. The western forest Uriankhai tribe is not to be confused with the transbaikal one, as the latter had been recorded in Chinese sources as 兀良哈.

Buryats ethnic group

The Buryats, numbering approximately 500,000, are the largest indigenous group in Siberia, mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia. They are the major northern subgroup of the Mongols.

Ethnic minority groups in Khövsgöl (self-identification), 2000 census [6]
Darkhad 16,26813.8%
Khotgoid 62295.3%
Uriankhai 30362.6%
Buriad 9960.84%
Tsaatan 2690.23%
Total population117914100%

Famous Khövsgölians

Sums of Khovsgol Aimag Mongolia Khovsgol sum map.png
Sums of Khövsgöl Aimag

Famous people from Khuvsgul include:

Chingunjavi was the Khalka prince ruler of the Khotogoids and one of the two major leaders of the 1756-57 rebellion in Outer Mongolia. Although his rebellion failed, he is nowadays often hailed as a fighter for Mongolia's independence from the Manchu Qing dynasty who ruled China at that time.

Öndör Gongor Mongolian tall man

Öndör Gongor whose full name was Pureviyn Gongor, was a very tall man in early-20th century Mongolia. He was measured 2.36 m high by Roy Chapman Andrews, but some other sources even give 2.45 m. He is known all over Mongolia, and also mentioned or pictured in some accounts of contemporary western travellers.

Jalkhanz Khutagt Sodnomyn Damdinbazar former prime minister of Mongolia

The Jalkhanz Khutagt Sodnomyn Damdinbazar was a high Buddhist incarnation from northwestern Mongolia who played a prominent role in the country's independence movement in 1911-1912. He served as Prime Minister twice; first in 1921 as part of the Bogd Khan puppet government established by Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, and again from 1922 to 1923 under the revolutionary government of the Mongolian People's Party.

Henning Haslund-Christensen, a Danish traveller and explorer, spent one or two years in a place that today is in Erdenebulgan sum in the early 1920s. Some locals believe that Alan Gua, a female ancestor of Genghis Khan, hails from what is now Chandmani-Öndör.


In 2007, the aimag was home to about 3.43 million heads of livestock, among them about 1,510,000 goats, 1,442,000 sheep, 322,000 cattle and yaks, 150,000 horses, 2,350 camels, and 652 reindeer. [5]


The Mörön Airport (ZMMN/MXV) has one paved runway. It offers regular flights from and to Ulaanbaatar, and also serves as intermediate stop into the western Aimags.

The Khatgal Airport (HTM) only runs scheduled flights from and to Ulaanbaatar in summer, offering a more direct approach to Lake Khövsgöl for the tourists.

The road distance from Mörön to Ulaanbaatar is 690 km. A new paved road finished in fall 2012 now connects Mörön to Khatgal on Lake Khövsgöl.

Administrative Subdivisions

The Sums of Khövsgöl Aimag
Sum Mongolian Population
(approx.) [7]
2000 [9]
Population 2005 [10] Population
2009 [11]
Sum centre
(2009) [11]
(km²) [5]
7,000 [12]
Arbulag Арбулаг3,1004,2724,4874,1643,9897283,529.211.13
Bayanzürkh Баянзүрх3,3004,1804,2023,8633,9647424,299.140.92
Bürentogtokh Бүрэнтогтох3,8005,0434,6784,2514,2457353,768.601.12
Chandmani-Öndör Чандмань-Өндөр2,1002,8913,0632,9443,0061,0184,487.540.67
Erdenebulgan Эрдэнэбулган2,3003,0862,7392,8492,7631,0604,694.380.59
Galt Галт4,4005,5735,3284,8765,1327773,596.831.43
Ikh-Uul Их-Уул3,2003,7673,9594,1264,1701,3872,023.822.06
Jargalant Жаргалант3,7004,8665,0865,1095,1831,3152,549.282.03
Khankh Ханхn.a.2,2272,1402,3462,4601,4225,498.710.45
Mörön Мөрөнn.a.27,23028,14735,87236,08236,072102.90350.55
Rashaant Рашаант2,5003,1953,2803,5593,5019871,982.521.77
Renchinlkhümbe Рэнчинлхүмбэ3,900 [13] 4,0404,2844,6144,7408258,448.340.56
Shine-Ider Шинэ-Идэр3,9004,6164,3484,0683,8241,7182,053.561.86
Tarialan Тариалан4,8006,1226,0705,9366,0853,2723,430.671.77
Tömörbulag Төмөрбулаг3,1004,0844,1714,3534,1746132,521.721.66
Tosontsengel Тосонцэнгэл2,8003,6834,1613,6154,1441,1662,042.232,03
Tsagaannuur Цагааннуур9001,2481,3171,4051,5477085,408.300.29
Tsagaan-Uul Цагаан-Уул4,3005,5475,6965,1455,3329405,866.30.91
Tsagaan-Üür Цагаан-Үүр2,0002,5902,4212,4422,4599468,735.330.28
Tsetserleg Цэцэрлэг4,4005,5915,8764,6934,7668077,451.620.64
Tünel Түнэл2,9003,5793,5563,4653,5281,1053,577.330.99
Ulaan-Uul Улаан-Уул2,7003,3963,7263,8984,1181,38610,057.520.41

Notes and references

  1. Statoids (Gwillim Law) web page
  2. National Statistical Office Archived 2007-06-07 at the Wayback Machine .
  3. National Economy of the Mongolian People's Republic (1921 - 1981), Ulaanbaatar 1981
  4. , GeoHive: Global Statistics
  5. 1 2 3 Khövsgöl Aimag Statistical Yearbook 2007 [ permanent dead link ]
  6. M. Nyamaa, Khövsgöl aimgiin lavlakh toli, Ulaanbaatar 2001, p. 7, 35, 68, 148, 166, 190
  7. Khövsgöl Aimgiin Atlas, Ulaanbaatar 1988,p.6
  8. M. Nyamaa, Khövsgöl aimgiin lavlakh toli, Ulaanbaatar 2001,passim
  9. Rural Poverty Reduction Programme: official site Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine .
  10. 1 2 Khövsgöl Aimak Statistical Yearbook 2009 [ permanent dead link ]
  11. population in 1990, acc. to M. Nyamaa, Khövsgöl aimgiin lavlakh toli
  12. incl. parts of Khankh

Related Research Articles

Tosontsengel is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is 2,050 km², of which 1,800 km² are pasture and 11 km² are farmland. In 2000, Tosontsengel had a population of 4,161 people, including some Khotgoid. The sum center, officially named Tsengel, is located 64 km east-southeast of Mörön and 607 km from Ulaanbaatar.

Mörön District in Khövsgöl, Mongolia

Mörön is the administrative center of Khövsgöl Aimag (province) in northern Mongolia. Before 1933, Khatgal had been the Aimag capital.

Tsagaannuur, Khövsgöl District in Khövsgöl, Mongolia

Tsagaannuur is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is 5,410 km². In 2000, Tsagaannuur had a population of 1,317 people, of which most identified themselves as Darkhad. There were 269 inhabitants who identified themselves as Tsaatan ethnicity. The sum center, officially named Gurvansaikhan, is located at the shore of Dood Tsagaan nuur, 279 km north-north-east of Mörön and 1048 km from Ulaanbaatar.

Renchinlkhümbe District in Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia

Renchinlkhümbe is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is about 8,850 square kilometres (3,420 sq mi), of which 2,910 square kilometres (1,120 sq mi) are pasture and 35% are forest. In 2000, the sum had 4284 inhabitants, mainly Darkhad. The sum center, officially named Zöölön, is located 265 kilometres (165 mi) north of Mörön and 998 kilometres (620 mi) from Ulaanbaatar.

Alag-Erdene, Khövsgöl District in Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia

Alag-Erdene is a sum (district) of Khövsgöl aimag (province). The area is about 4,500 km², of which 1,460 km² are forest, and 2,760 km² are pasture. In 2005, the sum had 2992 inhabitants, including some Darkhad, Khotogoid, and Uriankhai. The center, officially named Mankhan is situated close to the road from Mörön to Khatgal, 62 km north of Mörön and 733 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar.

Arbulag is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is about 3,360 km², of which 3,120 km² are pasture. In 2000, the sum had 4478 inhabitants, mainly Khotgoid and Darkhad. The center, officially named Mandal is located 75 km northwest of Mörön and 742 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar.

Bayanzürkh is a sum (district) of Khövsgöl aimag (province) in Mongolia. The area is about 4,300 km², of which 2,600 km² are pasture.. In 2000, the sum had 4202 inhabitants, mainly Darkhad. The center, officially named Altraga, is located at the confluence of the Altraga and Beltes rivers, near the Delgermörön river, 127 km northwest of Mörön and 798 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar.

Rashaant, Khövsgöl District in Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia

Rashaant is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is about 1,980 km², of which 50 km² are farmland.. In 2000, the sum had 3280 inhabitants. The town of Rashaant, the aimag center, is located in a high valley, 154 km southeast of Mörön and 518 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar and had 978 inhabitants in 2009.

Chandmani-Öndör is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is about 4,490 km². In 2000, the sum had 3036 inhabitants, including some Uriankhai. The center, officially named Khökhöö is located 190 km north-northeast of Mörön and 758 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar.

Galt is a sum (district) of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is about 3,600 km². In 2000, the district had 5328 inhabitants. The center, officially named Ider, is located 168 km south of the city of Mörön and 837 kilometers from the capital city, Ulaanbaatar.

Khankh is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is about 5,500 km². In 2000, the sum had 2140 inhabitants. The center, officially named Turt, is situated on the shore of Lake Khövsgöl, 280 km north of Mörön, 1020 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar, and 22 km from the Khankh/Mondy border crossing to Russia.

Jargalant, Khövsgöl District in Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia

Jargalant is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is about 2,550 km², of which 1,470 km² are pasture. In 2000, the sum had 5068 inhabitants, mainly Khalkha. The center, officially named Orgil, is situated close to the Ider river, 182 km south-southeast of Mörön and 886 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar.

Shine-Ider is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is about 2,050 km², of which 1,700 km² are pasture. In 2000, the sum had 4348 inhabitants, mainly Khalkha. The sum center, officially named Erdenet, is located 123 km south-southeast of Mörön and 839 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar.

Tarialan, Khövsgöl District in Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia

Tarialan is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is 3,431 square kilometres (1,325 sq mi), of which 1,582 square kilometres (611 sq mi) are pasture and 167 square kilometres (64 sq mi) are arable land . In 2007, Tarialan had a population of 5,855 people. The sum center, officially named Badrakh, in 2007 had 2,981 inhabitants and was the 2nd most populous settlement in the aimag after its capital. The sum center is located 160 kilometres (99 mi) east of Mörön and 521 kilometres (324 mi) from Ulaanbaatar.

Tsetserleg is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag, Mongolia. The area is 7,480 km², of which 6,040 km² are pasture and 1,340 km² are forest. 15 km² are farmland. In 2000, Tsetserleg had a population of 5,876 people, mainly Khotgoid. The sum center, officially named Khalban, is located 209 km west of Mörön and 880 km from Ulaanbaatar.

Tünel, Khövsgöl District in Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia

Tünel is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is 3,580 km², of which about one third is forest. In 2000, Tünel had a population of 4,556 people, including some Khotgoid. The sum center, officially named Bulag, is located 46 km north-east of Mörön and 667 km from Ulaanbaatar.

Ulaan-Uul, Khövsgöl District in Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia

Ulaan-Uul is a sum of Khövsgöl aimag. The area is close to 10,000 km². In 2000, Ulaan-Uul had a population of 3,726 people, mainly Darkhad. The sum center, officially named Tögöl, is located 171 km north-north-west of Mörön and 942 km from Ulaanbaatar.

The Delger mörön is a river in the Khövsgöl aimag in northern Mongolia. Together with the Ider River it is one of the sources of the Selenge River. The source is in the Ulaan Taiga range close to the Russian border, the confluence with the Ider River is in Tömörbulag. The Delgermörön is frozen 128–175 days per year. There is a ferry in Bayanzürkh and a concrete bridge just south of Mörön.