Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mongolian Stone Turtles

#3 of 8 things to do in Kharkhorin (Karakorum) & #45 of 400 things to do in Mongolia
(according to:

Turtle stone, Ulan Bator, Mongolia
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: The arrival of Ginge-is Kahn

"... we were driving all day until late afternoon when we arrived at the site of the ancient capital of Karakorum built by Chinggis Kahns son, Ogedei. There is nothing much left of the city these days except some turtle shaped boundary stones and a phallic shaped monument..."

Read more:
"The monastery was large in interesting, but there is little to be seen of the ancient city of Karakorum (as opposed to the town that has grown up on the spot) beyond a couple of stone turtles– two of the four that originally marked the boundaries of the town. One of them was located right next to a modern memorial to the empire Genghis Khan built: a handsome tile four-sided depiction of the extent of the Khan’s conquests..."

Stone Turtle located at the site of the old city of Kharkhorin - 11 Oct 2003

Second Stone Turtle, located 1km Southeast of Erdene Zuu

Third Stone Turtle at Xar Xorym Southeast corner of UN enclosure

Stone Turtle at Harhorin, Mongolia
Author: Frithjof Spangenberg (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 Generic)

"EVERLASTING SENTINEL: In the area of ancient Karakorum, four granite tortoises each of which once bore an inscribed stela on its back can be found. Their age and origin are disputed, but one of them seems to guard the hillock covering the remains of the palace that was built by Ugedei, son of Genghis Khan. A team of Mongolian and German archaeologists are now excavating part of the palace." - Marc Steinmetz, 2002
"After that we went over to a statue of a turtle made of soap stone weighing several tons. It was erected at the entrance to Kara Korum in the days of Chinggis Kahn and left behind when Kubla Kahn took the government to Beijing. Now it sits outside the walls of the Erdene Zuu Monastery."
Turtle stone, Kheseg baishin:

Bronze Age grave, Hunui king, near Ikhet:
Ar Ulaan statue, 8-12th CE (Turkik)
Many more interesting photos as well to be found at:

Khara Khorum (again):
  "Mongolian mythical tradition speaks of a Golden Turtle that bears the golden world on its back..."

 And then there's excellent photography here:

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