Lake Khuvsgul, with its Russian cousin Lake Baikal, lies along a relatively recent north-south faultline in the Earth's crust. Like Baikal, Khuvsgul is of enormous depth — the deepest lake in North Asia, up to 900 feet deep with a surface area of some 2,700 square kilometres.
Its water is of an unrivalled purity, its summer banks dotted with wildflowers.
Winter around Khuvsgul lake
Winter finds the lake under more than a metre of ice, though it still teems with fish species. The surrounding countryside is a joy for the explorer — clean air, quiet glades in the taiga forest, sweeping mountainside, and the play of gentle sunlight on the waters of this lonely mere.
The Khuvsgul Aimag province, northernmost in Mongolia, is centred around its most distinguishing feature, the pristine Lake Khuvsgul. The province is also remarkable, however, in that it represents one of the most direct and contemporary convergences of the ancient shamanic and relatively modern (12th century) Buddhist cultures of Mongolia.
Here in Khuvsgul can still be found large populations of people from the old tribes — Buryat, Uriankhai, Darkhad, and Tsaatan — the reindeer people. They have lived here since prehistory, their traditional ranges extending northwards into Siberia.
The Tsaatan way of life shares much in common with that of the American Indians, who made the crossing to America from these parts across the Bering Strait, whilst it was frozen under the last Ice Age. The Tsaatan prefer to live in deerhide tepees rather than ger tents, and their totemic 'deerstones', carved with the deer that are said to guide the dead into the underworld, still dot the Khuvsgul landscape.
Map of Lake Khuvsgul
Places & hotels on the map
Photos of Lake Khuvsgul
Accommodation choices for Lake Khuvsgul
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