Shamanism is the oldest religious practice in Mongolia and centers on beliefs and rituals associated with a shaman, a man, or a woman regarded as having access to the “spirit world”.
Shamanism is faith without books. All teaching and instruction have been given orally, passed from shaman to shaman over the centuries, and its traditions learned by heart. Mongolian shamans enter an ecstatic trance state in which the shaman is empowered to engage with the spirits I order to protect and heal members of the community, to guide souls, and cure illnesses.
The shaman might wear a headdress to resemble a bird, with the tail of a pheasant and the body costume of a fish. Drums are used to help the shaman enter the trance-like state, as chanting begins and the shaman “transcends “into another world while the body dances, swirls, or totters with jerky movements. Shamanism went underground during the former communist period but has been revived recently.
- Lake Khovsgol National Park
- Shamans and Reindeer herding people
- Adventure riding through Taiga wilderness
- Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake National Park
- Erdene Zuu Monastery in Kharkhorin, the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire
Transfer to the hotel. Unpack and rest in the hotel. Short city tour with Gandan Monastery, the National Museum of Mongolia, which represents Mongolian Culture starting from the Stone Age to the 21st century and Buddhism, and Sukhbaatar Square (also known as Chingis Khaan Square). (L/D)
Take a domestic flight to Murun, the central town of Khovsgol province. Meet our driver at the local airport then depending on the flight time, we either visit Deer Stones at Uushgiin Uvur on the way or drive straight to Lake Khovsgol National Park – as named “Blue Pearl”. The lake itself is one of the natural wonders of the earth and the second-largest freshwater lake in Mongolia. It is surrounded by magnificent pine-covered mountains. You will relax at the lakeshore and capture a multitude of stars over the blue lake. Stay overnight in tourist camp. (B/L/D)
Enjoying the magnificent lake - itself is one of the natural wonders of the world covering an area of 2760 square km. Take a boat ride to Khusliin Khad (Wishing Rock) in the morning. Hike up to the top of the mountain to have a wonderful panoramic view of the lake and national park. Rest of the day for walking along the lakeshore. Stay overnight in tourist camp. (B/L/D)
The shaman trail starts and head to the north to the Taiga Mountains. We will drive to the Renchinlkhumbe village via passing “13 ovoo - mountain pass” to meet darkhad shaman. The Darkhad valley is located between the Khoridol Saridag Mountain Range and the Ulaan Taiga Forest, where many small lakes are dotted. Here we experience spiritual shamanic healings and learning about their roots and seeing their rituals. Stay overnight in tent camp or shaman’s home. (B/L/D)
Today we start heading the north to meet reindeer herders (Tsaatan) and shamans. We cross Darkhad valley and head towards Tsagaan Nuur (White Lake). Trekking or horse riding sessions. Those days we load our luggage on horseback and leave our vehicle team, as the landscape becomes difficult to access with cars.
We'll see real events, how shamans do connect with other spirits, and what they do. Also these days we meet the tsaatans' life and tradition because they have their own religion, language, tradition, and customs that differ from other Mongols. Tented camp near shaman's home. (B/L/D)
Drive back to Murun after 3 days of a wonderful experience. Rest and stay overnight in local hotel. (B/L/D
Today our trip turns to the south towards Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake National Park. Take an overnight stop at Shine-Ider village. Overnight in tourist camp.
Arrive in a beautiful freshwater lake Terkhiin Tsagaan (White Lake) surrounded by extinct volcanoes at an altitude of 2.060 meters above the sea level. Explore the lake and its vicinity areas. Hike to Khorgo Uul volcano (2.965m) from the northeast shore of the lake. Visit caves on the way. (B/L/D)
Leave early in the morning to Kharkhorin /Karakorum/, the ancient capital city of the Great Mongol Empire. There’s almost nothing left from this great capital of the world, but in 1586, under the rule of King Avtai Sain, the Erdene-Zuu Monastery was built at the site of the ruins of ancient Kharkhorin. The Erdene-Zuu – means Hundred of Treasures was again destroyed during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, but there are still various Buddhist statues, works of art, religious instruments, and even Tsam religious dance masks at the monastery. There are an amazing 108 stupas surrounding the monastery. (B/L/D)
Drive back to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to the hotel and relax. Option to go shopping for souvenirs and cashmere products. Farewell dinner together. (B/L/D)
Transfer to Chingis Khaan International Airport or Train station and depart Mongolia. (B)
Prices & Inclusions
|Group size||Price/Per person|
Accommodation: Hotel****,* ger camp, tented camp
Guiding and interpreting service
Full board meals
Transport: 4x4 vehicle or minivan
Domestic flight (Ulaanbaatar-Murun)
Entrance fees to protected areas and national parks
Museums and cultural performance
Optional activity cost
Excess baggage charges
Single room supplement
The extra cost for photography in museums
Tip for a tour guide, driver, etc