Ancient Capital Karakorum
Kharkhorin is a town and village center in Uvurkhangai province in Mongolia. The village population was 13,828 (1994), 13,964 (2000), and 13,496 (2003). The population of Kharkhorin town itself was 8,977 in 2003 and covered an area of 20.5 km2. Kharkhorin is located at the lower end of the upper valley of the Orkhon river which is included within UNESCO’s World Heritages Site Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape. The location marks the easternmost foothills of the Khangai Mountains, where they meet the rolling steppe of central Mongolia. Nearby are the ruins of the ancient town of Karakorum (also known as Kharkhorum or Qara Qorum) which, for a short time, served as the capital of the Mongol Empire under Ugudei Khan (Chinggis Khan’s son) . Another Kharkhorin landmark is Erdenezuu Monastery and its famous phallic rock. The important Paleolithic archaeological site of Moiltyn-am is located near the bridge over the Orkhon River, just west of the settlement. A modern resort is south of Kharkhorin at Khujirt on the Orkhon River. Kharkhorin’s principal sources of income are tourism and agriculture. Water from the Orkhon River serves to irrigate crops on the large plain east of the town. The Kharkhorun Airport (KHR/ZMHH) has one unpaved runway and is served by regular flights from and to Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.