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Pagoda at the Khitan city of Bars-Hot in Eastern Mongolia

Bars-Hot or Kherlen Bars was a city built by the Khitan people, in the basin of the Kherlen River in Eastern Mongolia,[1] during Liao dynasty it called "Hedong City" (Chinese: 河董城). It occupied an area of 1600 by 1810 metres and was surrounded with mud walls, which are today 4 metres thick and 1.5–2 metres high.

A ruined octagonal brick pagoda (sometimes referred to as a stupa or a watchtower) dating to the 11th century is located near the city walls.[2] It originally comprised seven stories, but the top part is now missing. There were originally a pair of pagodas at this site, but in the 1940s the Soviet garrison used cannon fire to destroy the smaller, five-storeyed pagoda.[3] Although the remaining pagoda is missing the top part, at 16.5 metres (54 ft) in height it is the tallest surviving pre-modern structure in Mongolia.[3]

In June 2014 a team of Mongolian and Japanese scientists surveyed the ruins of the pagoda, and made measurements and 3D scans of it. They found that the external brick wall was 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) thick, with an external diameter of 9 metres (30 ft) and an internal diameter of 5.6 metres (18 ft) at the base. They found traces of coloured plaster on the surface of the internal wall, which they considered to be remains of a mural painting.[4] In the same year, a China and Mongolia agreed on the restoration of the pagoda.[5]

The pagoda was extensively restored and reconstructed between 2014 and 2016 and now belongs to seveal attractions related to the Khitan in eastern Mongolia.[6]


  1. ^ "Kherlenbars". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  2. ^ Steinhardt, Nancy Shatzman (2016). "The Pagoda in Kherlen-Bars: New Understandings of Khitan-Period Towering Pagodas". Archives of Asian Art. 66 (2): 187–212.
  3. ^ a b Habu, Junko; Lape, Peter V.; Olsen, John W. (2017). "The Archaeology of Mongolia's Early States". Handbook of East and Southeast Asian Archaeology. Springer. p. 727. ISBN 9781493965212.
  4. ^ "Crumbling tower in ancient Mongolian ruins offers clues about Khitan history". 19 September 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Kherlen bars will be restored - News.MN". News.MN - The source of news. 2014-06-13. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  6. ^ "TRAVEL NOTEs FROM EASTERN MONGOLIA: Every corner of Dornod province". Retrieved 2019-05-06.

Coordinates: 48°3′13″N 113°22′0″E / 48.05361°N 113.36667°E / 48.05361; 113.36667