Orkhon River

The Orkhon River (/ˈɔːrkɒn/;[1] Mongolian: Орхон гол, Orkhon gol) is a river in Mongolia.

Orkhon River
Orkhon Gol
Native nameОрхон гол
AimagsArkhangai, Övörkhangai, Bulgan, Selenge
Major citiesKharkhorin, Bulgan, Sükhbaatar
Physical characteristics
SourceSuvraga Khairkhan
 • locationTsenkher sum, Arkhangai
 • coordinates47°2′59″N 101°20′30″E / 47.04972°N 101.34167°E / 47.04972; 101.34167
 • location
Sükhbaatar city, Selenge aimag
 • coordinates
50°15′0″N 106°8′20″E / 50.25000°N 106.13889°E / 50.25000; 106.13889Coordinates: 50°15′0″N 106°8′20″E / 50.25000°N 106.13889°E / 50.25000; 106.13889
Length1,124 km (698 mi)
Basin size132,835 km2 (51,288 sq mi)
 • locationBulgan
 • average66 m3/s (2,300 cu ft/s)
 • minimum0.5 m3/s (18 cu ft/s)February
 • maximum190.2 m3/s (6,720 cu ft/s)July
Basin features
ProgressionSelengaLake BaikalAngaraYeniseyKara Sea
 • leftTamir River
 • rightTuul River, Kharaa River
Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall

The Orkhon river derives its name from the Old Turkic prefix "or" meaning "middle", and "khan" or king.

It rises in the Khangai Mountains in the Tsenkher sum of Arkhangai aimag at the foot of the Suvraga Khairkhan mountain.[2] From there, it crosses the border into Övörkhangai aimag and follows the upper Orkhon valley in an eastern direction until it reaches Kharkhorin. On this stretch, very close to the Orkhon, the Ulaan Tsutgalan river features a waterfall, ten metres (33 ft) wide and twenty metres (66 ft) high,[3] which is a popular destination for tourists.

From Kharkhorin it flows northwards until it reaches Bulgan aimag, and then north-east to join the Selenge River next to Sükhbaatar city in Selenge aimag, close to the Russian border.[4] The Selenge then flows further north into Russia and Lake Baikal.

With 1,124 km (698 mi), the Orkhon is longer than the Selenge, making it the longest river in Mongolia. Major tributaries of the Orkhon river are the Tuul River and Tamir River.

There are two sets of ancient ruins along the river valley: Khar Balgas, the ancient capital of the Uyghur Kingdom and Karakorum, the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire. Pyotr Kuzmich Kozlov excavated several Xiongnu Imperial tombs in the area of the river valley.

Fish in the Orkhon River include pike, carp, perch, taimen and catfish.

UNESCO lists the Orkhon Valley as a World Heritage Site.

See alsoEdit


H. Barthel, Mongolei-Land zwischen Taiga und Wüste, Gotha 1990, p. 34f

  1. ^ "Orkhon". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Russian army map "100k--l47-035"". Maps for the world. Retrieved 2015-01-05.
  3. ^ [WATERFALL ULAAN TSUTGALAN https://mongolia-guide.com/place/waterfall-ulaan-tsutgalan]
  4. ^ "Russian army map "100k--m48-069"". Maps for the world. Retrieved 2015-01-05.

External linksEdit