china edition



Inner Mongolia - Hohhot

Genghis Khan's Mausoleum
Wudang Zhao Monastery

Baotou, a town located 3 hours to the west of Hohhot by train or bus, is a place that is visited mainly by people with more than just tourism in mind.

BaotouThe area where Baotou now lies was once fairly arid grassland that was populated by Mongolian nomads and grazers. Just to the north of both the Yellow River and the Gobi Desert, the city was established in the Qing dynasty. It was named 'a land with deer' (Baotou) after the hundreds of these animals that used to be found here.

Baotou is a huge slab of urban area that runs for about 20 kilometer, being the largest city in Inner Mongolia. It comprises 3 main areas: Donghe, the oldest part of town, to the east, and Qingshan and Kundulun to the west. Qinshan is the shopping and residential area, while Kundulun includes the iron and steel works on its western edge.

Baotou is an important industrial base for metallurgy, machinery, chemicals and energy in China. It is also abundant in rare earth. The total area of Baotou covers 27,768 square kilometer, 160.6 square kilometer of which is urbanized.

It is a city with 37 nationalities, including the people of Mongolia, Han, Man, Hui, Dawuer and Ewenke. It has a population of 2,335,600, among whom 1,407,600 are city dwellers.

Genghis Khan's Mausoleum

Genghis Khan's MausoleumGenghis Khan, "Khan of Khans", was the great leader of Mongolians. At the end of 12th century, he united Mongolian tribes and challenged other powers to expand his huge Mongolian empire, which extended from South China to the Caspian Sea. In 1277, Khan attacked the West Xia Kingdom (presently Ningxia) and encountered strong resistance. He died of disease and age. The great emperor was later buried secretly according to Mongolian custom. It says that after the burial 2,000 men were slaughtered by some 800 soldiers who were in turn executed so that the location of the real tomb remains a secret.

Genghis Khan's Mausoleum, rebuilt in 1954 185 kilometer south of Baotou, is a mausoleum, in which only his clothing is buried in memory of the great leader. The 5.5 hectares mausoleum includes 3 giant yurt halls which house coffins of the Khan, his wife, his son and his generals.

There are 4 sacrifice ceremonies held annually to commemorate the great hero and leader of the Mongolian people. The ceremony, held on March 21st on the lunar calendar, is the grandest. After the ceremony, horse racing, archery and wrestling are held as entertainment.

Wudang Zhao Monastery

Lying 70 kilometer southwest of Baotou, Wudang Zhao Monastery rests on a hill slope. Wudang means willow tree and Zhao means monastery respectively in Mongolian. Built during the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing dynasty, the monastery is the only intact Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Inner Mongolia now, it belongs to the Yellow Sect (Gelugpa). Resembling Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet, the monastery is a vast complex and used to be the residence of the highest lama in Inner Mongolia.