The Legend of Turtle Rock

2021-04-21 22:32:55

At the Gorkhi-Terelj tourism zone located in the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area, there is a peculiar, tall rock formation that is shaped like a turtle. Standing about 24 meters tall, the formation used to be called Mungut Khad (Money Rock). 

The reason behind its former name is due to the legend that the Oirad Khan Galdanboshigt hid away his treasures at the location. According to the legend, after suffering heavy losses in the unbalanced battle against Manchu soldiers in Zuunmod, Galdanboshigt Khan escaped the siege and made a brief stop near Turtle Rock with his remaining soldiers. While making preparations to escape, he decided to leave behind the gold and silver that he had carried by climbing to the top of Turtle Rock and hiding it in the gorge. However, as his Manchurian consort felt that she could not leave the treasure behind, it is said that she was also left behind in the gorge. As it kept the treasures of Galdanboshigt Khan, the Turtle Rock began to be referred to as Mungut Khad since then.

Since that time, locals began to worship and pay their respects to Mungut Khad, putting their faith in the rock formation to bring good fortune. 

Furthermore, it is also believed that the consort, who stayed behind to watch over the Khan’s treasures, turned into Khuukhen Mountain, becoming one of the exquisite natural landscapes in Mongolia. Located northwest of the Turtle Rock, the Khuukhen Mountain is a mountain in the shape of an elegant woman peacefully lying face up. 

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