The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan serves as a place of worship and tribute to the legendary founder and first great Khan of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan. This impressive temple is situated in the heart of the Ordos Grassland, Yijingholuo Banner, Ordos City, approximately 185 kilometers (115 miles) south of Baotou. It is a central hub for the growing practice of Genghis Khan worship, which holds significant cultural and spiritual importance in both Inner Mongolia and Mongolia.
Although the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan is a grand structure, it is not the actual burial site of the great Khan. As per Khan’s wishes, he was buried secretly and without any markings, and his tomb has never been discovered. The mausoleum was constructed between 1954 and 1956 in the traditional Mongol style by the government of the People’s Republic of China. It covers an area of around 5.5 hectares and features more than 2,500 halls, sutras, and monks’ houses. It is home to a vast collection of relics and artworks that showcase the rich history and culture of Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire.
- Location: in Ordos Grassland, Yijingholuo Banner, Ordos City, about 185 km (115 miles) south of Baotou
- Opening time: 08:00-18:00 (peak season), 08:30-17:30 (off-season)
- Ticket price: 170 CNY (peak season), 150 CNY (off-season)
- Time Needed: 0.5-1 day
- Best time to visit: April to October
- Suited to: anyone who is interested in Genghis Khan and Mongolian culture and history
What to See and Do in the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
Visit the Three Palaces
Experience the grandeur of Mongolian-style architecture and decorations by visiting the three palaces that form the main structures of the Mausoleum. These palaces house various artifacts such as coffins, statues, portraits, and personal belongings of Genghis Khan and his descendants, providing a glimpse into the rich history of the Mongol Empire.
Witness the daily sacrificial ceremony
Witness the daily sacrificial ceremony held at 10:30 am in the main palace, which involves chanting sutras, burning incense, offering food and wine, and playing traditional Mongolian music. The ceremony is a significant part of the Mausoleum’s cultural and religious practices and offers a unique insight into the spiritual beliefs of Inner Mongolia and Mongolia.
Explore Donglian Scenic Area
Explore the vast Donglian Scenic Area, a grassland park that offers various cultural and recreational facilities such as a museum, theater, library, hotel, restaurant, and souvenir shop. Visitors can also enjoy engaging in traditional Mongolian activities like horse riding, archery, wrestling, and more.
Join the Nadam Fair
Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the Nadam Fair, a grand festival held annually from July to August. The fair showcases various competitions and performances of Mongolian sports and arts, including horse racing, wrestling, archery, singing, dancing, and acrobatics. It is a vibrant celebration of Mongolian culture and traditions that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Best Time to Visit the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
The most favorable time to visit the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan is between June and October when the weather is pleasant and the grassland is lush green and picturesque.
This period also marks the peak tourism season in Ordos and offers visitors a chance to indulge in various activities and festivals, including the famous Nadam Fair. The fair, held annually from July to August, features several competitions and performances of Mongolian sports and arts such as horse racing, wrestling, archery, singing, dancing, and acrobatics.
Visitors can also participate in the daily sacrificial ceremony held at 10:30 am in the main palace of the Mausoleum. This ceremony is a vital part of the Mausoleum’s cultural and religious practices and offers a unique insight into the spiritual beliefs of Inner Mongolia and Mongolia.
Attractions Nearby Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
There are several attractions nearby the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan that visitors can explore, including:
- Genghis Khan Square: Genghis Khan Square is a large public square located in the center of Ordos City. It features a statue of Genghis Khan and is a popular spot for locals and tourists to enjoy outdoor activities and events.
- Kubuqi Desert: Kubuqi Desert is the seventh-largest desert in China and is a popular destination for sandboarding, camel riding, and other desert activities. It is located about 70 km (43 miles) from the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan.
- Xiangshawan: Xiangshawan, also known as the “Resonant Sand Gorge,” is a scenic area located about 90 km (56 miles) from the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan. It features a stunning desert landscape, sand dunes, and a variety of activities such as camel riding and dune buggies.
Getting to the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
Get to the Mausoleum from Baotou
One can cover a distance of around 185 km (115 miles) to reach the Mausoleum by car or taxi, which typically takes 2.5 hours.
Alternatively, one can take a bus from Baotou Long Distance Bus Station to Dongsheng and then switch buses to reach the mausoleum. The bus journey takes approximately 3-4 hours and costs around 50 CNY per person.
Another option is to take a bus from Baotou to Yulin and request the driver to stop at the Mausoleum. However, there is no direct train from Baotou to the Mausoleum. One can take a train from Baotou Railway Station to Dongsheng Railway Station and then take a bus or taxi to reach the Mausoleum. The train journey usually takes around 1 hour and costs between 10-20 CNY per person.
Get to the Mausoleum from Ordos City
The Mausoleum is located approximately 60 km (37 miles) from Ordos, and one can reach it within an hour by car or taxi. Buses are also available from Ordos Bus Station or Dongsheng Bus Station to the Mausoleum, which takes around 1.5 hours and cost around 20 CNY per person.