Khusvgul Lake is said to have formed about 7 million years ago. It is located 101 km north of Murun, capital city of Khuvsgul province, crossing the territories of Alag-Erdene, Renchinlkhumbe, Khankh, and Chandmani-Undur villages of Khuvsgul province.
It is 34-36 kilometers wide, 136 kilometers long, 262 meters deep and is elevated 1645 meters above sea level covering a total area of 2,760 square kilometers. Its water resource is the second largest in Asia and it accounts for 0.4 percent of the world’s freshwater source. 70% of the lake’s depths are deeper than 100 meters.
12 species of fish including Siberian grayling and sharp-snouted lenok are the habitants of the lake. It completely freezes by the second half of November and the ice thickness reaches 1 meter.
Khuvsgul Lake is surrounded by majestic high mountains of which the southwest end is surrounded by Khoridol Saridag Mountain range and Bayan Mountain range reaching 3000-3200 meters high. The side shore of the lake is steep. The eastern shore is slightly steep. Darkhadiin Khotgor Basin, one of the coldest places in Mongolia, is located to the west of the lake.
Islands of Khuvsgul Lake
There are four islands in Khuvsgul lake: Modon Khui, Khadan Khui, Dalain Khui and Baga Khui. The largest of these is “Dalain Khui” island, which is 126 meters high above the lake’s water level, 3 kilometers long, 2 kilometers wide, covering 5.8 square kilometers in total area, and is covered with dense forest. “Khadan Khui” island has a lot of birds because of its high shells.
“Modon Khui” island has very beautiful nature and the water clarity reaches a depth of 24.5 meters. There are Bronze Age rock paintings on the shore. The surrounding area including Khusvgul lake basin was classified as a National Park in 1992 in accordance with the Law on Strictly Protected Areas.
Species of animal and plant of Khuvsgul lake
There are 59 species of mammals, 244 species of birds and 750 species of plants found in the Khusvgul Lake Basin. About 60 species of plants are medicinal plants. The taiga is home to wild animals such as sable, wolverine, lynx, musk deer, elk, brown bear, wild boar, roe deer, red deer, squirrel, rock marten, badger, skunk, pallas cat, corsac, snow leopard, fox, wolf, reindeer, argali, ibex.
People of Khvsgul lake
Tsaatans, who call themselves Uighurs, live within four Great Taigas of the Khuvsgul Basin following their reindeer which graze during all four seasons of the year. Their homeland is Mongol Shariin Davaa and Shishged river. Historians believe that Tsaatans are originally Uriankhai people who migrated from Tuva Republic and settled in the Taiga of Khuvsgul Lake Basin.
Tsaatans are an ethnic minority with their own language, customs, and religion, and have their own unique way of life. They speak Uighur language and practice shamanism. Their main livelihood is reindeer and its produce while hunting is also another source of livelihood.