The KhangaÃ¯ is an area of mountains, steppes and plains, surrounding southern ArkhangaÃ¯. The highest point is Mount Kharalagtai (3,539m), with snow-capped peaks all year round; the lowest point is at 1,290m where the sources of the Tamir, Chuluut and Khanui rivers can be found. The legendary Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur Lake runs down the western part of the area, with other smaller lakes interspersed around the region up to the eastern edge where the Ã–gii Nuur Lake lies. It is also a volcanic region with hot springs as well as extinct volcanoes punctuating a landscape which bears witness to their bygone fiery activity.
The high altitude and rivers give the KhangaÃ¯ Mountains their coniferous forests (15% of the surface area) and alpine pastures (70%) which explain the quality of its ecosystems but also the importance of herding. The continental climate brings long, harsh winters and yaks are the most suited animals to these kinds of conditions, despite the fact that they live alongside most of the other species.
Finally, this area offers a wealth of information about historic and prehistoric times, with stelae, petroglyphs, tumuli as well as items traded between different civilisations, both before and after the reign of Genghis Khan. Even though it has a wild, untouched appearance, KhangaÃ¯ and the surrounding lands have borne witness to a whole host of events, geographical and historical changes during which herding, according to personal accounts, has always played an important part.