This Uighar capital ruin founded in 751 is situated on east bank
of the Orkhon River, 15km northeast from Khotont Soum in Arkhangai province.
After Uighar’s victory over Turkic empire in 745, Peilo became a new king of
Uighar Empire. After his death, his son Moyunchur became Uighar king. During
his reign, Uighar experienced the most flourishing time of its history and
established the capital, Ordubalik, in Orkhon river valley.
Although over 10 cities were
established during Uighar period, only two ruins of them (Ordubalik and
Baibalik) were remained today. This city was a fortified castle and one of
the main trade centers in Central Asia where Silk Road passed through.
Ordubalik and Karakorum controlled northern branch of the Silk Road for over
400 years. Study on this city ruins proved that there were a state house, a
state ministry, a cottage industry, trade districts, a religious temple, a
fortified castle, a horse shed and a military warehouse in the city which
stretches southwardly over 25km.
Decorated royal house remains
were found inside the fortress during the excavation. In front of the fortress,
there were a garden, a worship temple surrounded by a fortress and steles
devoted to Uighar king with an inscription in Uighar and Chinese script in
front of the temple. Many building traces on western and northwestern section
of the city are supposed to be establishments which have formerly been used for
a trade and a handicraft. Ordubalik was a big city. But it was not existed more
than 100 years. In 840s, Kyrgizs from Yenisei River burned down the city. Khar
Balgas was not only registered as an important historical site under state
protection in 2002 but also recognized as a cultural landscape of the UNESCO
World Heritage in 1996.