Mongolian Yurts are traditional homes used by Mongolians who are often nomadic and take their homes with them.
What is a Yurt?
A yurt or Ger (in Mongolian) is a circular dwelling that originates from the nomadic peoples of central Asia. Yurts have been used for thousands of years and they continue to be the main form of dwelling in the Mongolian Steppe. Nowadays, people live in yurts all over the world in every sort of climate.
Several variations of yurts have evolved but they all retain the common elements of the circular trellis walls and the dome roof with wooden strutts radiating out from the central wheel. Historically, the yurt would have been covered in animal hide, but today they are covered in canvas and are fully insulated in the walls and the roof with wool felt.
Yurts are lightweight, portable, easy to install and able to withstand high winds and extreme temperatures. Mongolia’s temperature ranges from +45 degrees to –55.
For Mongolians the yurt is more than just a shelter, it represents the universe in microcosm. The roof is the sky and the central wheel is the sun. The smoke rising from the central stove represents the World Tree through which shamans travel to the higher world. In some shamanic rituals a tree is erected alongside the smoke flume for the shaman in his euphoric state to ascend to higher realms.
In Mongolia the interior layout of the yurt is always the same. The door always faces south and the sacred space is to the north. If the family is Buddhist the altar will be opposite the door, it is also the seat of honour for special guests. The west side of the yurt is the male side and the east is the female side and in the centre of the yurt is the fire, which is the most sacred place of all. The southern side is the least honoured spot where young people, sick and servants sit. Movement inside of the yurt must be in accordance with the sun in a clockwise direction.
Check out Mongolian Yurts at Great Glen Holidays just outside Fort William with amazing views of Ben Nevis...