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AKIPRESS.COM - Genghis Khan, the legendary Mongolian ruler and horseman who invaded half the world in the 13th century, now keeps a watch over the land-locked and scenic country from the steppes, says NDTV.
The huge Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, part of the Genghis Khan Statue Complex is a 40-meter tall statue of Genghis Khan on horseback, is currently the biggest equestrian statue in the world.
The theme park is situated on the bank of the Tuul River, some 54 km east of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, where according to legend, Genghis Khan found a golden whip.
The 250-ton stainless steel statue of Genghis Khan, who is revered by nomadic Mongolians as a brilliant military leader who unified warring tribes to found the world's largest empire, is symbolically pointed east towards his birthplace.
It is on top of the Genghis Khan Statue Complex, a visitor center, with 36 columns representing the 36 Khans from Genghis to Ligdan Khan.
It was erected in 2008.
"We Mongolians are proud of this statue," a tour guide said. "We consider him as our hero, our father and our god," she said.
Visitors can walk to the head of the horse through its chest and neck, where they can have a panoramic view of the Mongolian steppes.
According to plans, the main statue area will be surrounded by 200 gers or yurts. The cost of the complex is said to be US$4.1 million, spent by The Genco Tour Bureau, a Mongolian private company.
The museum, which charges nearly $4 per person as entry fee, has exhibitions relating to the Bronze Age and Xiongnu archaeological cultures in Mongolia, which show everyday utensils, belt buckles, knives and sacred animals.
A second exhibition at the museum is on the Great Khan period in the 13 and 14th centuries which has ancient tools, goldsmith subjects and some Nestorian crosses and rosaries.
Inside the two-story base of the statue, visitors can see a replica of Genghis Khan's legendary golden whip, sample traditional cuisine of horse meat and potatoes.
Genghis Khan, 65, had been revered for centuries by Mongols, largely because of his association with Mongol statehood, political and military organization, and his victories in war. He is regarded as one of the prominent leaders in Mongolia's history and the symbol of Mongolian culture.