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Mother Rock - Eej Khad - Sergelen Sum, Mongolia


Mother Rock - Eej Khad - Sergelen Sum, Mongolia

The sun was just peeping through the clouds, when my friends and their dog and I squeezed into the car. We breezed through the early morning Ulaanbaatar traffic, and headed south to Zuun Mod, in Tuv aimag.

Out in the countryside, we were rewarded with exhilarating gulps of fresh, clean air, perfumed by wild thyme and oregano, and the mind-boggling oranges, pinks, reds, and yellows of the sun in full sunrise regalia. The colors blended well with the vibrant green of the distant hills and the grassy carpet beneath our feet.

After a cupful of hot milky tea and crunchy biscuits, we continued our journey, driving on newly paved roads. No bouncing around, at least for a few hours, until we hit the dirt track leading to Eej Khad. “Eej” means mother; “khad” means rock.

Shaped by time and natural elements, Mother Rock is a beacon for pilgrims. Mongolians consider her sacred, and pay homage to her with gift-laden visits, and secret wishes. They call her Eej Khairkhan or Holy Mother.

I was awe-struck, when I came face to face with Eej Khairkhan. She radiated warmth, and was very welcoming. Strange, but I thought I saw a smile on her face.

We laid out our presents: tea, candles, and incense sticks. We also lit some candles and whispered our wishes.

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