Hohhot (meaning ‘blue
city’ in Mongolian) is the capital of the
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The center of Mongolian culture, it became a military and religious
center in the later Ming (late 16th century) and Qing periods. Now
the political, cultural, and industrial center of Inner Mongolia,
Hohhot is a center for wool and leather products, building
materials, iron and steel production, and fertilizer plants.
Located in the center of Inner Mongolia, south of the Daqingshan
River, Hohhot is 410 km (254 miles) west of Beijing. The city was
founded only in 1581 by the Mongol Prince Altan Khan. The Qing
dynasty Kangxi Emperor maintained troops in the town after
establishing control over the Mongols. It became the capital of
Inner Mongolia in 1952.
Of special interest to tourists is the Mongol summer festival called
Naadam, usually held around mid-August. The festival features
traditional Mongolian sports such as wrestling, horse racing, camel
racing, and archery, mostly based on nomadic military skills.