Dundgovi (= Middle Gobi) aimag is, in spite of its name, actually in the northern part of the Gobi desert, about 240 kilometres south of Ulaanbaatar. It is mostly a barren gravel plain, with areas of peculiar rock formations. The area is 74,690 km² and it has a total population of almost 48,000 people.
The capital town is Mandalgovi, a small town of about 10,000 and was founded in 1942. I has a few hotels, a museum and a monastery, Dashgimpeliin Khiid, opened in 1991; during the purges in 1936 all monasteries had been destroyed. A hill just north of the town, Mandaliin Khar Ovoo, has a monument depicting a large Morin Khuur, the national instrument of Mongolia with its carved horse head, on the summit; there are some Soviet-style statues here too, like the two workers in typical happy communist poses, their fingers suffering from an advanced case of concrete cancer and a bizarre concrete replica of a sculpture commemorating the first Mongolian cosmonaut, Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa, who in March 1978 spent almost 8 days in space as part of the Soviet Intercosmos programme; the original statue is in Choir, Govisümber Province, in the east-central part of the country. There is a large ger district on the east side of town.