Ulaanbaatar Things to Do Tips by sachara Top 5 Page for this destination
Ulaanbaatar Things to Do: 114 reviews and 316 photos
Gandan monastery, prayerwheels
After you entered the main entrance of the large complex of the Gandan Monastery, you will see a path leading to the right to a courtyard with two temples, the Orchidary Temple and golden Dedenpovaran Temple.
In the courtyard are also prayerwheels. It is the custom that you round the prayerwheels always clockwise. It's not allowed taking photographs inside the temples, but you can visit the temples, also during the ceremonies.
Directions: 1,5 KM north west of the Square
Migjid Janraisig Temple
At the end of the main path of the Gandan Monastery is the great white Migjid Janraisg Sum. When we visited in 1991 the building was still under construction, but would be opened for the public in 1997.
A 20M gold and bronze statue of Avalokitesvara stood once in the main temple of Gandan. This statue was destroyed and the metal was melted down by the communists in 1937 to make bullets.
A new 25 m high copper statue gilded with gold , called Migjid Janraisig '' the lord who looks in every direction'' is be donated by Nepal and Japan and will be unveiled in 1997.
Directions: 1,5 KM north west of the Sukhbaatar Square.
Gandan Monastery, thangka
In the courtyard of the Gandan Monastery the monks were unrolling a large thangka.
After they removed the red veil we had a glimpse at the colorful image of the thangka. We don't know exactly why the thangka was unrolled that morning. Somebody told us, it was a gift for the monastery. Anyway we were happy to have seen this unrolled thangka.
We heard, that after ending of the communist purges, many religious artefacts were returned to the monasteries from their hiding places, allthough also many artefacts were lost for ever.
unrolling a thangka.
We enjoyed our visit to the Gandan Monastery, one of the ''big three'' monasteries of Mongolia. We visited the temple inside , attended a ceremony and had a look at the statues, the butterlamp candles and the prayerwheels. And we were very lucky to see the monks and people unrolling a large thangka in the courtyard outside the temple.
Directions: 1,5 KM north west of the central Square.
We visited the Gandan Monastery in the morning, the best time for a visit, because the ceremonies start usually at 10 am.
There were a lot of local people around and the temple was filled with people, old and young monks. The most ceremonies are in the Dedenpovaran Temple.
The monastery is open from 9 am to 9 pm and there is no entrance fee.
Directions: North west of the central Square, at the end of Ondor Geegen Zanabazaryn Gudamj.
On my way to Tibet it was interesting to visit the monasteries in Mongolia and to discover that the links between Mongolia and Tibet are old and deep. Once in a lifetime every Buddhist Mongolian tries to reach the holy city of Lhasa on a pilgrimage. When the British invaded Tibet in 1903, the Dalai Lama fled to Mongolia for his safety and stayed there a few years.
The Gandan Monastery is a large complex with several temples, a library and living quarters for the monks.
Directions: 1,5 KM north west of the Square
The Gandantegchinlen Khiid or Monastery is the largest and most important monastery in Mongolia. Its name means ''the great place of complete joy''.
The building of this monastery was started in 1838 by the fourth Bogd Khaan.
When the revolution of 1921 brought the communists to power all religious worship and ceremonies in Mongolia remained outlawed till 1990 except at the Gandan monastery, which was kept as a showcase to impress foreigners.
Directions: 1,5 KM north west of the central Square
The Sukhbaatar Square is a large and empty square, where only the photographers were standing, in one straight line, offering their services. They could made pictures and were selling postcards. Some people were crossing the square or sitting near the statue of Damdiny Sukhbaatar. Occasionally the square is used for ceremonies or concerts.
From here we decided to visit the Nairamdal Park, the National Recreational Park of Friendship, four blocks south of the Square. At tuesday there were not many visitors around as must be at sundays. We tried the Ferris wheel, with a great view at the city from the top.
State Opera & Ballet Theatre
The huge empty Sukhbaatar Square in the centre of Ulaanbaatar is surrounded by many imposing governmental and cultural buildings, allthough by the large scale of the square they look to reduce in size. The buildings are a mixture of different architecture styles and colours.
In the north is the grey Government House, in the north-east the tall and modern Palace of Culture with the Art Gallery, in the south-east the salmon-pink State Opera & Ballet Theatre, in the north-west the yellow building with a bank and a clay-red building of the former Children's Cinema.
In the centre of Ulaanbaatar lays the the Sukhbaatar Square, also simply known as the Square.
Damdiny Sukhbaatar, ''hero of the revolution'', declared in 1929 at this place the final independence of China. At the square which bears his name is also his imposing statue, sitting on his horse. His in 1929 proclaimed words are engraved on the bottom of the statue.
At the background in front of the State Parliament House you can see a mausoleum built in 1921, which may (or may not) contain the remains of the two communist heroes, Sukhbaatar and Choibalsan.
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