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"Ulaanbaatar - Gandanteg Chenling Monastery" Mongolia Things to Do Tip by Willettsworld

Mongolia Things to Do: 178 reviews and 382 photos

This is the largest monastery and temple complex in use in Mongolia which was built in 1810 and moved to its present location in 1838. Over the next century the Monastery grew to include nine dastans or institutes, a library and housed a community of around 5000 monks. Gandan became an important centre for learning and practicing Buddha's teachings, not only in Mongolia but for the entire Mahayana Buddhist community. The monastery is famous for its 26.5m high standing Janraisig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion

In 1938, the communists suppressed religious communities in Mongolia. They destroyed around 900 monasteries, though a handful were turned into museums. The monks were killed, jailed, or forced to join the army. Five temples of Gandan Monastery were destroyed. The remaining temples were used to accommodate Russian officials or used as barns to keep their horses. In 1944 after a petition from several monks, Gandan Monastery was reopened but its functions were carried out under the strict supervision of the socialist government. In 1990, after the Democratic Revolution and with Buddhism flourishing once more, the monastery embarked on an ambitious restoration program around the country. Today there are currently 10 datsans and temples operating with approximately 900 monks.


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  • Written Sep 27, 2008
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