Gandan Monastery

Attractions in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia: Gandan MonasteryGandantegchinlen Monastery (full name), located in the north of the city, is the center of Mongolian Buddhism, constructed by order of the 5th Bogd Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, the highest reincarnated lama of Mongolia, in 1809, currently has over 150 monks in residence.In the beginning of the 20th century Gandan Monastery was the center of Buddhist learning in Mongolia. Many prominent Buddhist scholars in Mongolia as well as in Buddhist world were educated and trained by its various colleges and their works on Buddhist philosophy, linguistics, medicine, astrology and tantric practice became the most authoritative and accurate Buddhist texts. During 30s the socialist government adopted a policy of banning all religious activities in Mongolia. As a consequence all monasteries were closed and monks were executed, jailed and disrobed all over Mongolia. In 1938, Gandan Monastery was closed, but reopened in 1944 as the only functioning monastery during the socialist regime. After the democratic change took place in 1990 Buddhism regained its full right of worship. Gandan Monastery has, as being the Center of Mongolian Buddhists, been striving to propagate peaceful teaching of Lord Buddha among family and society. In the whole country 140 monasteries and temples have been (re)established and many sacred statues were reconstructed so far. Monastery came under state protection in 1994. Gandan Monasteries main temple is 39m tall, as tall as a 13 storey building. The four columns of the temple are made out of one solid single piece. It is amazing that Mongolians had managed to build this 13 storey building back in the 1910s. Especially considering that each of the 30m tall columns were erected with no use of modern machinery. Inside is a statue of Magjid Janraisig (the lord who looks in every direction), main attraction of Gandan Monastery. It is about 25 meters tall and is covered by a huge number of precious stones. To build the statue were used 19 tons of copper which is covered by 75926 lists of gold; each list is about 2x2 inches. The 2590 pieces of precious stones were brought from each province of Mongolia and to sew the clothing were used over 100 meters of silk and brocade which were a special order from India.

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