Monasteries and temples in Mongolia

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Favourite Monasteries:


For just the descriptions click here.


Lamyn Gegeenii Dedlen Khiid Bay >>   ^

Dashchoinkhorlon Khiid Bul >>   ^

Uvgun Khiid Bul >>   ^

Daschoilon Khural Khiid Drg >>   ^

Khamaryn Khiid, Khamariin Khiid, Khamar Monastery Drg >> small temple established 150 years ago by the fifth Ravjaa Khutgtu (Noyon Khotogt Danzjanravjaa) in Hatnabulug Sum, close to Sainshand. More...




Baldan Baraivan Khe >>

A remote monastery in the Khentii province once was one of the three largest monastery and home to 1500 lamas. It was heavily damaged by the communist in 1930s and a fire in the 1970s. Now one lama lives there with his family, but on special occasions like the Mani Buteel festival, lamas from Ulaanbaatar and surrounding places like Ömnödelger come to support.

Since 1998 the Cultural Restoration Tourist Project is restoring the main temple. Volunteer tourists and a local crew combine forces to make Baldan Baraivan a lively place of worship again and so give back some of Mongolia's cultural heritage.


Danzandarjaa Khiid Khu >> Located in Mörön, the capital of the Khövsgöl Aimag. Möröngiin Khüree, the original monastery, was built around 1890 and was housing 2000 monks. In June 1990 the new rebuilt monastery was opened. According to the Lonely planet currently 30 monks of all ages are being part of the monastery. The monastery is in the shape of a ger and contains a collection of thankas.

Erdene Zuu Monastery Ovo >> The first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, now mainly functioning as a museum although there is also an active part. In front of the entrance is a big ger where traditional dances and music are performed to serve the tourists. ^

Gandan Muntsaglan Khiid
Ovo >> Located in Arvaikhair. Original monastery was destroyed in 1937, the current opened in 1991. About 50 monks are residential. ^

Amarbayasgalant Khiid Sel >> Amarbayasgalant Monastery was build between 1726 and 1736. It is dedicated to Undur Gegeen Zanabazar and build by Ankh-Amgalan Khaan (Yongzheng?) in Manchu style. It was also heavily damaged by the communist purges, although still a great part survived. 10 out of the 37 temples and statues were destroyed.
The monastery was being restored by Unesco from 1975 until reopening in 1990. At the present moment 30 monks live here within the age range of 7-90. There is big number of young monks (13) in between the age of 7 and 13, who have for a great part been picked up from orphanages around Mongolia.
In the main temple is a life-size statue of Guru Deva Rinpoche who is the formal abbot of the monastery although he is only there a short time a year. From 1992 he has been putting effort in restoring temples, statues and scriptures. It is said he raised 1 million USD.
The main protector of the monastery is Dorjjugd. It seems to be that because of this protector a conflict with the Dalai Lama as arisen. According to the latter the practice of worshipping this deity would be harmful. According to an informant this deity would keep the Gelupa (also referred to as the Yellow sect in Buddhism) pure and so protect it from influence from other Buddhist schools. Since the Dalai Lama, although himself part of the Gelupa, is the worldly and  spiritual leader of the Tibetan people he has tried to bring the different traditions within Tibetan Buddhism together, instead of emphasizing its differences. Furthermore it is said that this practice would not just try to keep the Gelupa pure, but by doing this trying to damage the other traditions.



Darkhan Buddhist Center Sel >> Located in an old school in Darkhan, which is rebuild in Taiwanese style ^

Kharagiin Khiid Sel >>   ^

Arga Bileg Tov 45 km out of Ulaanbaatar. A Nimara tradition temple. Guru Deva rinpoche would have been involved. ^

Manzshir Khiid
Tov (bgyp=nj hna;) 46 kilometers southwards from Ulaanbaatar. Established in 1733 and once consisted of 20 temples while being inhabited by 350 monks. Now most of the complex is in ruins, only the restored main temple is now functioning as a museum. In the museum, next to information on the monastery and Buddhist art, there would be Ganlin Horns displayed ^

Bakula Rinpoche Khiid  - UB >> Active monastery
The official name is Pethub Stangey Choskor Ling Monastery but it is mainly known by the name of Bakula Rinpoche Khiid. This name refers to its founder: the former Indian ambassador who was also a reincarnated lama. It was founded in 1999 and serves primarily as a centre for Buddhist teaching. 
In the main temple is a statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, with on his left side Tsongkhapa. In the back on the right side is an image of Gandhi. The main temple seems to be rather closed to tourists. A medicine temple has been opened on the south side funded by the Tibet Foundation Buddhism in Mongolia programme.

Dambadarjaa Khiid UB >> (:gbdg;gjrgg hna;) ^

Dashchoilon Khiid UB >> (:gixkalky hna;) - Active monastery - The monastery was reopened on July 6 1990. On every 29th of the lunar month the sakhius (vghnev) ritual is performed. Its appearance is rather striking, the main temples are big stone gers which used to belong to the circus. ^

Deedbod Khiid UB >> Located in the Yarmag district. ^

Gandantegchinleng Khiid UB >>

Or: Gandan Monastery

The official name Gandantegchinlen Khiid, (Ugy;gymtuxnylty Hna;). The name translates into Mahayana Island of Perfect Rejoice, with Island being a generally used metaphor for monastery.

The first temple of Gandantegchinleng Monastery was established in 1835 by the Fifth Jebtsundamba, the highest reincarnated lama of Mongolia. In the following years temples for daily service, veneration of Avalokiteshvara and colleges of Buddhist philosophy, medicine, astrology and tantric ritual were established. In the beginning of the 20th century Gandantegchinleng Monastery was the centre 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, Gandantegchinleng 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. Gandantegchinleng Monastery has, as being the Centre 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.

The Present-day Monastery
Currently Gandantegchinleng Monastery has over 400 monks; a Mongolian Buddhist University (established in 1970); three colleges of Buddhist philosophy; a Medical and Astrological College; a Kalachakra temple; a Jud Tantric College and an Avalokiteshvara (Migjid Janraisig) temple.
The monastery complex consists of Zanabazar Buddhist University, three temples for Buddhist service and veneration of Avalokiteshvara, three Buddhist Colleges of Buddhist Philosophy, College of Medicine and Astrology and two Tantric College. The brief introduction of above mentioned temples and colleges are given in the below.

The Zanabazar Buddhist University was founded in 1970 and concentrates on Buddhist Studies and Indo-Tibetan Studies. Not only Mongolian students from all over Mongolia but also foreign students study in Zanabazar Buddhist University.


1. Gandan temple is the first temple in Gandantegchinleng Monastery and was established in 1835. Grand services take place in this temple.
2. Vajrapani temple was established in 1940 and daily services are performed here.
3. Avalokiteshvara temple was built in 1912 and the icon of this temple is the Boddhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Migjid Janraisig) with a height of 26,5 metre that was rebuild in 1996 under the leadership of current Prime-Minister Enkhbayar.
Colleges of Buddhist Philosophy

1. Dashchoimphel was established by II Jebtsundamba and follows the tenet of Gunchen Jamyan Shadba, Tibetan monk scholar of Gelugpa tradition.
2. Gungaachoiling was established in 1809 and follows the tenet of Banchen Sodnamdagva.
3. Idgaachoinzinling was established in 1910 and follows the tenet of Sera Jebtsunba.

College of Medicine and Astrology trains students in Mongolian traditional medicine and astrology.

Jud Tantric College and Kalachakra Tantric College prepare students in Buddhist tantric ritual as well as knowledge of tantric practice.


Geser Sum UB >> (Utvtj vob)Active monastery
Named after the mythical Tibetan king Geser. Located at the east side of Gandan, and officially a part of it. In the back of the compound there are classrooms where young monks are being educated. On the compound there are also a shop and a guanz, where the menu includes khuushuur and buuz. There are no resident monks at Geser Sum, the main activity on the monastery is the teaching of young lama´s. In the main temple and some gers people on the compound come for medical, astrilogical and spiritual consult.

Lamrim Süm - UB >> Active monastery ^

Monastery-Museum of Choijin Lama UB >> Currently a Museum ^

Naro Khajid Nunnery UB >> located on the Westside of Ulaanbaatar in the Bayangol district, the "leader" of the monastery is Bassuvd and is supposed to be under influence of Guru Deva rinpoche. ^

Öndör Geegen Zanabazar Monastery. UB >> Founded in 1970, there is a university and a library. ^

Otochmaaramba Khiid UB >>   ^

Tara Ekh Nunnery UB >> Located in Amagalan, Bayanzurkh district. The former leaders name was Padmatsetseg, but now it is a nunnery with nuns ordained with assistance of the FPMT centre. ^

Tugsbayasgalant Nunnery UB >> Bayangol district. The abbot of this monastery is Gantumur (female khando) ^

Winter palace
of the
Bogd Khaan
UB >> Currently a Museum ^

"The Monastery
of the Lama who separated milk from water"
Zav >> Located near the village of Ider. Inhabited by a few monks. Mentioned in Travels in Northern Mongolia, by Don Croner

Dechindarjaa Khiid Zav >> (;txny;gjrgg hna;) Small monastery reopened in 1990 and now has fifty monks. Located in a ger district 3,5 km to the north of the city centre of Uliastai, the capital of Zavkhan Aimag. ^


Bay = Bayankhongor Aimag
Bul = Bulgan Aimag
Drg = Dornogov Aimag
Khe = Khentii Aimag
Khu = Khuvsgul Aimag
Ovo = Övörkhangai Aimag
Sel = Selenge Aimag
Tov = Tov aimag
UB = Ulaanbaatar
Zav = Zavkhan Aimag


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