The Amarbayasgalant Monastery is located on the bank of Iven River in front of Burenkhaan Mountain, Selenge province. The monastery was started to be built in 1726 and completed in 1737. The Manchu Emperor ordered this monastery in order to show his respect to Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, his extraordinary mind and skill and presented 10 thousand silver teals for construction work.
Procedure of choosing a right place to build the Monastery on started when Undur Gegeen Zanabazar was alive. They primarily chose the place where the Monastery is situated now through rigorous planning and examining with help of experts and buried a coin with a hole in the ground. A year later another expert checked the place through a Buddhist divination and left a golden needle sticking to the ground. Then, when they conducted a ceremony for laying a foundation of the Monastery, they found the golden needle went through a hole of the coin.
In order to construct the monastery, many skillful artists and craftsmen were gathered. It became one of the most unique and beautiful Monasteries. They gave a name ‘Amarbayasgalant’ to the Monastery. It means ‘Holy land of Buddhist teaching, Amarbayasgalant’ or it can be translated as ‘Peaceful Joy’.
The monastery had a fortress and 6 divisions of Buddhism were located outer side of the fortress and 10 Buddhist schools and activity temples were being run inside of the fortress. There were also a Yellow ger palace of Tusheet Khan, 10 white temples, and eastern and western temple which were located on the two sides of the memorial monument for Undur Gegeen Zanabazar and his memorial tomb temple. The monastery had over 50 big and small temples and about 6000 monks practicing Buddhism here.
The monastery was looted and destroyed during the communist purge around 1930s and the most of the monks were captured and sentenced. Furthermore, restoration of the Monastery started in 1943 and protected by the State and returned to its activities of Buddhist practice. Now there are only 28 temples have left. Fortunately the Monastery still reserves unique scriptures and cultural heritages.
Things to do in Amarbayasgalant Monastery
There are two great Buddhist Stupas on the mountain hill behind the Amarbayasgalant Monastery. You can hike up to the stupas through long steppes.
Monks will kindly introduce their monastery and take you for a short tour around inside of it.
You can visit here anytime between June and October. But there is one certain religious ceremony takes place only in the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in August. It is called ‘Vessel of Gongor’. You might find it interesting. In addition there are a few tourist camps, where you can stay, near to the Monastery.