Skip to main content
Central Mongolia

Tuvkhun Monastery

By February 29th, 2024No Comments

Explore Tuvkhun Monastery

Tuvkhun Monastery

Tuvkhun Monastery, one of Mongolia’s oldest Buddhist monasteries. It stands on the border of Övörkhangai Province and Arkhangai Province in central Mongolia, approximately 47 kilometers southwest of Kharkhorin.

They named the monasteryTuvkhun Monastery, and a 14-year-old named Zanabazar established it in 1648. Subsequently, he became the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu and the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism for the Khalkha people in Outer Mongolia. Zanabazar chose this location high on Shireet Ulaan Uul mountain, overlooking a hill at 2,600 meters above sea level, as a special spot. Following his return from studying in Tibet in 1653, the first buildings were constructed. Zanabazar, not only a spiritual leader but also a talented sculptor, painter, and musician. He used the monastery, initially named Bayasgalant Aglag Oron (Happy Secluded Place), as his personal retreat for 30 years. During this time, he created many of his most famous works and developed the Soyombo script.

A remarkable small cave known as the “Uterus of Mother” lies behind the temple, where people can enter and exit. This process symbolizes rebirth and purification. Near the top of the staircase, to the right of the temples, two wells are about fifteen feet apart. One contains fresh water, while the other holds slightly brackish water. Strangely, no one has been able to explain why one is brackish and the other is not, or how wells can exist in solid rock so close to the summit of the mountain, where there would not typically be any underground water sources.

The communists caused extensive damage to this small temple during the upheavals of the late 1930s. Nevertheless, during the summer of 1997, they performed elaborate ceremonies here and placed a new statue of the deity Gombo Makhagal (Mahakala) on top of the refurbished and consecrated temple. At present, several monks reside at the monastery full time. Today, it continues to maintain its aura of mystery, which attracts numerous tourists

Leave a Reply