• Baldan Bereeven Temple

BaldanBereeven Monastery was founded in 1654 by the lama Tsevendorj with an initial monastic community of around 1500 lamas. According to tradition, Tsevendorj had studied with Zanabazar, the First BogdGegeen of Mongolia, in Tibet. Tsevendorj endeavored to create a site similar to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, in Mongolia to accommodate Mongolian pilgrims who could not travel far. The main temple, called Dash Tsepel Ling, was built in the mid1700s and was completed in 1776. The Tsogchin Dugan (great hall) Temple was completed in 1813. Architecturally resembling the famous UtaiGumbun monastery in Tibet. The Tsogchin Dugan was one of the largest buildings in all of Mongolia measuring almost 30 meters by 30 meters and almost 12 meters tall.

By 1850 when its main temple was remodeled, BaldanBereeven reached its peak as a teaching monastery. It contained four separate colleges and more than twenty temples with a monastic population reaching nearly 8000. Around the year 1900 an epidemic wiped out half of the monastic community leaving between 2000-3000 monks.

The original temple complex was demolished during the Stalinist purges of the late 1930s, today three temples have been restored and grounds include the remains of nearly 50 temples, stupas and other religious edifices.

The monastery grounds are surrounded by scenic and sacred mountains including MunkhUlziitArvanGurvanSansarBayan Baraat, and Bayan Khangai, all part of the Khentii mountain range. The four mountains are said to resemble animals: a lion on the east; a dragon on the south; a tiger on the west; and a Garuda on the north. The monastery itself is backed by the steep cliff of MunkhUlziit mountain where many cliff carvings, stone carvings with different images of Buddhist gods, inscriptions of religious mantras, and a large Soyombo symbol can be found.