Elise Rolon

Elise Rolon

Published: 18 Sep 2023

Source: Meanwhileinmongolia.com

Gandan Monastery, located in the heart of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, is a fascinating place steeped in rich cultural and religious history. As one of the most revered landmarks in the country, this monastery holds great significance for Buddhists around the world. With its magnificent architecture, serene surroundings, and a plethora of religious artifacts, Gandan Monastery attracts visitors from far and wide.

In this article, we will explore eight astonishing facts about Gandan Monastery that showcase its unique features and the spiritual traditions it embodies. From its founding to its role in preserving Buddhist teachings, these facts will provide a deeper understanding of this remarkable landmark. So, let’s embark on a journey of discovery and learn more about the intriguing world of Gandan Monastery.

Table of Contents

A Spiritual Haven in the Hustle and Bustle of Ulaanbaatar

Situated amidst the bustling city, Gandan Monastery serves as a tranquil escape from the chaotic urban landscape. Its serene ambiance and peaceful surroundings make it a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking solace and spiritual enlightenment.

Home to the Majestic Migjid Janraisig Statue

The highlight of Gandan Monastery is undoubtedly the magnificent Migjid Janraisig statue. Standing tall at 26.5 meters, this gilded statue of Avalokitesvara is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. Its intricate details and sheer grandeur leave visitors in awe of its beauty and significance.

A Symbol of Mongolia’s Resilience and Revival

Gandan Monastery has played a pivotal role in preserving Mongolian culture and traditions throughout history. Despite enduring periods of suppression under communist rule, the monastery has managed to survive and is now a symbol of Mongolia’s resilience and religious revival.

The Treasure Trove of Buddhist Art and Scriptures

Within the monastery’s walls lie a vast collection of Buddhist art and scriptures, including rare manuscripts, thangkas (Buddhist paintings), and sacred artifacts. These treasures offer a glimpse into the rich heritage and profound spiritual teachings of the Buddhist tradition.

The Monastery’s Monastic University

Gandan Monastery is not just a place of worship; it also serves as an important center for Buddhist education. The monastery houses a monastic university where monks receive comprehensive training in Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and other sacred practices.

A Gathering Place for Monastic Festivals

Gandan Monastery comes alive during annual monastic festivals, such as Tsam dances and religious ceremonies. These vibrant and colorful celebrations attract thousands of devotees and spectators, offering a unique opportunity to witness the blending of faith, culture, and tradition.

The Hidden Caves of the Monastery

Beneath the monastery complex, a network of hidden caves and tunnels holds secrets from the past. These underground chambers served as hiding places for precious religious artifacts and provided refuge during times of conflict.

The Spiritual Guardian of Mongolian Buddhism

Gandan Monastery holds a significant place in Mongolian Buddhism as one of the main centers of religious practice and learning. Its presence and teachings continue to guide and inspire the Mongolian Buddhist community, fostering a deep sense of faith and devotion.

Visiting Gandan Monastery is an enriching experience that offers a glimpse into the vibrant spiritual heritage of Mongolia. As one explores its halls, admires its intricate artwork, and witnesses its sacred rituals, it becomes evident why Gandan Monastery holds such a special place in the hearts of Mongolians and visitors alike.


In conclusion, the Gandan Monastery is a remarkable destination that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Mongolia. With its stunning architecture, serene ambiance, and spiritual significance, it offers a truly immersive experience for visitors. Whether you are interested in Buddhism, history, or simply want to explore a unique landmark, Gandan Monastery is definitely worth a visit. From the breathtaking Migjid Janraisig statue to the daily rituals and religious ceremonies held within its walls, this monastery provides a glimpse into the spiritual world of Mongolia. So, if you have the opportunity, make sure to include Gandan Monastery in your itinerary and prepare to be amazed by its beauty and tranquility.


1. When was Gandan Monastery established?

Gandan Monastery was established in 1838.

2. What is the significance of the Migjid Janraisig statue?

The Migjid Janraisig statue is considered a symbol of compassion and serves as a powerful visual representation of the teachings of Buddhism.

3. Can visitors participate in the daily rituals at Gandan Monastery?

Yes, visitors are welcome to witness and participate in the daily rituals and religious ceremonies held at the monastery.

4. Are there any restrictions or dress code for visitors?

Visitors are advised to dress modestly and respectfully, covering their shoulders and knees when entering the monastery.

5. Are there guided tours available at Gandan Monastery?

Yes, there are guided tours available that provide insightful information about the history, architecture, and significance of the monastery.

6. Are there any nearby attractions to visit after exploring Gandan Monastery?

Absolutely! Some nearby attractions include the Zaisan Memorial, Bogd Khan Palace Museum, and the National Museum of Mongolia.

7. Can visitors take photographs inside the monastery?

Photography is generally allowed inside the monastery, but it’s always advisable to ask for permission, especially during religious ceremonies.

8. Are there any festivals or special events held at Gandan Monastery?

Yes, the monastery hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Tsam Dance Festival, which showcases traditional Buddhist dances and rituals.