Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape

So far this is my only postcard from Mongolia and is beautiful! It was sent by Edvard who recently visited this country. 

Erdene Zuu Monastery

The Erdene Zuu Monastery (MongolianЭрдэнэ Зуу хийд ) is probably the earliest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. Located in Övörkhangai Province, approximately 2 km north-east from the center of Kharkhorin and adjacent to the ancient city ofKarakorum, it is part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site.
Abtai Sain Khan, ruler of the Khalkha Mongols and grandfather of Zanabazar, the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, ordered construction of the Erdene Zuu monastery in 1585 after his meeting with the 3rd Dalai Lama and the declaration of Tibetan Buddhism as the state religion of Mongolia. Stones from the nearby ruins of the ancient Mongol capital of Karakorum were used in its construction. Planners attempted to create a surrounding wall that resembled a Tibetan Buddhist rosary featuring 108 stupas (108 being a sacred number in Buddhism), but this objective was probably never achieved. The monastery's temple walls were painted, and the Chinese-style roof covered with green tiles.
The monastery was damaged in 1688 during one of the many wars between Dzungars and Khalkha Mongols. Locals dismantled the wooden fortifications of the abandoned monastery. It was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples and housed up to 1000 monks. - in: wikipedia

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