Gandantegchinlen Monastery simply referred to as Gandan is the main Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. The Tibetan name translates to Great Place of Complete Joy. It is a lively monastery open to everyone. Hundreds of people come here from all around the country to pray to Buddha. The Gandan monastery offers you an insightful look into Buddhism, that was adapted into Mongolia since the 16th century.
Under the order of 5th Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, the superior lama in Mongolia, the first temple was built in 1809 and served as a main Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. The monastery faced huge destruction during the communist years. Only a few temples survived the Stalinist purge of the 1930s. In 1944, the monastery was reopened under the watch of communists as a token homage to traditional Mongolian culture, and religion. The full operation resumed in the 1990s after the communist era, and the reconstruction started.
As you enter the main temple, the worlds tallest indoor statue will welcome you. 26.5 m high statue of Avalokitesvara is the most amazing attraction of the Gandantegchinlen Monastery.
Heading to the monastery in the morning would be the best time to visit. As it’s the time of morning chanting for the lamas and locals. Extra payments are required to take photographs inside the temples.
If you wish to see Gandan monastery, here is our recommended tour with Naadam festival and Khuvsgul lake.