Built in 1840, it is the center of Mongolian Buddhism and the only working monastery during the entire communist period. The monastery comprises a complex of buildings on the hillside northwest of the city. In the past it was one of the main Buddhist centers in Asia having two dozens of chapels and famous for its library collection of religious documents and the typography. The monastery was severely damaged during the repression of 30s and only few building remained among them, a chapel for 20 meters high statue of Megzhid Janraisig god erected in 1911 as a symbol commemorating the Mongolia's independence. During the WW II the statue was taken to Russia and disappeared. In 1990 the statue was rebuilt with nation- wide donations. Now the immense statue of Janraisag (23m high) stands in the multi-storey temple and it is recognised from a distance. As a teaching monastery, Gandan houses the Mongolian Buddhist University.
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