10 Famous Buddhist Statues in Mongolia
Have you visited some of the famous Buddhist statues in Mongolia?
Not yet, in your tours Mongolia, you could see the influence of Buddhism and its culture throughout the country. Traveling in Mongolia gives you a high chance of visiting lots of Buddhists temples and statues. Such monasteries and statues are important tourists’ spots and attract so many visitors, both natives and foreigners every year.
You could see many types of Buddhist statues while you are traveling in Mongolia, which varies in their size, color, and shapes. Each of the Mongolian Buddhist statues that you see here is different with various types of Buddhism, given different names according to the appearance and some other peculiarities.
Janraisag Temple at Gandan Degchinlen Monastery in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Photography © Batzaya Choijiljav
Throughout Mongolian history, people of all regions have built monuments, shrines, and statues to depict their deities. Sacred places for prayer, some religious monuments stand out as mind-blowing due to their colossal size and amount of sacrifice needed to construct them. From the tallest religious statue in Mongolia depicting a 26.5 meter Buddha to the oldest one carved out of stone many years ago, these are top 10 famous tributes to religious deities that will leave you the experience of Mongolian religion. If you are interested in Mongolian Buddhist culture, these are attractions that you should not miss. Here is the list of top 10 famous Buddha statues in Mongolia for your reference.
10. Buddha Stone Statue in Dornod province
Your Eastern Mongolia tour takes you to the Ikh Burkhant complex statues which have 90 meters high Buddha stone statue in Sumber soum, Dornod province /aimag/. The sightseeing was built in 1859-1864 at the initiative of Togtokhtur Bat-Ochir (as called “To” prince) who was the prince of Khalkhiin Setsen Khan aimag/today’s eastern region of Mongolia/.
After erecting in 1864, the complex was renovated from 1995 to 1997.
The monument is Janraisag who salvages eight types of dangers and symbols including lion, elephant, snake, fire, water, chain and the human mind. The stone complex was made with stones carried by 1000 carts of the bullock and about 180 craftsmen were required to complete it. You can see 12 stupas and other 20 smaller statues around the Stone Statue. Also, there is some strange stone representing broken faces and stone couple that is hugging each other. It is said that the Stone god was created to protect the eastern border of Mongolia from any danger. Sightseeing up there is quite amazing and you should add this Buddhist place in your eastern Mongolian tour destination.
Photography © Munkhjargal Myagmardorj
9. Grand Stupa in Khamar Monastery
One of the most spiritual places in the whole of Mongolia is Energy center in Khamar monastery. The biggest Mongolian Buddhist stupa is 32 meters high Grand stupa which shapes like Mongolian Ger dwelling in Khamar monastery.
Khamar Monastery established in the 1820s by famous 19th century His holiness Danzanravjaa.
Tour of Mongolian Gobi Desert leads you to the Khamar Monastery. Another big attraction of the monastery is Energy center also named as “World Energy Center” famed in Mongolia as having the strongest spiritual energy convergence in the world and travelers visit from across the country to gain health, wealth, and fertility.
Besides the monastery itself, popular tour locations to visit are Breast Ovoo, a cave complex used for meditation, and Wish-fulfilling mount of Bayanzurkh.
There you can see 108 stupas surrounding with various monuments such as meditation caves and Danzan Ravjaa statue in Cave.
On entering you are confronted with a large pair of eyes staring out from the side of the Gelugpa Temple of Wisdom, which follows you as you walk around.
You can feel the power of Spirit and Buddhist rituals through this famous place and should add this Buddhist Spiritual place on your tour Mongolia planning.
8. Jarun Hashor Stupa in Amarbayasgalant Monastery
There is big legendary stupa named Jarun Hashor which means ‘lost the promise’ in Amarbayasgalant monastery in Buren-khaan mount, Baruunburen sum, Selenge province.
The statue is also called as Eye Stupa and because if the prayers look at the eye on the Stupa, all their sins go away.
Jarun Hashor which means ‘lost the promise’ in Amarbayasgalant monastery. Photography © Batzaya Choijiljav
You can hear the legendary story of the monastery while on your travel Mongolia. Another famous site which you can find is a 13-meter high Bogd Zonkhoba image with his 2 disciples. You can see 108 stairs reaching to them and have broken 3 times while walking. You should put this legendary historical Buddhist place in your Mongolia travel destinations.
Amarbayasgalant monastery in Buren-khaan mount, Baruunburen sum, Selenge province. Photography © Batzaya Choijiljav
7. Seated Buddha Statue in Darkhan
Way to Russian border or famous Amarbayasgalant Monastery can give you short stop in Darkhan city, Mongolia’s third largest city. There you can find big seated Buddha statue near bridge which connects the two parts of Darkhan. The statue is more commonly visited by locals and becoming famous among tourists. While on your western tours Mongolia, it may give good views to both old city and new Darkhan city. Also you can walk over to Man on horseback playing Morin Khuur /Horse Headed Fiddle/ monument across the suspension bridge. You can have chance of big Buddha Statue while visiting and passing through Darkhan city.
6. Golden Buddha Statue in Erdenet city
A new temple, The Huge Golden Buddha Sitting on a Lotus, was built on the eastern side of the Erdenet city in 2011. Erdenet city is the second largest city of the country and famous for Erdenet Mining Corporation. There you can find 8 stupas, honorable lighthouse, entrance gate, and main temple.
The main temple houses meditation room, valuable things of religious history and culture, portrays of various gods and more. The Buddha statue is made of 87 tons of pure latten. The statue has been attracting a lot of interests of both local and foreign visitors. There is also another attraction that you may see is Friendship Monument which can be accessed from the same hill. You can catch a good view of the city there and experience local people’s Buddhism.
5. Buddhist Stupa in Demchog Monastery
On your road to the south, there is tallest Buddha Stupa with 20 meters high in Demchog Monastery. Also, there is a temple inside the stupa which can house 50 people entry. Demchog Monastery is located in Khanbogd soum in Umnugobi or South Gobi province, the southern part of Mongolia over 600km far from Ulaanbaatar.
Danzanravjaa.D, known as Saint Lord of Gobi had built the monastery.
There are ten white stupas behind the monastery and there is a rock which sheltering them. People believe that wishes they tell to it come true. Close to it, there is the energy center where people gain energy through palms showing towards the sun. There are a number of rocks with various shapes around the monastery. Not only locals but also domestic and foreign tourists believe that the rocks have a positive effect on health and life. It is worth to visit this famous religious Buddhist statue with great history.
4. Tallest Maitreya Bodhisattva Statue under Construction
Maitreya Bodhisattva will be located at a sacred Buddhist site in the Uguumur Valley known as Heart Hill, just outside of Ulaanbaatar. This complex will be one of the biggest destinations of Mongolian tours once it completed. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and several Rinpoche have provided relics of the Buddha and other holy items, which will be enshrined inside of the statue and a stupa to be constructed nearby.
The completed site will be open to the public free of charge designed as an educational, spiritual, tourism and cultural center.
The complex will also include a temple dedicated to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a meditation pavilion for up to 5,000 people, as well as temples and centers representing Buddhist traditions from around the world, educational facilities, an amphitheater, a cinema, and a hotel. The Buddhist complex will be very special and auspicious for the Mongolian people to build symbols of love and Buddhist centers on this site, as well as to receive teachings here.
Make sure to check this upcoming Buddhist complex in time of your Mongolia travel.
3. A Buddha statue in the Erdene-Zuu Monastery
Travel to Mongolia may require you the oldest Buddhist monastery of the country, Erdene Zuu ”Jewel Temple”, was built between 1585 and 1586. The statue and monastery are located one of the must-see places of Mongolian tour destinations in Ovorkhangai province about 20 kilometers northeast Kharkhorin. It is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The Monastery has main, eastern and western temples which include several Buddha statues. The main temple includes Buddha Amitabha (Buddha of Immeasurable life and light) and Sita Mahakal (Gonggor), Buddha statue in his teenage years is in the eastern temple and Sanjaa (Buddha Dipankara) and Buddha Saryamuni are inside in western temple.
The site offers you not only Buddhist statues but also the history of ancient city Kharkhorin and beautiful nature of Orkhon valley.
You do not miss this one of the most famous ancient Mongolian Buddhist sites.
2. Big Buddha Statue in Zaisan Square
At viewing platform of Ulaanbaatar city, Zaisan Memorial gives you the chance of visiting 23 meters high Big Buddha Statue right next to it. It is named famous for International Buddha Park which is built in 2006 and also planned built statues of Buddha around the world. The Buddha Statue is made of material named U-light from Korea which is water and wind persistent over 500 years. The Buddha statue looks through the entire UB city and protects the city from any danger.
All the people to visit Mongolia could see this peaceful garden with Buddha statue and have some fresh air with a view of the city.
1. The Migjid Janraisag statue in Gandan monastery
You can visit this most famous historical and religious center of Mongolia while on your tours Mongolia in UB. The statue is made of valuable metals including copper, silver, gold and many other jewelry stones. The Migjid Janraisag statue which means the Lord who watches every direction was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1996 after 5 years of work. The statue contains 2286 precious stones, 27 tons of medicinal plants, 334 sutras and 2 million mantras. The monastery is the center of Mongolian religious and Buddhism and includes one of the most famous Buddhist statues in Mongolia. You should put this most famous place of Mongolian Buddhism on your travel Mongolia list.
The name of the tallest indoor Buddhist statue is Mijgid Janraisag with 26.5 meter high. Photography © Batzaya Choijiljav
Danshig Naadam Religious Festival
After traveling some of those Buddhist statues in Mongolia, you may have the opportunity to visit the biggest Mongolian religious festival called Danshig Naadam which its first was held in 1639 for enthroning 1st Bogd Jebtsundamba Khutukhtu. The festival usually holds at the beginning of August and offers a variety of cultural performances including traditional folk dance and song, the performance of contortion; wrestling, archery, anklebone shooting and competitions between lamas. The main event of the festival is Tsam which is livelily masked and costumed dance associated with the Buddhist religion.
Danshig Naadam religious festival had been re-celebrated since 2015. Photography © Batzaya Choijiljav
In Mongolia, the tsam was first introduced at the beginning of the 18th century from India through Tibet. Also, the first tsam in Mongolia was performed in Erdene-Zuu Monastery in 1786. The main reason of Tsam performance is to subdue and purify external environment, eradicate diseases, suffering, wars, famine, and hardships and spread auspiciousness.
During this Naadam, you can experience true aspects of Mongolian Buddhist religion with Naadam competition together at one place.
Buddhism in Mongolian History
According to historical records for the 1920s, there were almost 1,000 temples and monasteries in Mongolia. Since the 1990s and the beginning of the democratic period, Mongolians have been trying to revive and protect their cultural heritage and traditions. Now there are more than 300 temples and monasteries in Mongolia. Meditation and visiting monasteries is an important part of Mongolian Buddhist culture and tradition, so if you’re thinking about start trip to Mongolia and want to experience true Buddhist culture of the country, make sure you stop by these top 10 most spiritual and famous places in Mongolia. Whether you are Buddhist or not, exploring these famous statues in Mongolia will give you great impressions of history and culture of Mongolian religion. Make sure to take photos of these famous Buddhist statues which can leave you amazing wonderful memory and evidence of travel Mongolia.
An old monk at Gandan Monastery. Photography © Batzaya Choijiljav
Old and Modern. History and Nowadays. Photography © Batzaya Choijiljav