Night at Choijin Lama Temple Museum in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
''A museum is a spiritual place. People lower their voices when they get close to art''. - Mario Botta
Ulaanbaatar, the capital city has 19 museums, making it the perfect attraction for visitors who are looking to country’s rich cultural, religious and historical treasures which tell the story of Mongolia to the world. However many of museum visitors don’t know that some museum offers special events that happen after regular hours. Choijin Lam Temple Museum has become the hottest spot for memorable night out in Ulaanbaatar. Do you believe it? Let’s go inside the "Night at Museum" through eye-catching night photos of the temple.
Night Museum Event in Ulaanbaatar
Since 2011, Choijin Lama Temple Museum has been opening its doors at nights during summer season for thematic events called Night Museum-Colors of Mongolia, traditional musical performances including folk song, Khumii (throat singing), Urtin duu (long song), Morin khuur performance (horse-headed fiddle), folk dances, contortion, and Tsam mask dancing. Event visitors can eyewitness tangible and intangible cultural heritage both in the fancy and unusual atmosphere around the temple.
Choijin Lama Temple Museum
First of all, you may curious about what is Choijin Lama Temple Museum. This temple complex was built between 1904 and 1908, under the leadership of renowned architect Ombo and by more than three hundred Mongolian master craftsmen. The Temple Museum hosts a fascinating showcase of religious objects of Choijin Lama Luvsankhaidav, who was the younger brother of the Eighth Bogd Khaan (spiritual head of Mongolia) and chosen as state oracle of Mongolia. The museum contains five temples which are each uniquely decorated to reflect their original designs. Temple of Manarayas, Refuge Bestowing Main Temple, Zuu Temple, Yadam Temple, and Amgalan Temple. Let's discover!
Refuge Bestowing Main Temple
All daily activities and other rituals of the monastery took place in this main temple. There are main 3 statues in this temple which sit on thrones.
Statue of Buddha
At the center of the main temple, there is a statue of Buddha Shakyamuni created in the 18th century by Ikh Khuree craftsmen.
Statue of Choijin Lama
It is exhibited in Main Temple, to the right of Main Altar. On Buddha’s right side, there you can see a sculpture of Choijin Lama Luvsankhaidav, the master of the monastery. The sculpture is made of clay and paper-mache incorporating the ashes of Lama Luvsankhaidav’s cremated body after his death in 1918. His real full name was Luvsankhaidav Gonchigtseren and Choijin is an honorary title given to him.
Complete Costumes for Tsam Dance
Another treasure attraction is the complete costumes for Tsam Dance. Various masked and costumed deities vary by their religious roles in Tsam dance performance. In this picture, red masked is Jamsran and it is encrusted with coral.
Rich artifacts, as well as Buddhist objects from many destroyed local monasteries, were transferred here.
The name Zuu derives from a Tibetan word Jowo meaning ‘High Buddha’. In this temple, you can explore three large papier-mache statues depicting Buddha in the past, present and future. The architecture of this temple reflects a Tibetan style.
Unique Temple where ancient and modern met
For your own discovery, you will be amazed at mysterious sculptures, paintings, statues and historical and religious facts in Temple of Manarayas, Yadam, and Amgalan. It has fine and masterpiece collections of woodcarving, embroidery, applique, and sculptures dated back to 17th century.
Tips for visiting Choijin Lama Temple Museum
The Temple Museum offers you audio devices that guide you around the museum which is considered the first of its kind in Mongolia. Audio tour takes about one hour. You should inquire for more details about availability and pricing. With your guide, you take time to explore these hidden gems and can take pictures inside if you pay the fee. It is worth visiting and photographing the interior because statues, sculptures, masks, architecture are spectacular. The good souvenir shop is located in concrete Ger inside grounds for visitors. Taking outside temple photos are for free. The location of the temple is convenient and easily reachable if you are in the city center.
This is must-see museum in Ulaanbaatar and highly recommend you to visit.
For your enjoyable and worthy museum travel in Ulaanbaatar, National Museum of Mongolia will be published on our blog soon! Thank you for reading our weekly Blog and hope you will be keep updated!