Aryapala Terelj Reviews
A Very Scenic Meditation Center Oct 08, 2014
One of the fondest memories of Mongolia I would like to keep alive is when I visited the Aryapala Meditation Center. This Buddhist temple is strategically isolated rurally away from the Mongolian Capital by sixty kilometers. It is a bit of hike uphill where visitors can see many Buddhist proverbs encased in murials along the trail leading up to few handcrafted temples. These proverbs are in English and in Cyrillic. My tour guide Nyamka mentioned the sacred number of 108 steps ascending toward this attraction representing wholeness, but I'm no expert of Buddhism.
The artistry on the carefully constructed monastery is thought provoking, powerful and sometimes deeply disturbing in all symbolic drawings representing life, death, rebirth, suffering and karma. Some of the drawings, albeit two dimensionally not entirely full of detail, were very sexual and graphic. A lot of pride was put into this establishment. This meditation center seems intent on keeping Mongolian Buddhism alive, which was nearly eradicated during the communist expansion of the 1940's. I was surprised that I was able to take pictures inside the temple.
The best part of my visit to Aryapala was the overlook of the vast emptiness of a Mongolian October. While chilly and windy, it was nonetheless a tranquil area of observation. For miles, the overlook was vast emptiness consisting of nothing but hills and autumn trees. Any person that finds themselves too entrenched in their urban lifestyles can also find appreciation for this view.
I highly recommend Aryapala as an essential visit for anyone visiting Mongolia from Spring to Summer. An absolute must see!
Part of the 2014 Travels (Japan/Korea/Guam/Mongolia/USA) travel blog
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