Saikhan Ovoo, Mongolia
Ongiin Khiid Saikhan Ovoo Reviews
Work in progress Aug 26, 2011
Ongiin Khiid (Khiid means monastery) was founded in 1760 at the edge of the river and developed into a huge complex that even had to be enlarged to the other side of the river. In 1937 it was completely destroyed during the reign of Khorloogiin Choibalsan, who was the president and leader of the communistic party of Mongolia at that time. All buildings were smashed and most monks were killed.
For dozens of years, the site showed nothing more than ruins, but in the nineties some monks decided to rebuild the monastery. During the years a small tower and temple were raised among the shattered foundations, they were put to use in 2004. Today there live thirteen monks who are determined to rebuild the monastery to its former glory, but they still have a huge way to go.
There is a bright yellow ger that displays some old objects that were found among the ruins, but it is not that interesting. The temple is brightly decorated and there are usually a couple of(very young) monks there.
If you are there at 9:30 AM you may catch the monks getting up to the small tower and blow on their shells. This is the most impressive sight at Ongiin Khiid. Maybe, in about twenty years, there will be more to see.
Part of the Mongolia 2011 travel blog
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