Ongiin Khiid or Ongi Monastery
ABOUT ONGIIN KHIID OR ONGI MONASTERY
Visiting Ongiin Khiid allows you to connect with Mongolia's rich religious and cultural heritage, witness the revival of an important historical site, and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding desert landscapes. It is a place of historical significance and offers a glimpse into Mongolia's Buddhist past.
Ongiin Khiid, also known as Ongi Monastery, is a significant historical and cultural site located in the Dundgovi Province of Mongolia. Here's some information about Ongiin Khiid:
- History: Ongiin Khiid was once one of the largest and most important monastic complexes in Mongolia. It was established in the 17th century and served as a center of Buddhist learning and spirituality. At its peak, the monastery consisted of two parts, Barlim Khiid and Khutagt Khiid, housing thousands of monks.
- Location: Ongiin Khiid is situated in the Ongi River Valley, surrounded by picturesque desert landscapes. It is located approximately 550 kilometers (340 miles) south of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia.
- Destruction and Revival: Unfortunately, during the period of communist rule in Mongolia, Ongiin Khiid was largely destroyed in the 1930s. The communist regime targeted religious institutions, resulting in the abandonment and destruction of numerous monasteries across the country. In recent years, efforts have been made to restore and revive the site, with new temples and facilities being constructed.
- Cultural Significance: Ongiin Khiid holds great cultural and historical significance in Mongolia. It was a center of Buddhist education and played a vital role in the spread and preservation of Buddhism in the country. The monastery was a place of worship, learning, and community for monks and local people alike.
- Architecture: The remaining structures of Ongiin Khiid showcase traditional Mongolian and Tibetan architectural styles. The main temple buildings feature ornate artwork, colorful murals, and intricately carved wooden columns. Visitors can explore the ruins and appreciate the remnants of the once-grand monastery.
- Natural Surroundings: The Ongi River Valley, where Ongiin Khiid is located, offers beautiful natural landscapes. The valley is surrounded by rugged mountains, expansive grasslands, and the winding Ongi River. It provides opportunities for hiking, camping, and exploring the desert scenery.
- Tourism: Ongiin Khiid has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of the monastery, observe Buddhist rituals and ceremonies, and experience the serene atmosphere of the surrounding landscapes. Accommodation options, such as ger camps, are available for those wishing to spend more time in the area.