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Ongi Monastery in Dundgobi province

Remains of a XIX century monastery


Situated between the banks of Ongi River and Saikhan-Ovoo mountain in Saikhan-Ovoo soum of Dundgovi province, Ongi Monastery is a 19th century monastery that used to host over 1000 monks. The monastery was built by Saint Ishdonilundev and his disciple Damtsagdorj from 1760 to 1810. Ongi Monastery had 28 temples and 4 religious schools that used to teach philosophy, secret spells, traditional medicine and mathemathics. Unfortunately during communist era, the last Khamba (higher ranking monk) Luvsandorj was imprisoned while over 200 monks were killed and the monastery was destroyed. Now only the remains are left, though in early 2000s, a Ger museum was built and one temple was restored.

The museum exhibits 21 tomes of “Sumbum” sutra written by Damtsagdorj, the co-founder of Ongi Monastery and his other belongings such as skull stoup and marrowbone horn as well as copper pitcher, cookware, “Lagainamjir” religious uniform, wooden platter, tea mortar and pestle, bronze caldron and trivet, mongolian scale and chests that other monks owned.

In the middle of the remains of Ongi Monastery there is a temple called “Zuun Gudengiin Dugana”. It was restored in 2004 and has several paintings and sculptures of different gods. During summer time young monks practice mantras for visitors.

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