Zayiin Gegeen Monastery in Arkhangai Province


Zayiin Gegeen Monastery is located in Tsetserleg, Arkhangai, on the foot of the Bulgan Mountain and it was built in mid-1600. The monastery was dedicated to Zayiin Gegeen and it was decided between him Lamyn Gegeen and Shireet Gegeen. They were searching for a place, specifically the foot of a mountain, to build a monastery and found Bulgan Mountain. They spent a night there and decided whoever’s bowl grows a flower first gets to build a monastery in his name. The next morning, a flower appeared in Zayiin Gegeen’s bowl.

And in 1696, the second Zayiin Gegeen Luvsanperenlei made Guden temple his residence, which is the first temple of the monastery. The other big temple is Semchin temple and it was built in 1802. It was built on the order of the third Zayiin Gegeen Luvsanjigmeddorj and he used to reside in the temple too.

Zayiin Gegeen Monastery used to be two part monastery with 5km distance between them and they had 26 temples. It was one of the largest and most influential monasteries in Mongolia, with over 1000 monks living there.

The bodies of II, III, IV Zayiin Gegeen and V Bogd used to be kept in the temples of Zayiin Gegeen Monastery but they were thrown out and buried underground by communist army. However, the first Zay Bandid or the second Zayiin Gegeen’s body was retrieved later.

The monastery was re-established as a museum in 1997.

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  • arkhangai
  • northern-mongolia
  • temples