Gandantegchinlen Monastery (Gandan Khiid)
Gandantegchinlen Monastery, which means “the great place of complete joy,” is a vast complex with multiple temples, courtyards, stupas, prayer wheels, a Buddhist University, and several colleges of Buddhist philosophy. The highlight is the 85-foot-tall (26-meter-tall) statue of Migjid-Janraisig, made of copper, gilded with gold, and adorned with thousands of gems.
A number of sightseeing tours include a stop at Gandantegchinlen Monastery (also sometimes written Gandantegchenling Monastery). Combine these with visits to other Ulaanbaatar attractions, such as the National Museum of Mongolia, the Chinggis Khaan Monument, the Zaisan Memorial, and Sukhbaatar Square. Those with an interest in Buddhism can take a tour featuring stops at other important sites, such as the Choijin Lama Temple Museum and the Dashchoilin Monastery.
Things to Know Before You Go
The monastery is free to enter but donations are accepted, and certain areas require a separate entrance fee.
This is an active place of worship, so be respectful and wear long sleeves.
A photo permit is required to take photos inside certain areas of the monastery.
Most tours include hotel pickup and drop-off.
How to Get There
Gandantegchinlen Monastery is located near the Gandan ger suburb, about 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) west of Sukhbaatar Square in Ulaanbaatar. For those not visiting as part of a tour, it’s easiest to take a taxi there.
When to Get There
The monastery is open daily. Arrive before 9am to catch the monks in their early morning prayers. It’s best to arrive in the morning, as some sections of the monastery are closed in the afternoon.
Dedicated in 1996, the statue replaces an earlier statue that was taken by the Soviets in the 1930s. Weighing over 20 tons, the statue is actually hollow and contains 27 tons of medicinal herbs, 334 sutras, 2 million mantras, and even an entire ger, complete with furniture.
- National Museum of Mongolia
- Sükhbaatar Square (Genghis Khan Square)
- Choijin Lama Temple Museum (Choijin Lama Monastery)
- Bogd Khaan Palace Museum (Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan)
- Genghis Khan Statue Complex (Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex)
- Zaisan Memorial
- Manjusri Monastery (Manzushir Monastery)
- Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
- Hustai National Park (Khustain National Park)