Tuvkhun Monastery

2021-04-16 18:04:13

 Tuvkhun Monastery


Starting from Orkhon Valley where the capital of ancient empires once stood, there are various national parks and historical landmarks located in Uvurkhangai aimag


One of these landmarks is Tuvkhun Monastery - the place where the First Bogd Undur Gegeen Zanabazar created his works and meditated. It is located 50 km north of Bat-Ulzii soum.


In 1651, the Undur Gegeen had a stone-walled house built on a small piece of flat land on top of Shiveet Ulaan Mountain, surrounded by cliffs and boulders and luscious forests. The structure was named ‘Dubkhan’ or ‘The Place for Crafts’, which eventually became ‘Tuvkhun’.


While being at the monastery, the Undur Gegeen invented the Soyombo script in 1686 as well as created his most popular literary work ‘Bestowing the Highest Blessings’ or the sutra more commonly known in Mongolian as ‘Itgel’ or ‘Faith’, alongside putting his craftsmanship skills to use by making sculptures of Buddhist deities such as the White and Green Taras.


Tuvkhun Monastery was put under state special protection in 1992, and certain parts of the monastery including 4 temples, 2 stupas, and gates were renovated back to their original state with financing from the state budget in 2001.


Of the two springs located near the monastery, Undur Gegeen Zanabazar is said to have used the spring on the right for his consumption, while he used water from the left spring for hygienic purposes.


Tuvkhun Monastery originally consisted of 14 temples, including an assembly hall, temples dedicated to Ochirdari (Vajradhara) and Gombogur gods, the Crafts Temple, Forever Flaming Butter Lamp Temple, two stupas, a small temple and prayer wheels with a roof on top as well as a Mermaid Temple at the top of a nearby cave.


Around the monastery, there are also certain points of interest, such as the seat the Undur Gegeen Zanabazar frequently used to rest, two trees used for tying horses, and his footprint when he wore traditional boots and handprint.




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