Saturday, April 18, 2009

Amarbayasgalant Khiid - Remote Buddhist Monastery

To reach the ancient Buddhist monastery of Amarbayasgalant, one can use either the city of Darkhan or Erdenet as a jumping off point. There is no regular service to this site, so renting a private vehicle is necessary. Here is the turn off from the highway. The monastery is at the end of a 35 km-long dirt road. Somehow, my taxi driver made it without breaking an axle, careening into the fields, or flipping his Hyundai.

35 kilometers of white-knuckle driving later...

The monastery, built by the Manchus to honor (and entomb) the great Mongolian 'living Buddha' - and renaissance man - Zanabazar, seemed totally abandoned. There were plenty of pigeons, crows, and magpies, though. The temples have been partially restored.

Child monks were sweeping dead grasses when we arrived. Here they are before we left, walking toward the hills...

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