Erdene Zuu Monastery is a historic Buddhist monastery located in Kharkhorin, the name of the current city that was built over the ancient Karakorum, the city founded by Genghis Khan and the capital of the Mongol Empire. Given the importance of the Mongol Empire, and the historical impact of the Silk Road, we could not be in Mongolia, and not visit these iconic places. We visited the monastery as part of our trip to the Gobi Desert, one of the different visits we did during our Mongolia travel.
Erdene Zuu Monastery
The monastery is a popular tourist destination for those interested in Mongolian history and culture, and offers a number of interesting things to see and do.
This is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia and is considered a national historical and cultural monument. The monastery was founded in the 16th century and is surrounded by 108 stupas, representing the 108 obstacles to enlightenment in Buddhism.
One of the main attractions at Erdene Zuu Monastery is the Temple of the Great Treasure, a beautiful temple that is home to a number of important Buddhist artifacts and relics. The temple is decorated with intricate carvings and paintings, and is a great place to learn about the history and beliefs of Buddhism.
Another popular attraction at the monastery is the White Stupa, a large stupa that was built to honor Genghis Khan, the famous Mongolian ruler. The stupa is surrounded by 108 smaller stupas, and is a popular spot for tourists to take pictures and learn about the significance of the stupa in Mongolian culture.
In addition to the temples and stupas, the monastery is home to a number of other interesting sights and attractions. These include the Tsogchin Temple, a beautiful temple that is decorated with intricate carvings and paintings, and the Kharkhorin Rock, a large stone that is believed to have special powers.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of Mongolia, the monastery also offers guided tours and cultural activities, such as traditional dance performances and Mongolian calligraphy demonstrations.
The Karakorum city in Mongolia, the former capital of the Mongol Empire between 1235 and 1260, and the birthplace of Genghis Khan, is a historical site with several notable attractions along the Silk Road. Here are some of the things to see in Karakorum:
- The ruins of Karakorum city: The former capital of the Mongol Empire and the birthplace of Genghis Khan, Karakorum was once a thriving city along the Silk Road. The ruins of the city today still bear testimony to its former grandeur, with remnants of palaces, temples, and other structures.
- Genghis Khan Statue: Standing 40 meters tall, the Genghis Khan Statue is the largest equestrian statue in the world and one of the most prominent landmarks in Mongolia. It is located near the Tuul River in Tsonjin Boldog, about 54 km east of Ulaanbaatar.
- Ordu-Baliq: Also known as the Palace of the Khans, Ordu-Baliq was the residence of the Mongol emperors and was considered the center of the empire. Although much of the palace has been destroyed over time, visitors can still see the remains of its walls, gates, and defensive structures.
- Khar Balgas: A well-preserved ancient city located about 40 km from Karakorum, Khar Balgas was once the capital of the Uighur Kingdom and is considered one of the earliest cities along the Silk Road. Visitors can see the ruins of temples, palaces, and other structures, as well as a number of Buddhist rock carvings and inscriptions.
- Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall: Located near the ruins of Karakorum, the Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a great spot for hiking and picnicking. The waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape.
- National Museum of Mongolia: This museum is located in Ulaanbaatar and provides an excellent overview of Mongolia’s history, including the period of the Mongol Empire and the life of Genghis Khan. Visitors can see a variety of exhibits, including artifacts from the era, paintings, and historical documents.
In conclusion, a visit to Karakorum and its surrounding areas offers a glimpse into the rich history of the Mongol Empire and the Silk Road, as well as a chance to see some of Mongolia’s stunning natural beauty.
How to Get to Erdene Zuu Monastery and Karakorum
To get to Erdene Zuu Monastery and Karakorum, you can fly into Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, and then take a bus or taxi to Kharkhorin in the Orkhon Valley. The monastery is located about 20 minutes outside of the city, and is easily accessible by road.
Overall, Erdene Zuu Monastery is a must-see destination for those interested in Mongolian history and culture, and offers a number of interesting things to see and do. So why wait? Plan your trip to the monastery today and discover all that this amazing place has to offer!
If you are looking for more trip ideas in Mongolia check out our Mongolia travel blog posts. For other Asia travels, see some of the destinations we visited and wrote about:
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