Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mongolia | Tov Aimag | Horse Trip #5

On the way back from Khagiin Khar Nuur we made a slight detour to the ruins of Saridgiin Khiid, the monastery founded in the 1654 by Zanabazar, the First Bogd Gegeen of Mongolia. Zanabazar built this monastery with the idea that it would become the center of Buddhism in Mongolia. Several of his most famous art-works, including his Five Transcendental Buddhas, were meant to be displayed here. It was not to be; in 1688 the monastery was destroyed by Zanabazar’s arch-rival Galdan Bolshigt. I had visited the ruins twice before, as described in my Guide To Locales Connected with the Life of Zanabazar. Saraa and Günj said they wanted to see the site so I agreed to go again.
Ruins of the 108-Pillar Tsogchin Temple
Corner of the 108-Pillar Tsogchin Temple
Clay figurines, known as shuteen in Mongolian, which Zevgee claims date to the time of Zanabazar. Someone had dug them out of the ruins and placed them on stone altars.
Saraa at the altars