"I could never resist the call of the trail" - Buffalo Bill


The Choijin Lama Temple Museum is an architectural masterpiece of 19th to 20th century. The monastery was erected by Mongolian architects.
The temple was built between 1904 and 1908 by the 8th Bogd Khan Javzandamba, and dedicated to his brother Lama Luvsanhaidav. The Museum has a fine collection of woodcarving, applique, embroidery and sculptures, dated as early as the XVII century.

The museum contains precious examples of Buddhist art including the paintings by Ts. Zanabazar, a renowned religious reformer and great artisan of 17th century as well as colorful masks for Tsam Dance ceremony embroidered with corals, bronze statue of gods in erotic poses, silk tankas and many other artifacts.

This monastery is also known as the Museum of Religion. It was the home of Luvsan Haidav Choijin Lama ('Choijin' is an honorary title given to some monks), the state oracle and brother of the Bogd Khan. The construction of the monastery commenced in 1904 and was completed four years later. It was closed in 1938 and probably would have been demolished but it was saved as a museum in 1942 to demonstrate the 'feudal' ways of the past. Although religious freedom in Mongolia recommenced in 1990, this monastery is no longer an active place of worship and will probably remain a museum.

There are five temples within the grounds. As you enter, the first temple you see is the Maharaja Sum. The main temple features statues of Sakyamuni (the historical Buddha), Choijin Lama and Baltung Choimba (the teacher of the Bogd Khan), whose mummified remains are inside the statue. There are also some fine scroll paintings and some of the best tsam masks in the country. The gongkhang (protector chapel) behind the main hall contains the oracle's throne and a magnificent statue ofyab-yiim (mystic sexual union).

The other temples are: Zuu Siim, dedicated to Sakyamuni; Yadam Sum, which contains wooden and bronze statues of various gods, some created by the famous Mongolian sculptor Zanabazar; and Amgalan Sum, containing a self-portrait of the great Zanabazar himself and a small stupa apparently brought to Ulaanbaatar by Zanabazar from Tibet.

Open daily in summer from 9am-5pm



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