Övörkhangai Province is 1 of the 21 provinces of the country. It has two important monasteries that tourists almost always visit when they are in these parts of the country: the Shankh Monastery and Erdene Zuu.
Erdene Zuu in Övörkhangai Province – Mongolia is located close to the city of Kharahhorin, right next to the ancient city of KharKhorum or Karakorum.
There is a small airport in Arvaikheer, the capital city of the Övörkhangai Province. There are regular flights from Ulan Bator, the capital city of the country.
There are likewise buses also coming from Ulan Bator that go to Kharahhorin. Once you are in the city, there are several ways to get around and reach Erdene Zuu in Övörkhangai Province – Mongolia.
What nomads usually ride are camels and horses while tourists mostly travel by their hired jeeps.
What to See and Do
Inside the temples, you will find statues of the Buddha.
Close to the monastery is a stone tortoise said to belong to the nomads of the ancient city of Karakorum.
On a hill, also within close distance to the monastery is a stone phallus said to have been put there by the Buddhist monks to help them restrain their sexual urges and thus maintain their good conduct.
There are also other sights to visit in Kharahhorin once you’ve been to Erdene Zuu and Karakorum.
There is the Tovhon Temple and the Orhon Waterfall.
Erdene Zuu in Övörkhangai Province – Mongolia was said to have been built some time in the year 1585, under Abtai Sain Khan. The stones used to build the monastery were taken from the ruins of the ancient city of Karakorum.
When war broke out in the 1680s, the monastery was heavily damaged. It was later rebuilt during the eighteenth century and by the year 1872; the monastery had sixty-two temples within its premises.
In the year 1939, the Communists under the leadership of Khorloogiin Choibalsan; destroyed the monastery and killed thousands of monks in the process.
What remains of the monastery today are three temples and the surrounding wall. It is still an active Buddhist monastery today.
The cost to visit the temples is about three thousand togrog. To take photos, an additional fee of five thousand togrog is charged.
In the summertime, the area around Erdene Zuu in Övörkhangai Province – Mongolia comes alive. The shopping area here not only offers various items but also serves meals during peak season.