One of the 4 largest monasteries in Mongolia and it mostly survived the purges of the 1930s. Located in the Iven valley near the Selenge river, the monastery is about an hour off the main paved road connecting Erdenet and Darkhan. About 30 monks live in the monastery.
The monastery was constructed between 1727 and 1736 on orders of the Manchu Emperor Kang Xi in honor of Zanabazar, the 1st Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, or leader of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia, who invented the Mongolian Soyombo script and is one of Mongolia's most famous artists and influential leaders in the 17th century. Zanabazar's body was interred here in 1788. At its peak, the monastery had 3 000 monks and 40 temples laid out with symmetrical unity according to exacting design specifications by the Emperor of China. The communists closed the monastery, killed several of the monks, and destroyed 10 of the temples in 1937. Luckily, 26 of the temples survived and have been partially restored through help from UNESCO and the Indian government. Several new stupas and a large statue of Buddha have been added recently to the neighboring hills.
The isolated site surrounded by miles of sparsely populated steppe make it seem as though you are seeing it as it was before the rise of communism and modernization.
Localisation on OpenStreetMap. No public transportation. You can hire a taxi in Erdenet and go from there (about 114 km) or from Darkhan. From Erdenet, use the paved road towards Darkhan, and then turn north at the sign (about 81 km from Erdenet) and follow the track during the remaining approximately 33 km.
There are a few cafeteria nearby.
No public transportation. The nearest big towns are Erdenet (about 114 km) and Darkhan.