2008 Mongolia China,  Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan
  Tour Group Journal

2008 Mongolia
Friday Aug. 15, 2008 Ulaan Baator
Day 02 Submitted by Meli melitour@yahoo.com

We started the day with a visit to Gandan Monastery. this is the biggest temple left in Mongolia after the communist wrecked 90% of the sanctuaries in the country. The plan for our visit is to be there when the chanting starts. then every one will be on their own for individual spiritual experience or shopping. we will meet back on the bus before lunch.Visit to temple – monks chanting, burning incense – quite friendly – allowed to walk around.  The public approach a monk with a problem – the monk refers to a text, which is one long sentence in a collection of metal prayer pages – he writes down the prayer – the rest of the day other monks chant that prayer for the person.  Buddhism – kindness, no anger, no stealing, acceptance, monogamy.  I  asked a monk to give me an advice  – response was “each individual should find his/her own path in life.”  

In 1938 the communists supressed religious communities in Mongolia. they destroyed around 900 monasteries, though a handful were converted into museums/ the monks were killed jailed or forced to join the army. 5 temples of Gandan Monastary were totally destroyed. In 1944 the Gandan Monastary was reopened. Gandantegchenling Temple houses a 27 meter statue of Budda. According to Hulen, all the specific information about Mongolia history is saved in this great statue.

After a great lunch at an Indian Restaurant we visited the Winter Palace of Bogdan Khan and returned to the hotel to meet the paper Cutting Artists who gave us an hour hands on experience with paper cutting. We know that under many people's Christmas tree this year, there will be several of this wonderful art work as presents.  There was no limit to what you could cut out of the simple black paper. The face of Cengizz Khan, Camel, Butterflies ...

The dinner was at a huge gher. The show was stunning. Among the musicians Hulen thought there were a couple that she could add to her dating list. The contortionists and the fashion show were the highlights of the show after the dance of the Shamans.



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