It is the largest and most significant monastery in Mongolia.
The first temple of the monastery was built in 1809 and moved to the present
location in 1838. Over the next century the monastery included nine institutes,
a library and housed around 5000 monks. The Gandan monastery became an
important center for learning and practicing Buddha’s teachings in
In 1938, communism spread out in Mongolia, around 900 monasteries
were destroyed and turned into museums. The monks were killed, jailed or forced
to join the army. In 1944, after a petition from several monks, Gandan
Monastery was reopened but its functions were carried out under the strict
supervision of the socialist government. In 1990, after Democracy and with
Buddhism flourishing once more, Gandan Monastery embarked on an ambitious
restoration program around the country. There are currently 10 temples operating
at Gandan monastery and there are 900 monks working in the monastery.