UVGUN KHIID OR ERDENEKHAMBA MONASTERY

On the base of the Mount Khugnu Khaan, there are ruins of temples.  These temples are as well-known among the history of Mongolian Buddhist Monasteries and Monks as a name Erdenekhamba Khiid. The Mount Khugnu Khan is a magnificent mountain area in Mongolia, illustrating a unique and beautiful natural scenery encompassing a mixture of mountainous and fertile pastures, plain steppe and Gobi desert, where located ancient mythical and greatly significant two monasteries and ancient crave mound.

Initially in year 842 an atheist, named Landram, became the Khan of Tibet and started to destroy monasteries and massively murdered monks throughout the region. According to the ancient legend, a monk called Lhalambaldorj, who was worshiping in mountains managed to escape from the massacre using his own wisdom and special ways and then he came to and settled in a meditating monastery located in Khugnu Khan Mountain.

 In 1612 a Mongolian monk, Erdenetsorj, had built an additional main temple which was 10 meter high and resembling the structure of the 64-room Yamanda monastery, which resulted the creation of meditation monastery with 13 temples, deifying the red deity known as Jamsran Buddha in current Uvgun monastery. But 1688 during the Khalkha and Oirad (majority and western Mongols) war, the monastery was completely destroyed and all the monks were killed. In 1700 the monastery was relocated in a different place with 4 sanctuaries and 3 temples with 200 monks. In 1937, because of communist regime, the monastery was destroyed again and about 20 high ranking monks were executed. Fortunately, today there are two small temples and the "Five Khan" monastery walls on the mountain remain undestroyed.

Today there are only the ruins. Erdene Khamba Monastery had two sections: the lower one called the Zaluu Khiid, and the upper one called the Uvgun Khiid. The Erdene Khamba Monastery was destroyed during Middle Age feuds between Western and Eastern Mongolians (Dzungaria and Khalkh Mongolia) after the collapse of the Mongol Empire. The armies of Dzungarian leader Galdan Boshigt noticed the golden roofs of the temples in the Mountain and massacred the partisan-monks of the rival Zanabazar in 1640, killing them by tying their necks with a rope (the Mongolian verb for the action is khugnokh) as if they were goats and sheep. The name of the Mountain given after the huge killing.