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ARC Home > Projects > Asia projects :
CASE STUDIES from Mongolia | Case Study 1: Gandan Tegchenling Monastery | Case Study 2: The Erdene Zuu Endeavor | Case Study 3: Onstar Isei Lin Monastery | Case Study 4: Dashchoilin Monastery | Case Study 5: Amarbayasgalants Monastery | Case Study 6: Khamar Khiid | Case Study 7: Luvsandanzanjantsan Studies Centre | Case Study 8: Gandandarjaaling Monastery

Case Study 5: Amarbayasgalants Monastery

The following information has been extracted from the Mongolian Buddhists Protecting Nature Handbook which can be downloaded in English and in Mongolian.

Located in Selenge Province in the far north, this is the country’s third biggest monastery. Today about sixty novices and ordained monks are in residence – making it one of the few Mongolian monasteries where monks actually live full time. In 2002 Amarbayasgalant Monastery established the NGO Amar Mur, which runs a centre giving guidance to prisoners, orphans and children of disadvantaged families; it organises seminars and training on Buddhism and invites Buddhist leaders to teach in Mongolia.

In 2003 monks participated in an environmental training programme organised by ARC and WWF, in which monasteries received training on climate change and then participated in creating a publication in Mongolian, on the Sacred Sites of Mongolia.

In 2004, the monastery participated in a national Buddhist educational awareness programme run by ARC in partnership with WWF. This combined practical training for monks and herders to maintain springs as vital water sources for monks and herders, with rituals to protect the springs and raise their significance for the local community. This project was linked into the government’s Mongolian National Year of campaign. With the influx of pilgrims and tourists, there is a critical concern about how to deal with waste.

Background to the Monastery

Amarbayasgalant Monastery was established by order of Manchu emperor Enkh Amgalan Khan, in honour of Undur Geghen Zanabazar (after whom Gandan’s University was named). Construction began in 1726, and was completed ten years later. In the 1930s all senior monks were executed and huge numbers of rare religious relics and sutras destroyed. Amarbayasgalant Monastery became mere ruins, abandoned until 1990 when it was restored and re-established.


Pages about Mongolian Environmental Wisdom, taken from the Handbook.

The Mongolian Lord of Nature.

Sacred texts, places and ovoos.

Sacred sites in Mongolia.

Traditional Environmental Law in Mongolia.

The work that the monks, in conjunction with ARC and the World Bank and others, are carrying out to rediscover the sutras about sacred land in Mongolia.

Do you want to support this?

For full contact and address details of Mongolian Buddhist Monasteries, please see page 57 of the Handbook. And for details of local Development, Environmental and Educational NGOs, please visit pages 58-59 of the Handbook.

Other links to Mongolian Buddhism and the Environment

Link here to access the news story about the launch of the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook.

Link here to download the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook in English. (Please note this file is 1.15MB)

Link here to download the Mongolian version of the Handbook.(A 2MB file.)

Link here to download the guide to the Mongolian Buddhists’ Eight Year Plan (this file is 4.13MB).

Link to Mongolian Case Studies.

And here on how to make contact with the Sangha.

To download the A3 poster of a new thangka about Buddhists protecting Nature, link here (5.61MB).

Brief History of Mongolian Buddhism.

Buddhism and the Environment.

Women in Buddhism in Mongolia.

Key Figures in Mongolian Buddhism.

Key Meetings in Mongolia.

Mongolian Buddhists and Development.

Mongolian Buddhists and Ecology.

Mongolian Buddhist Hunting Ban.

The Lost Sutras.


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