Thursday, 17 January 2013 11:16

Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Mongolia visits Dashschoilin monastery, indicates tourism opportunities

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mongolian-buddha-statues-in-dashchoilin-monasteryOn January 16, 2013 The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Mongolia, Mrs. Oyungerel Tsedevdamba visited Daschoilin monastery to introduce with the current status of the monastery complex and to listen to their problems. The administration of the monastery expressed its gratitude for newly formed ministry and pledged full support to the development of culture and tourism in Mongolia. The Dashchoilin monastery is the first monastery of its kind of the capital city and will celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2015.

Until 1939, temples of the Dashchoilin monastery used to be the centre of the eastern part of the old capital city where monks and clerks would regularly gather to hold religious activities. The complex was home to unique Batsagaan cathedral which was built both in Mongolian and Tibetan style, supported by 140 pillars and could be expanded in summer by moving side-walls. The complex territory also used to hold a 50 ell tall statue of Maitreya, a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology, which is current symbol and protector of the monastery.

minister-of-culture-sports-and-tourism-of-mongolia-visits-dashchoilin-monasteryUnfortunately, during the great repression of late 1930s most temples including Maitreya statue were destroyed leaving only three temples that would be later used for storage, circus and other purposes. The circus moved from the monastery to its new building in 1971. The monastery was registered into the state cultural and historical heritage protection list in 1974.

In 1990s a lama named Dambajav Ch. has started reconstruction work of Dashchoilin monastery with the support of religious activists and ordinary citizens. Currently, the monastery holds over 100 monks, 20 workers and operates religion college and it is estimated that over 10 million people (in duplicate numbers) visit the monastery each year.

The Monastery keeps many invaluable historical and religious items including 5000 year old world’s largest prayer beads from Japan, religious dance clothes and items and rare booksThe monastery’s annual income reaches 600 million tugriks, 500 million of which usually got to administration costs with remaining amount spent on annual restoration works. Lamas also told the Minister that when conducting restoration works they try to keep the use of spikes at minimum in order to preserve the monastery’s original build technique. Complex buildings were originally built without a single spike using only block mechanisms.

mongolian-dashchoilin-monastery-complex

The administration of the monastery explained that circus teams have been renting one of the monastery buildings for training purposes since the privatization of the Mongolian circus building in 2006. The Minister, Mrs. Oyungerel since both Buddhist religion and circus are valuable cultural heritages of Mongolia she will find the way to preserve both heritages and informed that a new circus building has been planned.

The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Mongolia, Oyungerel Ts. appreciated the monastery's effort to grasp cultural tourism opportunity while urging to keep the monastery’s original state as much as possible when conducting restoration works in order to develop it as a popular tourist destination in Ulaanbaatar city and expressed her willingness to cooperate on that matter.

 

 

Source: The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Mongolia, Assa