THE HEAVENLY TEMPLES OF THE HIGH MOUNTAINSTHIS IS ONE OF THE FEW FULL LEFTOVER BUDDHIST TEMPLES IN MONGOLIA WHILE COMMUNISM AND WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE SITE
The monastery located in the dense forested and picturesque mountain Shijvee at an elevation of 2200 m above sea level and it been considered as one of the few high located temples in Asia. The Tuvkhun temple is where first Bogd, Zanabazar's retreat outside of Erdene Zuu Monastery and he spent most of the life there. There are several temples, two small caves, where the first saint Zanabazar and other famous Mongolian and Tibetan Lamas meditated, another cave called Mother's belly. If someone entered and get out from this cave, there is the hope of having their faults washed away in the next rebirth. The first temple of Tuvkhun monastery was built in 1653, believers who gathered in Erdene Zuu monastery decided to build a special Monastery for Zanabazar's retreat. Researchers have determined that this first temple was the meditation studio of Undur Gegeen Zanabazar. The monastery was restored in 1760 and 1786. Following this decision the Monastery Tuvkhun was built at Shireet Ulaan, the most beautiful scenery in Khangai Mountains and he called it Land of Happy Secluded Place.
Zanabazar's greatest masterworks, including “Varajradhara”, Green Tara, White Tara 1685, Twenty One Taras, the Five Dhyani Buddhas, walking Maitreya and many others, were created in the mid-1680s at Tuvkhun Monastery, his works testify to his exceptional skill of depicting feminine beauty as well as his unique aesthetic vision of human physical perfection. His sculptures, portraying peaceful and contemplative female figures, are beautifully proportioned with facial features characterized by high foreheads, thin, arching eyebrows, high-bridged noses, and small, fleshy lips. Especially beautiful are the faces of Zanabazar's Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in deep meditation. Guided by a desire to liberate the people from wrath, ignorance, lust, contempt and ill will – the five vices giving rise to all sins.
Zanabazar established unique features for Mongolian Buddhism including Tibetan influenced yet redesigned lama robes, reworked melodies for chanting, and modifications of traditional ceremonies either in the melodies or by the introduction of new prayer texts which he composed. In 1686 he designed the Soyombo script to facilitate cross translations between Mongolian, Tibetan, and Sanskrit. Today, the script is found mostly in historical texts and in religious and temple inscriptions. However, one special character of the script, the Soyombo symbol, later became a national symbol of Mongolia and has appeared on the national flag since 1921, and on the Emblem of Mongolia since 1960, as well as money, stamps.
One undamaged temple and foundations of buildings, wooden floors, ruins of some temples were protected by the Ovorkhangai province in 1971 and by the State in 1994. A restoration design for the undamaged temple was made in 1992. The stunning beauty of wild nature in surrounding areas make you refreshed and enthusiastic.