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 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
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
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.
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
Other links to Mongolian Buddhism and the Environment
Link here to access the news story about the launch of the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook.
here to download the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook in English. (Please note this file is 1.15MB)
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.
here on how to make contact with the Sangha.
To download the A3 poster of a new thangka about Buddhists protecting Nature, link
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.