Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, formerly anglicised as Ulan Bator, literally “Red Hero”, is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. The city is not part of any aimag (province), and its population as of 2014 was over 1.3 million, almost half of the country’s population. The municipality is in north central Mongolia at an elevation of about 1,300 meters (4,300 ft) in a valley on the Tuul River. It is the country’s cultural, industrial and financial heart, the centre of Mongolia’s road network and connected by rail to both the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia and the Chinese railway system.

The city was founded in 1639 as a nomadic Buddhist monastic centre. It settled permanently at its present location, the junction of the Tuul and Selbe rivers, in 1778. Before then, it changed location 28 times, each new location being chosen ceremonially. In the twentieth century, Ulaanbaatar grew into a major manufacturing center.

(Pictures taken in 2009)

Sükhbaatar Square is the central square of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar. The square was named for Mongolian’s revolutionary hero Damdin Sükhbaatar shortly after his death in 1923. The square’s name was changed to Chinggis Square in 2013 in honor of Genghis Khan, considered the founding father of Mongolia, but the original name was restored in 2016. The center of the plaza features an equestrian statue of Damdin Sükhbaatar, while a large colonnade monument dedicated to Genghis Khan, as well as to Ögedei Khan and Kublai Khan, dominates the square’s north face directly in front of the Saaral Ordon (Government Palace).

The Government Palace also known as the State Palace is located on the north side of Sükhbaatar Square in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. It houses various state organs such as the State Great Khural and offices of its members, as well as the offices of the President and Prime Minister. It is sometimes referred to by Ulaanbaatar residents as the “Saaral Ordon,” or “Gray Palace” in the Mongolian language due to the exterior’s former color (it was painted white in 2007).

The Choijin Lama Temple is a Buddhist monastery in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

The complex consists of six temples originally occupied by the brother of the ruler the Eighth Bogd Jetsun Dampa Khan, Choijin Lama Luvsankhaidav, who was the state oracle and ‘Precious Wisdom and Clear Devotion’ Khutugtu at the time. The complex was begun in 1904 and completed in 1908, in honor of the State Oracle Lama Lubsanhaidub /Losang Kedrup/, brother of the eighth Bogd Khan. The Choijin Lama Museum was originally a Buddhist temple complex, consisting of one main and five branch temples. It was active until 1937, when it was closed during the height of Communist repression against Buddhism and other religious traditions. In 1938 the complex was re-established as museum due to skillful efforts of wise people. This was how it was saved throughout communism.

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