Ariyabal Meditation Temple

2021-04-14 17:55:41

Located 60 km from Ulaanbaatar, there lies a certain landmark near Melkhii Khad or Turtle Rock at Khuukhen Mountain - the Ariyabal Meditation Temple. Alongside the temple, stairs leading up to it were built in 1998-2004 with stones in the shape of an elephant’s trunk. Upon entering the temple’s gates, information boards with Buddhist quotes are placed along the path.

Inside the temple, there are sculptures of Buddha and the eight-armed Ariyabal or Migjid Janraisig (Avalokiteśvara) placed at the back wall. Surrounding the structure of the temple, peculiar illustrations of three worlds or heaven, earth, and hell are also drawn at the bottom of the roof. Also, turning the 108 prayer wheels around the temple is considered equivalent to chanting the mantra ‘Om mani padme hum’ numerous times.


While the six-syllable mantra is engraved in colors on the mountain slope to the left of the Ariyabal Temple, the palace dedicated to Zandan Zuu (Sandalwood Jowo) is on its right. According to Buddhism, it is believed that the religion of Buddhism exists where the Zandan Zuu is located.


To the northwest of the temple, you can find one of the main “symbols” of meditation of Mahayana Buddhists - the Myal Bogd cave. Having lived during the 11th century, Myal Bogd was a man that went through hardship in life, serving as a great example of becoming enlightened through meditation. Representing wisdom, compassion, and indestructible power, portraits of the three great Bodhisattvas Manzushir (Manjushri), Ariyabal, and Ochirvaani (Vajrapani) are found to be hung on the cave wall. Furthermore, based on the actual size of Buddha’s feet, there is also a Buddha footprint created with 80 symbols and 32 patterns. 


At the end of the path ascending, a monument can be found with a stele placed on top of the back of a turtle, with an illustration of the White Old Man at the bottom. 


The Ariyabal Meditation Temple was decided to be built after a Tibetan monk considered the location quite suitable due to its great natural energy and nearby spring.