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Elsen Tasarkhai

Khugnu-Tarna is a protected national park in the Bulgan province of Mongolia. The park headquarters are in the village of Rashaant east of the place. Elsen Tasarkhai is small sand dunes, 80 km long, continuously lies in the lowland of legendary Khugnu Khaan and Bat Khaan mountains. Sand dunes represents landscape, climate & ecology of Gobi Desert, in this region. This place also know Piece of Sands in English translation. 

Uvgun khiid Monastery is in the Khugnu Khaan Mountain and is an architectural monument of the time of the Galdan Khan's invasion of the west Mongolians. It is the ruins of Buddhist monastery from the 17th century. It is located in a small valley named as Khiidiin Am almost completely surrounded by rocky mountains. The name of the monument is “Uvgun", which means "old man". According to the some legends, the monastery was built here by the Tibetans in the mid-17th century. Lkhalambaldorj lama built the monastery during the time when he had been wandering and escaping in Mongolia after he defeat Tibetan king Lkhandarma. The roof of the monastery built with a golden pinnacle. According to scientists, the monastery was inhabited for as much as 50 years.  During the time of Khalkh-Oird war, in the 18th century, Oird's military expedition from west Mongolia was conducted in the Khugnu Khaan Mountains. They had looked the Zanabazar who was the leader of Mongolian Buddhism of that time through surrounding mountains. Locals covered the golden pinnacle by some materials for the reason of hide the monastery from Galdan's soldier. after few days of searching the Zanabazar, Galdan's cavalry columns are heading back their home place Oirat Mongolia, a old woman said "Galdan's soldier already went, lets take covers of the golden pinnacle". Then people took the covers and last soldier of Galdan khaan suddenly looked back and sew golden pinnacle of the roof of main temple. Then the army turn back to the monastery and captured all of monks and nuns and killed them by method like Mongols slaughter sheep. The monastery was burnt down and lost its glory.

From that time, in 1693, the Zanabazar was built another monastery named Erdenekhamba commemorating for his religious teacher Erdene Tsorj in west south part of the Uvgun monastery. Numerous religious items and artifacts are transferred to the newly built monastery but later in 1937, the monastery also destroyed by communists of Mongolia under the Soviet Russian pressure. But it remains beautiful set of ruins. Raw violence of the destruction at Ongiin Khiid was still visible, still palpable, even though it happened over years ago.

In the 1992s, it was decided to rebuild the monastery. During the years a stupa and main temple were raised among the shattered foundations, they were put to use in 2004. Walking between 2 ruins of the monasteries took 1 hours.  

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