Shankh Khiid Buddhist Monastery


Visit Guide to Shankh Khiid Buddhist Monastery

Located in Övörkhangai province in Central Mongolia, Shankh Khiid Buddhist Monastery is one of the country’s oldest and most significant monasteries. Founded in 1648 by Zanabazar, it’s one of the few monasteries in Mongolia that was not destroyed during the 1937 communist purge. It lies close to the famed temples of Kharkhorin (Karakorum) and stands as a testament to Mongolia’s rich spiritual heritage.

Getting There

Shankh Khiid is 26km south of Kharkhorin en route to the village of Shankh. From Ulaanbaatar there are two daily buses to Kharkhorin, a seven hour journey.

What to Expect

Home to 25 monks, the secluded Shankh Monastery exudes both an enchanting and serene atmosphere that takes you back in time to the Middle Ages. It’s a subdued and low-key place and you’ll likely get to meet one of the resident monks who are sect of the yellow hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Its main temple houses the seven Kalachakra Mandalas  hat depicts all 722 deities of Kalachakra.


One of Mongolia’s oldest and culturally significant monasteries, Shankh Khiid was founded by spiritual leader Zanabazar in 1648 when he was just 12. However it wasn’t until 1787 when the building was constructed after settling on its present location. It is believed it was built to protect Chinggis Khaan’s black military banner. At one time it was home to more than 1500 monks until it was forced to close in 1937.

Facilities Available

There are no facilities or services available at the monastery, but 26km to the north is the town of Kharkhorin, which has certain amenities.

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