The Beautiful Landscape and The Sacred Surroundings of The Baldan Bereeven Monastery
The Baldan Bereeven Monastery and its surrounding scenery are located in the Baruun Jargalant River's long and deep gorge, as well as within many picturesque sacred mountains such as Munkh Ulziit, Arvan Gurvan Sansar, Bayan Baraat, and Bayan Khangai, all of which are Khentii mountain range branches. Inside the planned region is the stunning Lake of Khangal, which sits in front of the holy mountain Bayan Baraat, as well as the Jargalant Ovoo (cairn), which has been worshipped by indigenous nomadic people since ancient times.
Associated with cultural, religious, and worshipping sites
The Baldan Bereeven Monastery is situated in a cul-de-sac in the Jargalant River valley, which is well watered by the Jargalant River and has long been renowned for its rich vegetation and pasture for domestic animals, as well as now by famous herdsmen people. Such a natural environment has attracted nomadic people from prehistoric times until now, which explains why this valley is associated with cultural, religious, and worshipping sites.
During its more developed time, the Monastery served as the main religious center in Eastern Mongolia, with an estimated 5000-7000 lamas. Tsogchin Temple's main structure was completed in 1813.
How It Was Constructed
The Baldan Bereeven Monastery was constructed with the distance of its view, the direction of the wind, and the amount of sunlight in mind. The monastery's environment is unusual in that it combines the ancient geomancies of Central Asian shamanism with those of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism to create a Mongolian Buddhist cultural landscape for nomadic people.
Baldan Bereeven Monastery was established with the aim of establishing Buddhist monastic places in Mongolia similar to those found in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, which was difficult to reach and far away from Mongolia.
Located in the most picturesque location
A monastery, according to traditional Mongolian building and temple planning, must be located in the most picturesque location while not defiling its pristine view and setting. The monastery is skillfully incorporated into the surrounding natural scenery of mountains, cliffs, forests, and lake, in addition to symbolic spiritual and religious principles. It also houses a significant amount of valuable artistic content in the form of rock art, painting, and sculpture.
The Baldan Bereeven Monastery now houses three restored temples as well as nearly 50 ruins of temples, stupas, and other religious buildings. Along the over 1000 m pilgrimage path, there are numerous cliff carvings, stone carvings with various images of Buddhist gods, inscriptions of religious mantras and the Mongolian symbol ‘'Soyombo," stone sculptures of gods, and other religious and art works. They have invaluable physical and historical resources for the study of Tibetan Buddhism's spread in Mongolia. They not only form a significant religious and sacred landscape, but they also provide vivid evidence of Mongolian people's traditional affection for the sacred mountain.
Excellent example of nomadic pastoralism's traditional land use and culture
The proposed sacred landscape is an excellent example of nomadic pastoralism's traditional land use and culture, which is closely linked to shamanistic world views and practices, as well as Buddhist ideals of benevolence and reverence for nature and sacred sites. The ecosystem surrounding the Baldan Bereeven Monastery is one of the last remaining examples of a true pastoral management regime of the grasslands and a nomadic way of life with herdsmen moving their flocks in season transhumance, both of which have become increasingly fragile as a result of modern society's negative effects and irreversible environmental changes.
The Baldan Bereeven Monastery is the only monastery in the area that has been used for worshiping ceremonies of the region's most sacred mountains. This proposed property has its own set of traditional worshiping practices, rituals, ceremonies, and symbols that date back to ancient times and were created through shamanism before being influenced by Buddhist teachings, concepts, symbols, and tradition.
The monastery is unique and Important
Baldan Bereeven Monastery is unique and important as the site of the introduction and spread of Tibetan Buddhism among nomadic Mongols in remote areas. In comparison to other similar Buddhist monasteries in Asia, the Baldan Bereeven Monastery is also unique in that it offers very particular architectural features, and it continues to testify to the planning features of fusion of Mongolian national architecture and Tibetan style architecture and monastic structures. Other Buddhist monasteries that have survived in Mongolia were constructed using Mongolian national style and Chinese Buddhist architectural traditions.
The Baldan Bereeven Monastery and its surrounding sacred landscape are direct evidence of the systematic communist victimization of national tradition, history, and sacred site worshipping practices in the 1930s, as well as ideological Stalinist destruction of religious buildings and monasteries, which was a great tragedy for the Mongols. Baldan Bereeven Monastery is also Mongolia's only Buddhist monastery, with architectural structures based on Tibetan monastic architecture and a monastery that has survived partial destruction due to religious persecutions.
Survival and rebirth of Mongolian traditional culture and religious traditions
It is not an exaggeration to say that during that time period, national customs, ceremonies, and particularly religious and worshipping traditions were restricted or obliterated. Mongolia, on the other hand, has opened up to the rest of the world and embarked on a new direction of growth since 1990. Mongolian culture, tradition, and religious beliefs have begun to resurface. Proposed sacred sites are now witnesses to the survival and rebirth of Mongolian traditional culture and religious traditions such as sacred mountain worship, as well as the restoration of religious structures.
The Baldan Bereeven Monastery and its sacred environs reflect a rare fusion of Shamanism and Buddhism, demonstrating the significant interchange and evolution of world spiritual and religious cultures in a remote part of the Central Asian Steppe belt where nomadic pastoralism, life style, and culture still exist.
A Sacred Site
The proposed property possesses the majority of the key distinguishing features of a Sacred Site. The sacred Baldan Bereeven and its sacred surroundings, as well as the sacred Burkhan Khaldun and Binder Mountains, are exemplary testaments to Mongolia's peculiar religious heritage and culture, as well as the particular important tradition and practices of Mongolian nomadic people worshiping sacred sites within a cultural region of Eurasia. The Baldan Bereeven Monastery is the only monastery in the area that has been used for worshiping ceremonies of the region's most sacred mountains.