Photographer's Note

Abtai Sain Khan, ruler of the Khalkha Mongols and grandfather of Zanabazar, the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, ordered construction of the Erdene Zuu monastery in 1585 after his meeting with the 3rd Dalai Lama and the declaration of Tibetan Buddhism as the state religion of Mongolia.

For centuries, Erdene Zuu Monastery was the most important religious shrine in Mongolia. In 1939 the communist leader Horloogiyn Choybalsan destroyed the monastery, in a purge that resulted in the disappearance of hundreds of monasteries in Mongolia and killed over ten thousand monks.

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Additional Photos by Zbigniew Kalinowski (fotka) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 728 W: 10 N: 2256] (9263)
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