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Most Buddhist Monasteries in Mongolia were destroyed during the communist regime, which lasted until 1990. One of the only to survive was Gandan Monastery, being used as a showcase for visitors.
It’s official name is Gandantegchinleng Khiid. This name signifies something like Great Place of Complete Joy or Great Way to the Cosmos. Literally it can be translated as:
- Gan = rejoyce
- Dan = perfect
- Teg = vehicle > Tegchin = Mahayna (Greater Vehicle)
- Leng = island
Which would result in Mahayana Island of Perfect Rejoice, with Island being a generally used metaphor for monastery. Gandan is the largest and most important monastery of Mongolia, with over 400 monks.