Ulaanbaatar City Tours – Bogd Khan Palace 

Ulaanbaatar City Tours, Homestays & City Travel Information – Mongolia

This palace complex was built between 1893 and 1903 for the 8th Bogd Javzandamba within today’s Ulaanbaatar City, the Theocratic Ruler of Mongolia. It served as a temple and Bogd Khan’s winter residence. The 8th Bogd Javzandamba was born in Lhasa in 1869 and was proclaimed the 8th Bogd Javzandamba in 1871. He arrived and was enthroned on the Bogd Gegeen’s throne in Khalkha Mongolia in 1874. From 1911 – 1919, the 8th Bogd Javzandamba was proclaimed the “Sunlit and Eternal” Theocratic King of Mongolia and served as the country’s constitutional monarch from 1921 to 1924, after the People’s Revolution. The Bogd Khan succumbed to illness and passed away at the age of 55 in the fall of 1924. 

The palace complex was turned into an Ulaanbaatar Museum in 1926 in accordance with orders from the Central Committee of the People’s Party and the Government. In April 1, 1926, historical, cultural, rare and unique personal effects and belongings of the Bogd Khan were transferred to the museum. Currently the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum comprises of two parts, the 7 “Wisdom and Glorifying” Summer Temples and the Winter Palace.  

The Winter Palace is a two-story European design building and the 7 Summer Temples are comprised of the following: The Maharajas Temple, Temple of Thangkas, Temple of Appliqués, Temple of Many Deities, the Library Temple, and the Labrang Temple. 

The Makhranzyn Temple was built in 1903, housing four Makhranz god-kings protecting the four continents. These figures are the biggest made using this specific paper manipulation technique. 

The Ravsa  from its tall ceiling hangs a bell to the left and a drum to the right. The Bogd Khan rang the bells for the gods up above the sky and beat the drum for the gods of the lands and waters. 

The Torgon Zurgyn Temple was used by the Bogd Khan for reading. The temple holds silk paintings and layered imaginations of the god of wealth Gongor, god of success Tsambagarav, guardian of buddhism Jamsran, founder of the Yellow Hat Sect Bogd Zonkhov and more made by renowned painters and skilled artisans of the time.  Additionally, it contained buddhist scrolls, which were moved to the National library in 1924.  

The Uran Zurgyn Temple has soil paintings of the wisdoms of the god Jigjid: “Гэгээний бодол”, “Сайн цагийн мянган бурхан”, Buddha’s biographies “Будда бурханы амьдрал”, “Будда болон найман бодь суварга” and paintings of the god of age Ayush. 

Inside the Naidan/Netan Temple 16 monks painted the 8th Bogd Khan’s picture for 3 days for his birthday. You can also find the whip, that was used to make way for the 8th Bogd through crowds of worshippers who wished to get his blessing, a gilded and jeweled shelf, the scarf he used to bless people with, a sandalwood incense tray and gilded sculptures of gods inside.  The Burkhany Temple contains gilded sculptures of a 14th century Tibetian Buddhist leader Banchin Bogd and other gods, as well as a portrait of the god Tsogdogmarav. 

The Lavrin Temple saw to the 8th Bogd’s prayers. Inside, you will find 21Taras, crafted by the 1st Bogd himself, a portrait of the Green Tara, and a portrayal of who is said to be the previous incarnation of the 1st Bogd, Jibzundarnat. 

The Bogd Khan’s Winter Palace is a two story building built in 1903 following designs made by architects from the Russian Empire. The palace now turned museum features artifacts used by the Bogd and his Queen. 

The list starts on the second floor with the queen’s attire and accessories made out of rare silks, metals and gems as well as ritual items used by the Bogd are also on display. Those items include a costume with ivory ornaments, his silver tools meant to fight evil and other garbs sewn with gold. The palace also features the Bogd’s seal alongside his throne and regalia.  

This exhibition continues into his bedroom with his ebony bed adorn with silks and jewels, a pair of musical chairs gifted by the Russian Tsar as well as other household items turned fancy. Moving downstairs,  you will spot some big bowls, used to punish those who came late to the Bogd’s feasts by forcing to drink fermented mare’s milk out of them. 

Finally we come across his animal exhibit, started in 1901, featuring taxidermies from all around the world; the Bogd kept parrots, monkeys, donkeys and an elephant, a gift from Mongolian noblemen. You may come across an unusual Ger. It was made using the pelts of 150 leopards, instead of the traditional felts used by nomads. 

GER to GER GEOtourism Mongolia - Ulaanbaatar City Tours and Attractions
GER to GER GEOtourism Mongolia - Ulaanbaatar City Tours and Attractions

SPECIALIZED ULAANBAATAR CITY TOURS & EXPERIENCES:

Ulaanbaatar City Tours, Homestays and Sightseeing Attractions

Ulaanbaatar City is the capital of Mongolia. Geographically, Ulaanbaatar city sits on the banks of River Tuul and in a valley between four mountains. According to the 2016 consensus, Ulaanbaatar City has 9 districts spread over 470,000 acres of land and 1,440,447 people, with 67 percent being under the age of 35.

Ulaanbaatar City originated in 1639 as a ger palace gifted to Zanabazar, when he was proclaimed as the First Bogd Khan. Following the nomadic ways, the city moved throughout the country 28 times before it grew too big to move in 1855 and settled in its current location. In the early days of Ulaanbaatar City’s history, it served as the political and religious center for Mongolia. 

By the 19th century, the once palace had turned into a proper city with religion, government, politics and trade with a population of twenty-thousand people. In 1924, the modern foundation of Ulaanbaatar City was divided into 13 districts, 4 of which were revamped into new districts in 1965, 5 were abolished and the youngest district was instated in 1992 when Ulaanbaatar City was declared the capital of Mongolia once again.