Price: 125 USD per person per day ( 3 Days )
Khamar Monastery, an important Buddhist monastery to the Red Hat sect, was founded in 1820. Its founder, Danzanravjaa, chose the site believing that the surrounding area radiated with a spiritual energy fostered by the Gobi Desert. Danzanravjaa was an educator, poet, and harsh critic of Mongolian society. He founded the monastery in the desert to serve as a model of a more enlightened society. Containing a public library, museum, and poetry recital hall, the monastery was deeply engaged with the surrounding community. It was also home to Mongolia's first ever professional public theatre. During the communist purges in 1937, the monastery's lamas were driven out and the complex burned to the ground. Many of the lamas were executed and but others were spared if they would renounce their religious positions. The Khamar Monastery was re-established in the 1990s with the support of local religious communities. Currently, two small ceremonial temples and several religious monuments have been reconstructed, with more than ten lamas now in residence.
Day 1. The Eastern Gobi
In the morning, we will meet at your hotel and drive towards the Dornogobi province, where the Khamar Monastery is located. On the way, we will watch the Mongolian countryside change from forested steppe to barren desert. We will stop briefly in the capital, Sainshand, and visit some of local attractions.
Stay overnight in a ger camp. Lunch and Dinner
Day 2. Khamar Monastery
Very early the next morning, we will drive to some nearby sand dunes and watch the sunrise. Later we will visit the Khamar Monastery, and spend some time exploring the area. To the north of the monastery lies a series of caves where monks would exercise and meditate in isolation, some for up to 100 days at a time. This practice would harden their bodies and bones whilst allegedly expanding their physical and spiritual powers. Fossilized dinosaur bones, petrified wood, and other ancient remains are also widespread in the area. In the afternoon, we will have a chance to go camel riding.
Stay overnight in a local ger camp. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Day 3. Take Two
In the morning, we will pack up and head back to Ulaanbaatar. You will then be dropped off at your hotel.
Breakfast and Lunch