Tibetan Buddhism, also called Northern Buddhism, spread to Mongolia in the 13th century around the time that the Khans brought Tibet into the Mongol empire. It was then that Buddhism joined Shamanism as one of the main faiths of the land. During the Communist regime all religion was crushed by the government and more than 700 temples were destroyed, while hundreds of monks were killed. However, after 1990 Mongolia has seen a resurgence in the religion and it is incredibly popular today.
During our joint trip with OEX, the clients and our crew visited the Erdene Zuu monastery at Karakorum, the capital of the Mongol Empire between 1235 and 1260.
Photo credits: Ryan Dunn (flickr: flyhighry) and Petra Elfström
Sources: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Karakorum – Wikipedia