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Ivolginsky datsan

Ivolginsky district
37 km.
50 min.
1 d.
Warm season
Cold season
Ivolginsky datsan

Ivolginsky (emphasis on the third syllable) datsan is the main spiritual place of Buryatia and the center of Russian buddhism. Its construction began in 1945 in an open field from the foundation of a simple wooden house. Monastery slowly expanded, and today it’s a complex that consists of 10 temples – dugans. To get acquainted with the datsan you first need to perform goroo – it’s a walk around the monastery complex and all the sacred places, strictly clockwise. A special path with prayer wheels alongside it (they are called khurde) is located on the complex, they also need to be rotated clockwise. Inside each wheel is a scroll with a mantra that you activate, so therefore you send it to the Gods. A lot of simple houses are located in the Western part of the complex, where lamas – doctors and astrologists – reside and take visitors. The most breathtaking building that always catches the attention of visitors is the Palace of the XII Khambo Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov. A well-known fact about him is that after his death in 1927 and his burial in a meditation pose, he still looks like a very old, but still alive human. Itigilov was officially recognized as a Saint in 2002. Access to his body is restricted, but for a small price (300 rubles) believers can see the imperishable body and ask for help and advice. It is said that everything people wish for while passing the Lama’s body comes true.