Ivolginsky Datsan

The Datsan, or Buddhist school located in the hills a few Kilometers from Ulan Ude, is a big center of Buddhist culture, housing temples, a library, a School for monks, and accomodation for visitors. 
There is a ceremony open to visitors every morning around 9 AM, in a richly ornated temple, with big Bouddha sculptures, colorful mandalas and a special seat for the Dalai Lama, when he comes. Young monk students, dressed with long dark red robes can explain you round. Most of them speak different languages, they study Philosophy, or Tantrism, or Buddhist art and Tibetan language.
Buddist traditons - photo by Hugues - flickr.com/photos/chugues/4904081372/
In the library there are scripts with the words of Buddha and comments on his words: those texts are called Anjur and Ganjur. Prayer drums circle the territory of the Datsan, one should walk in a circle, in the same direction as the sun and stop at every drum to make it spinn. In a shrine is a big leafy tree, it’s a ‘ficus religios’ the same tree under which the Buddha reached enlightenment.
The Datsan is sited in a vast green place at the foot of the hills surrounding Baikal lake. The roofs of the temples and the colorful stuppas make the place look astonishing. Entrance is €2 and you can take a tour in English for €3. The monastery hotel is a simple building with water and toilets in the street costs €3 per night.
Ivolgsky Datsan near Ulan Ude - photo by Jason Rogers / flickr.com/photos/restlessglobetrotter/2873342102
To get there: from the bus station in Ulan-Ude there are buses at 10.00, 12.00, 17.40. It will take you about 40 minutes to get there and will cost €2. Taxi will cost around €20 one way.
To get back: shuttles leave at 8.00 from the entrance to the monastery. Bus pass at 9.00 and there are shuttles every hour till the evening.


Ivolginsky Datsan Ulan-Ude


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