In Mongolia’s easternmost region, specifically 35 kilometers north of Khalkh Soum in Dornod province, you will discover a remarkable compound situated on the western bank of the Khalkh River. This compound encompasses a splendid statue of Janraisag/Avalokitesvara Buddha, adorned by 12 stupas and 20 god deities. These awe-inspiring structures are enclosed by double rectangular stone enclosures, measuring 220 by 97 meters and 113 by 63 meters.

One of the compound’s most notable attractions is the imposing eight-handed protective deity of Janraisag. Standing at an incredible height of 30 meters, this statue is perched on a 35° slope and ranks among Mongolia’s largest statues. Its construction was made possible through contributions from both monks and the public, with the necessary stones transported by a fleet of 1000 bullock carts. A team of 180 skilled craftsmen dedicated their expertise to bring this masterpiece to life.

The initiative to establish this statue was undertaken by Togtokhtur, also known as To Van, a respected Mongolian local regent between 1859 and 1864. Several factors motivated him in undertaking this monumental task:

  1. Symbolizing the protection of Mongolia’s eastern border, which neighbors Manchuria.
  2. Addressing the difficulties faced by the population during the mid-19th century, including droughts, disasters, and subsequent livestock loss and suffering. The statue provided a symbol of protection and solace.
  3. Recognizing the excessive expenditure of wealth and time by Mongolian worshippers who undertook pilgrimages to Tibet, China, and India. The establishment of this statue offered a more accessible holy site within Mongolia itself.

This compound, with its remarkable statue and array of structures, stands as a testament to the rich cultural and religious significance of Mongolia’s eastern region. It serves as a place of worship, providing solace, protection, and a sense of unity for both locals and visitors alike.