Günjiin Süm information
Surrounded by magnificent forests and not far from a lovely river, the Baruun Bayan Gol, this Buddhist temple (elevation 1713m) was built in 1740 by Efu Dondovdorj to commemorate the death of his Manchurian wife, Amarlangui. Once part of a huge monastery containing about 70 sq metres of blue walls, five other temples and a tower, Günjiin Süm is one of very few Manchurian-influenced temples in Mongolia to survive over the centuries. Only a couple of buildings and walls remain.
Unlike most other monasteries in Mongolia, Günjiin Süm was not destroyed during the Stalinist purges, but simply fell into ruin from neglect, vandalism and theft.
The temple is not a must – there are many better and more accessible temples and monasteries in Ulaanbaatar and Töv – but more of an excuse for a great overnight trek , on horse or foot, or as part of a longer trip in the national park.
Günjiin is about 25km by foot (or horse) from the UB-2 hotel , heading in a northwest direction. The jeep trail is longer (about 40km in total), as you need to skirt around the mountains, but easier if you don’t want to walk the hills. You can do the trip on your own with a good map and compass (or GPS) but it’s best to take a local guide.