You'll hear desert winds whip the prayer flags on the campus of this expanding reconstructed monastery an hour’s drive south of Sainshand. Temples are colourful and alive with monks and their scrolls and drums. Halls smell of incense, and winds shift desert sands that bury paths between buildings. It's atmospheric to say the least and it developed around the cult of writer and leader of Mongolia's Red Hat Buddhists, Danzan Ravjaa, who many locals believe was a living god. The original monastery and three-storey theatre, built by Danzan Ravjaa in 1821, was destroyed in the 1930s.
Beyond the campus is Ravjaa's revered Shambhala site, where local followers come to chant and pray and feel his spirit. If you cross their paths you may be swept up in the moment and feel…something, even if it's just a contact high.