Earth energy center - northern entrance to Shambhala in Gobi desert near Sainshand. Mongolia; Shutterstock ID 2089127335; your: Sloane Tucker; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI

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In 1853 Danzan Ravjaa told the local people that he would die in three years but that they could forever come to this place and speak to his spirit. Indeed, he died three years later and the site was marked by an ovoo. Shambhala is now surrounded by 108 new stupas (‘108’ being a sacred number in Buddhism).

Festivities are held here on 10 September, but at any time of year you may see families lighting incense, throwing rice, circling the ovoo and chanting into the wind with their palms up as if feeling an infusion from the spirit world.