Ivolginsky datsan "Khambyn Khure". The full name is "The Abode of the Wheel of Learning, Bringing Happiness and Full of Joy." One of the largest, if not the largest, Buddhist settlements in Russia. The center of the Buddhist sangha in our country, the Republic of Buryatia.
Approximately in the center of the settlement is the palace of Khambo Lama Itigelov, the head of the Oriental Buddhists, who went to nirvana almost 75 years ago at the age of 75 and, according to local monks, is still in a state of meditation. Rumor has it that he is as if actually alive, but that’s not accurate. Photographing him is not allowed, medical research is prohibited. One way or another, it was an outstanding ascetic of Buddhist teachings, an exclusively educated lama.
Lion guard. At the entrance to the Duhans sit two of these. Each protects good people from dark forces and guards the globe - a symbol of Buddhist knowledge.
In the shadow of one of the guards, a local cat loves to relax. Apparently, he is meditating.
Tsogchen-Dugan. The main temple complex of the Ivolginsky datsan.
Hurde Buddhist ritual drums with mantras are located everywhere. They are supposed to rotate strictly clockwise while passing the sacred circle of the city, which contributes to the accumulation of virtue.
Behind the reels in the photo you can see a small building. This is Choira Dugan - the philosophical faculty of the University of Buddhism "Dasha Choinhorlin". The building of the university itself rises in the background in the picture. Surprisingly, this is a real university with an official license. I asked our guide what are the conditions for entering a university. It turned out that the main condition is a written presentation of the future student by one of the datsans.
In Choira Dugan, local lamas sit with books amid incense and sway slightly, swiftly and monotonously say something. I suppose they read mantras. Monks do not pay any attention to tourists, but out of courtesy it is still worth behaving extremely quietly, of course.
Other attributes of Buddhism are widely represented - Suburgan - memorial Buddhist complexes. If I understand correctly, they are erected in honor of the Buddha Shakyamuni, either in honor of the teachers, or on the occasion of some memorable events.
Nogon Dari Ehyn is a dugan of Green Tara. In a nutshell, this is such a Buddhist goddess (or incarnation, here I am not strong in terminology), which gives strength and helps to overcome obstacles.
The Green Tara mantra sounds like "Om dari dudari duri suuha". This mantra is repeatedly written around the perimeter of the roof of the Dugan.
Maani Dugan. This is the Avalokiteshvara Compassion Bodhisattva Temple. In turn, Avalokiteshvara is a bodhisattva, the embodiment of the infinite compassion of all buddhas with the tail of a peacock. And don't ask me what it all means
Mantra Avalokiteshvara - "Om mani padme hum", which means "Oh, a pearl shining in a lotus flower!"
There are other dugans, as well as a library and a museum, a greenhouse in which, according to legend, a tree grows from a seedling taken from the Bodhi tree, under which Prince Gautama became an enlightened Buddha during long meditations.
Now the so-called gastronomic tourism has become widespread. This is not my hobby, but was it possible to visit practically the border of Buryatia and Mongolia and not try the local national dishes? Of course not! Baikal omul is not considered (although it is endemic, but still just very tasty fish of traditional smoking), but the famous buuzy is the most perfect omelet. If they are made from quality products, I want to emphasize this especially. The Russians call them the word “poses,” but this is still wrong. The dish itself is similar to manti, but of Mongolian-Buryat origin. If you are in Buryatia, be sure to try (you can ask me a couple of cafes in Ulan-Ude, where they are well prepared). In general, Buryat cuisine is very diverse, but, perhaps, personally, I could not eat everything.
On the territory of the Ivolginsky datsan there is a cafe that offers this famous dish. About this cafe, in particular, satirical writer Mikhail Zadornov spoke very well. Honestly, I would not really agree with him. Perhaps he had VIP service, it's hard to say, but I did not notice either high quality or good service. Alas. On the shore of Lake Baikal, we went to a family cafe with much more pleasant staff and tasty buuzas.
A great many tourists and pilgrims flock to the Ivolginsky datsan from all regions of Russia, near and far abroad. Especially a lot of visitors from Mongolia, but significantly the number of English- and German-speaking tourists. Advanced travelers like to move around the planet in their caravans. Near the datsan we came across two of these: one from France, the other from Germany.
Without a doubt, Ivolginsky datsan is one of the most interesting, vivid and amazing sights of Russia, leaving indelible bright memories in memory.
From Ulan-Ude to Ivolginsky datsan you can take the shuttle bus number 130 with a transfer to the minibus in Ivolginsk. Get about 70 roubles