This is the only reconstructed temple building within the ruins of the complex. Our young girl guide showed us various aspects of it with our tour guide translating what she said for us.
We were shown around the monastery complex by a young girl whose family lives on the complex site. In the museum, inside a ger, we showed us old stone work and wooden posts left from the destruction by the Communists.
Formerly one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia, Ongi Temple was founded in 1760 and combined two temple complexes on the north and south sides of the Ongi River. The older southern side consisted of various administrative buildings which were linked to the northern side by a bridge over the river which has long since disappeared but you can still see the base foundations of it. It used to have around 1000 monks bustling about their daily services in the 30-odd temples that were originally here. I say originally, as the whole monastery was destroyed by Stalin’s cronies in the 1930's and 200 monks were killed and many more imprisoned or forced to join the Communist army. Other monks escaped certain death by becoming farmers and common workers. The temple was then simply left to decay further. However, after the end of Communism in 1990, 3 monks returned where they had begun their Buddhist education as young children some 60 years prior. Slowly, these monks started laying new foundations upon old ruins with a vision of restoring the temple.
Our ger camp, which I think was called Tsagaan Ovoo, had a nice, new, ger shaped small restaurant. For dinner the evening we stayed there they served us stew with rice and veg. Like all the Ger camps we visited, they serve soft drinks and bottled beer which you have to pay extra for.