Gusinoozersky (Tamchinsky) datsan in Buryatia: history, description

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Gusinoozersky (Tamchinsky) datsan in Buryatia: history, description
Gusinoozersky (Tamchinsky) datsan in Buryatia: history, description

Gusinoozersky (Tamchinsky) datsan is a monastery-university of Russian Buddhists located in Buryatia. It has a rich and eventful history, as well as beautiful temple architecture. This article will tell about the datsan, the history of its creation, its features and much more.


Tamchinsky datsan is located in the village of Gusinoye Ozero, belonging to the Selenginsky district of the Republic of Buryatia in Russia. It was founded in 1741 by Lama Lubsan-Zhimba on the banks of the Temnik River. Initially, the datsan was a simple felt yurt. A little later, it was moved to its current location, on one of the banks of Goose Lake, to Mount Tsogto Khongor.

Datsan buildings in the 19th century

The new place for the construction was indicated by the Shireete Lama (cathedral, throne) of the Tsugolsky datsan Damba-Darjey.

The Tamchinsky datsan was built in 1750. It is worth noting that this was the first building of this type in the Russian Empire, built of wood.

33 years later, Gusinoozersky and four more datsans, located on the left bank of the Selenga River,separated from the main Buddhist monastery, standing in the village of Tsugol. In fact, the Tamchinsky datsan becomes the residence of the highest ranks of Siberian Buddhists.

Datsan in the XIX-XX centuries

In 1848, the monastery complex already included 17 churches. In the period from 1858 to 1870, the Buryat Buddhist clergy enlisted the support of the leadership of Eastern Siberia and erected the main temple - Tsogchen (house of the general assembly) from stone.

main temple

In 1861, a religious philosophical school was opened at the datsan to train the future Buddhist clergy. This contributed to the emergence of a large number of Buddhist scholars of a very high level.

Tamchinsky datsan in Buryatia was the religious center of Buddhists until 1930. However, when the anti-religious campaign reached its peak, in 1938 the datsan had to be closed. Three years later, a prison for political prisoners was located in its buildings, and an anti-religious museum was opened in one of its buildings.

Second half of the 20th century

In 1957, the government of the Buryat autonomy issued a decree that declared the Tamchinsky datsan a monument of history and architecture. In 1960, large-scale restoration work began.

deer stone

In 1973, some relics from the datsan were transferred to the Ethnographic Museum of the Trans-Baikal Peoples, which is located in Ulan-Ude.

In mid-September 1989, at the level of the foundation of one of the dilapidated buildings of the datsan, the monks discovered the Deer Stone, which wassplit into six parts. Such stones were installed next to the graves or directly on them. They are attributed to the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age. Craftsmen from the Hermitage were invited to restore it. A year later, the stove was completely restored and then installed in front of the entrance to the main building of the datsan.

In 1990, the Tamchinsky datsan was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Central Buddhist clergy of the USSR. A year later, the 14th Dalai Lama visited him.

Description of datsan

Datsan is a fairly large village with a regular grid of streets. In the central part of the rectangular village (130 x 150 meters), the main temple of the datsan was created, which consisted of three floors - Tsogchen (house of the general assembly). Around it were seven smaller temples (dugans, sume).

Datsan buildings

Among the small temples, the Maidari temple stands out, which has two tiers. It houses a twelve-meter statue of the Bodhisattva Maidari (Buddha of the coming time). It was created by Buryat cabinetmakers and covered with a layer of gilding.

In one of the buildings of the Tamchinsky datsan there was a printing house that printed books in Mongolian and Tibetan.

The main temple of the datsan

The project of Tsogchen - the main temple of the datsan - was created by the architect of the monastery, and then signed by the supreme lama. The lower floor of the datsan, made of stone, reached a height of five meters and had an almost square shape around the perimeter. Inside the first floor there are 30 columns, and a six-column portico adjoins it. In thatthe hall gathered all the lamas and monks during various ceremonies.

Buddha in the main temple

In the northern part of the hall there are various Buddha statues, which are located on special pedestals, and altars are installed next to them. Other walls are lined with images of the Buddha, as well as decorations made from various fabrics.

The second floor of the main temple was created from logs and then sheathed with planks. It is crowned with an elegant roof, each corner of which is bent upwards. The temple reaches a height of about 19 meters and looks quite impressive. At present, in the Tamchinsky datsan, the lama race (Budaev) is constantly located on the territory of the temple; some pilgrims manage to communicate with him, which is considered a great success.

The main temple of the datsan is a vivid example of Buryat temple architecture of the 19th century and is rightfully considered an architectural monument.

Tamchinsky datsan: how to get there

Datsan is located 150 km from Ulan-Ude, which used to make the journey there quite long. However, in November 2015, a new road was built, which allows you to get to the datsan with comfort. It will not be possible to get from Ulan-Ude, but you can get to Gusinoozersk. To do this, at the Selenga bus station, you need to take a bus following the route: Ulan-Ude - Kyakhta. After an hour and a half you will reach Gusinoozersk. In order to get to the datsan itself, you will have to hitchhike.

Many get to the Tamchinsky datsan by taxi. The journey from the bus station to Ulan-Ude will cost 800 rubles.

Arriving atUlan-Ude and getting acquainted with its many sights and stunning nature, you should definitely visit the Tamchinsky Datsan, which has preserved the original and interesting culture of Buryatia.

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