It is the largest and most significant monastery in Mongolia. The first temple of the monastery was built in 1809 and moved to the present location in 1838. Over the next century the monastery grew to include nine institutes, a library and housed around 5000 monks. Gandan became an important center for learning and practicing Buddha’s teachings in Mongolia.
In 1938, communism spread out in Mongolia, around 900 monasteries were destroyed and turned into museums. The monks were killed, jailed or forced to join the army.
In 1944, after a petition from several monks, Gandan Monastery was reopened, but its functions were carried out under the strict supervision of the socialist government.
In 1990, after Democracy and with Buddhism is flourishing once more, Gandan Monastery embarked on an ambitious restoration program around the country. There are currently 10 temples operating at Gandan monastery and approximately 900 monks.