Every Bogd Khaan (head of state and religious leader) had his own temple-palace in which to live and pray.
Mongolia at one time had 700 such temples, but following the brutal Stalinist purges in 1937 only four temples remain – this among them. The 10-building complex was built for Khaan VIII Bogd. During his rule, he erected a winter palace in 1903 and later a “Ceremonial Gate” to celebrate Mongolia’s independence in 1911. The wooden buildings, constructed without nails, are a distinctive melding of Asian styles.