PHOTO: IKH BURKHANT

Translator E.Oyun-Erdene GoGo.mn

2020-07-07 10:22 GMT+8

There is an old saying that Japanese pilots who flew with the command to drop a bomb near Khalkha river flew over the God statue several times, but they did not drop the bomb out of respect for this magnificent artwork...

In the territory of Khalkha river soum of Dornod province, there is a unique cultural and historical beauty called Ikh Burkhant in 35 km north of the soum center, along the bank of Khalkha river, in the coordination of northern latitude 47°52'23" and eastern longitude 118°27'13 at an altitude of 655 meters above sea level. 

The art work is directed from the southeast to the northwest, using the slopes of the mountains. The image of the great god is clearly visible.


The masterpiece was created between 1859 and 1864 by carving natural stone on the ground. It is said that similar designs and sizes do not exist in Mongolia or Central Asia.

Let’s describe the history of this unique cultural treasure at first.

In the middle of the 19th century, Setsen Khan province, or the current geographical location of Sukhbaatar, Khentii, Dornod, Govisumber provinces, and most of the counties around Chita, Russia, and Lake Hulun, China, was hit by natural disasters and droughts. And the lives of the people became very difficult.

For this reason, Togtokhtur Bat-Ochir, Ilden Jun Van of the Setsenkhan Province of Khalkha, as known throughout Mongolia as the To Van, gathered the noble monks to find out the reason. Eventually, they decided to create an image of God named Janraisag. 

Located in the easternmost part of Mongolia, the locals call this god Aryabal the Savior of the Eight Dangers. I later heard from someone who knew that this god was protecting Mongolia from the east.

From a religious point of view, it seems so. Perhaps the Japanese invaders were defeated because they were unable to attack beyond the region. 







Thus, 11 of the 23 counties of Setsen Khan agreed to donate to the creation of the gods, and Togtokhtur himself was personally responsible for the construction work.

Jigvajidjav Janraiseg, a 12-foot-tall copper statue near the Temple of Culture in Tamsag Bulag, near Utai Mountain, collapsed when he first tried to build it. Three stations on the west side of their winter palace, on the eastern slopes of Mount Crow, the first place where the sun rises, another statue was built for two years, but slipped and fell again of heavy rains.

So they decided to create the statue of God on the west bank of the Khalkha River, on the slope to the east, on the sunny slope, where God now resides.

This place is mentioned in the Secret History of Mongols, as Genghis Khan moved through the province after the destruction of the Hereid state, and spent the winter and spring of 1203-1204. 

In order to avoid burdening the local people with charitable donations, the idea was to build with natural stone, and one ox cart was mobilized from each family with livestock.

Construction work of the god statue had failed twice before and had gained a great deal of experience, so the artwork was rebuilt  in a 220x97 area.

Unfortunately, Mongolia has been dominated by atheism since the 1940s, and we Mongolians have destroyed this unique masterpiece of Buddhism. One example is the use of stone in the name of building foundations and garages (1960-1975). In fact, during the Khalkha river war of 1939, not a single bullet hit the statue, and even our enemy cared about it so much. 

When Buddhism was restored several years later, restoration of the statue was made with cements in 1996, but it was not successful due to wrong technique of reconstruction. Sketch of the statue is stored in the museum of Choibalsan city, Dornod province. 

In 2007, the government resolution №3 to restore the God statue was made and implementation was planned between 2008-2015. When we arrived in mid-June 2016, the process of the God statue restoration had already begun. A closer look revealed that the cement had been cleaned. 

Sooner or later, if you visit Dornod province, I recommend you to visit Dornod province museum, and see this wonderful artwork.


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