The monastery was established and funded by order of Manchu Yongzheng Emperor (and completed under his successor the Qianlong Emperor) to serve as a final resting place for Zanabazar (1635–1723), the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, or spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism for the Khalkha in Outer Mongolia. Zanabazar was a spiritual mentor to both emperors’ ancestor, the Kangxi Emperor.
Tradition states that while searching for an appropriate site to build the monastery, explorers came across two young boys, Amur and Bayasqulangtu, playing on the steppe. The explorers were inspired to build the monastery on that very spot and to name it after the two children, Amur-Bayasqulangtu.
More likely, the location was chosen because it was where the lama’s traveling Da Khuree (his mobile monastery) was encamped at the moment of the his death. After being constructed from 1727 to 1736, Zanabazar’s remains were transferred to the monastery in 1779.
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