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Photographer's Note

The Ivolginsk Datsan is located south of the city of Ulan-Ude and definitely worth a day-trip! The experience of getting there is already an adventure and once you have arrived by marshrutka (mini-bus) in the small village of Ivolginsk you just have to walk to the monastery or convince someone going that direction with the car to take you with him/her (which we did).

Although everyone (including our guide books) ensures that this datsan is small and not so impressive for those who have visited such places in Asia I found the atmosphere there very peaceful and calm and was really happy that we decided to go there.

The monks seem to like Coca Cola too as we saw when leaving the place again as this huge Coke truck arrived (almost hitting the poor cow!) in order to supply the tiny kiosk outside the site of the monastery again. You can visit the monastery for free but make sure you only walk clockwise both on the site and within the buildings! If not, the monks will politely but no less clearly advise you to do so.

The scenery reminded me somewhat of the many photos I have seen of Mongolia - which is not really a surprise as Ivolginsk is not too far away from the Mongolian border. I am going to post one or two more pictures from the monastery itself over the next few days.

The monastery also has its own website (unfortunately in Russian only at present): http://www.datsan.buryatia.ru

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Additional Photos by Ulrike EG (Theana) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 100 W: 2 N: 137] (623)
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