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Discover Mongolia’s heritage and traditions on Google Arts & Culture

This image captures the intricate meanders of the Tula River in Töv, Mongolia, showcasing its winding path through a diverse landscape. The river is bordered by vibrant green vegetation, creating a striking contrast with the surrounding sandy and rocky ar
The Tula River’s meanders, GoodPlanet Fndn.

Nestled in the heart of Central Asia, Mongolia is a land of boundless steppes, nomadic traditions and centuries of civilizations. From the intricate artistry of thangka paintings to the haunting melodies of traditional instruments, Mongolia's cultural treasures offer a glimpse into its unique history and identity.

As Mongolia celebrates National Flag Day and kicks off the Naadam festival, a traditional Mongolian celebration featuring wrestling, archery and horse racing, we invite you to explore Magnificent Mongolia, now available on Google Arts & Culture. This hub brings together more than 50 expertly-curated stories from seven institutions as a first step of our ongoing partnerships. Join us in celebrating our cultural treasures through these sights and stories:

1. Uncover the artistry of paintings

Mongolian thangka paintings are filled with symbolism, vibrant colors and detailed depictions of Buddhist deities and scenes. Visit the Fine Arts Zanabazar Museum to view their collection of thangka paintings, as well as masterpieces depicting Mongolian traditions. Or, head over to the National Art Gallery for some surrealist and contemporary works by masters like Enkhjargal Tsagaandari and Tsebegjav Ochir.

This painting is a detailed and colorful depiction of the Buddha, surrounded by various other figures and scenes. The Buddha is depicted in the center, sitting on a lotus throne with a serene expression and a green halo behind his head. The surrounding scenes include other smaller figures in different postures, animals, mythical creatures, and various elements of nature and architecture.

Twelve deeds of Shakyamuni Buddha from the collection of The Fine Arts Zanabazar Museum

2. Go on a virtual field trip

Start off at the National Museum of Mongolia, established in 1924 as the first museum in Mongolia. Here, you can learn about their prehistoric tools and instruments, or the ancient Mongolian empires from the 3rd to the 12th centuries. Stop by the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum, the former home of Mongolia’s last emperor, where you can learn about the Buddhist history and art in Mongolia. Lastly, finish off at the Landscapes of Dauria, where you might spot some migratory animals if you’re lucky.

This photo depicts the Temple of Arkhats, showcasing traditional East Asian architecture with its ornate design. The building features tiered, tiled roofs with upturned eaves and decorative elements. The entrance is framed by a central doorway, flanked by pillars, and topped with a richly decorated balcony and green roof tiles.

Temple of Arkhats from the collection of The Bogd Khaan Palace Museum

3. Learn about the history

If you’re a history buff, you’ve come to the right place. From late bronze-age deer stone monuments inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list to ancient tools and objects that guide you through Mongolia’s traditions and nomadic life, each artifact offers a glimpse into the heritage of past generations.

The image shows two ancient stone statues set against a backdrop of a grassy field, possibly at sunset or sunrise. The statues appear to be weathered and eroded, suggesting significant age. Each statue depicts a figure wearing a hat, and both are seated with hands resting on their knees or in a meditative pose.

The stone statues of Lamt from the collection of the Ministry of Culture, Mongolia

4. Trace the evolution of writing and printing

As early as 12,000 years ago, petroglyphic complexes discovered in the north-west Mongolian province of Bayan-Ulgii showcase detailed rock art depicting life in prehistoric times. The Duut Rock inscriptions and Dorje Zodpa Sutra are some of the earliest forms of writing and printing found in Mongolia.

The image depicts a traditional Tibetan Buddhist manuscript. It consists of several pages bound together. The script is written in white, yellow, red and blue ink on a black background. The manuscript is adorned with colorful illustrations of the Buddha, each depicted in a seated meditative pose, surrounded by a halo. A red cloth is partially covering the manuscript.

Kanjur Written in Nine Jewels from the collection of the Ministry of Culture, Mongolia

Embark on your virtual journey to Mongolia at on Google Arts & Culture, or download the app on Android or iOS..

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