Experience Mongolian Buddhist Traditions with Month Long Nomadic Expedition

Are Mongolia’s ancient, vibrant, mystical and spiritual traditions in jeopardy of being lost as the country shifts into the modern age? Short answer: Hopefully not. Long answer: To find out for yourself, join the Enlightenment Experience Celebration (EEC), a unique cultural and teaching event organized by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) to inspire Mongolians to embrace their Buddhist heritage.

The month-long event will be held in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar from May 26 – June 29, 2004. It includes an engaging line up of Buddhist teachings, a Relic Tour of rare Buddhist antiquities, and the largest non-profit concert ever held on Mongolian soil. The EEC will be strongly supported and enhanced by Nomadic Expeditions, the premier tour operator to Mongolia, which will add its own nimble touch at the conclusion of the event with a spectacular expedition to Kharakhorum, the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire.

One of Nomadic Expeditions’ most fascinating cultural excursions, the overland expedition to Kharakhorum is an inspiring overland excursion through central Mongolia, including breathtaking scenery, exotic preserves and historically important sites. You’ll visit the Bogdkhan Mountain Reserve, the world’s oldest protected area (since the 13th century) with dramatic cliffs, pine-scented valleys and the ruins of the Mandshir Monastery (c. 1749), still under reconstruction since its destruction by communists in the 1930s. In the Hustain Nuruu reserve, you’ll gain special access to the habitat of Przewalski’s Horse, the last remaining truly wild equine in the world and an important symbol of Mongolia’s horse-based culture. You’ll also overnight in “gers” traditional nomadic tented homes and intermingle with authentic Mongolian culture as you experience the warm hospitality of nomadic horse-breeder families.

It’s all a captivating prelude to Kharakhorum, site of the 13th-century capital of the Mongol Empire, from which Chingis Khan and his descendants administered the largest contiguous land empire in recorded history. Though only a few traces of this once-great city remain, you’ll also be captivated by the daily activity of Erdene Zuu, Mongolia’s largest monastery, and nearby Shankh Hiid, where renowned Buddhist artist and sculptor Zanabazar used to frequent. Coming on the heels of the EEC, Nomadic Expedition’s expedition to Kharakhorum is a slice of Mongolia thats not to be missed.

The overland expedition to Kharakhorum from Nomadic Expeditions runs June 23-June 29, 2004; the trip cost $695 per person. To make reservations or for more information, contact Nomadic Expeditions at 800-998-6634 or 609-860-9008 from outside the USA and Canada; or visit on-line at www.nomadicexpeditions.com

Nomadic Expeditions, the pioneer of exceptional adventures in Mongolia, offers more than two-dozen authentic cultural and adventure experiences throughout Mongolia, Tibet, Bhutan, Siberia and China, and operates the new Three Camel Lodge luxury ger camp in the heart of the Gobi Desert.

Whether or not you join the Kharakhorum Tour, the FPMT’s Enlightenment Experience Celebration is certain to be a captivating event. Among the highlights will be a series of Buddhist Teachings at the new Yidgaa Choetzin Monastery in central Ulaanbaatar, with two of the few incarnate lamas educated in Tibet: Demna Loco Rinpoche who served as Abbot of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Namgyal Monastery in India and Kyabje Choden Rinpoche who was selected to debate with His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama during His Holiness’s Geshe exams in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1951.

The EEC’s Relic Tour will give Mongolians and you the opportunity to contemplate unique relics of the Buddhas before they are permanently enshrined in a magnificent 500-foot high bronze Maitreya Buddha statue, which will tower three times the height of the Statue of Liberty when it is built in northern India. The EEC?s non-profit concert, which will be held on June 5 at the 30,000-capacity Naadam Stadium in Ulanbaatar, will offer young Mongolians the opportunity to be inspired by world-famous artists and Buddhist figures.

For details about the EEC, please contact the event directors at eecdirectors@wanadoo.fr, or visit the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition’s website at www.fpmt.org/eec

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