This small mountainous area along the river, The Ongi River, in the western sum of Saikhan Ovoo, makes a good resting place to break a trip between the south Gobi and Arvaikheer.
It is located in Saihan-Ovoo soum of Dundgovi province. Ongi was established in 1660 and composed of two temple complexes on the North and South banks of the Ongi River. At its peak, Ongi monastery grounds housed around 30 temples, 4 big Buddhism universities and over 1000 monks at a time.
This monastery was one of the largest and most respected monasteries of Mongolia before its destruction by the communist authorities. During the 1930s, communism spread out throughout Mongolia. As part of their ideological campaign and rise to power, Communists arrested most monks. In 1939, the monastery was destroyed completely, over 200 monks were killed, and many surviving monks were imprisoned or forced to join the Communist-controlled army.
Other monks escaped and became ordinary people. In 1990, after the democratization in Mongolia, some monks returned to the monastery and began their Buddhist education as young children some 60 years prior. The water of the river was diverted to supply the local mines owned by the government. The river was dried up, which forced the local population to leave the place.