Shankh Khiid, the first temple founded by Zanabazar, is one of the oldest and most important monasteries in Mongolia. Zanabazar founded the monastery in 1648. Until the communist purges in the 1930s, Shankh Khiid was a large monastery with eleven temples and up to 3,000 monks. The present temple was built between 1710 and 1790.|
In Mongolia Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, has a green horse . In May each year, a ceremony to welcome Maitreya to this world is held at the Shankh Monastery. A statue of Maitreya is paraded around the temple on a cart pulled by his green horse. Prayers are chanted, welcoming Maitreya.