Eej Khad (Mother Rock) – Sergelen, Mongolia - Atlas Obscura

Sergelen, Mongolia

Eej Khad (Mother Rock)

Buddhist pilgrims journey to this sacred rock to leave offerings and have their wishes granted. 

Eej Khad, translating literally to “Mother Rock,” is a prime destination for devout Buddhists and shamans in Mongolia. It’s a granite stone that natural elements molded into a vaguely human form. Pilgrims flock to this location to seek advice and have their dreams or wishes granted. 

The worshippers that journey here make offerings in the form of biscuits, rice, milk, and vodka. These goodies are placed on tables or liberally scattered and splashed all around the compound. Consequently, Eej Khad may not be a paragon of cleanliness, but it’s all part of the ceremony.

As the name suggests, the rock is likened to a female figure, and many pilgrims see it as symbolic of motherly protection, generosity, and wisdom. The standard practice is to express three dreams or wishes and circle the rock three times. Eej Khad tends to attract wishes related to procreation, general wellbeing, especially for children, and a plentiful harvest. Others treat the rock as a proxy for their deceased mothers, with whom they seek communion and comfort.  

Eej Khad is covered by a woman’s garment and a ponytail is attached at the back to enhance the human resemblance. The whole area surrounding the rock is peppered with oovos and sacred rocks, and shamans can occasionally be seen performing rituals at the site.

Know Before You Go

Eej Khad is located on the slope of the Avdar Bayan Uul mountain in the central Mongolian steppe, roughly 70 miles south of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city. It is at least a 10 miles off the nearest major road, the Zuunmod-Mandalgovi Highway. 

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