The Mongolia Ger is classic “building” that expresses Mongolian concepts of symbolism. Although gers have changed over the course of centuries, with the development of new materials for example, it has yet to change in one way. It continues to exist in harmony with nature.
Many years ago Mongolians believed that if they surrounded their homes with fences, they would lose their freedom, and if they built their homes with stones, they would lose their connection to nature. No matter where you are in Mongolia – from the high mountains in the west to the hot sand of the Gobi in the south – you will come across a ger of nomadic family. They will welcome you with hot milk tea and a warm bed. And the next time you travel along the same road, they will probably have moved to another place.
These is an ancient custom of facing the door of a Mongolian ger south – so it can get as much sun as possible. The interior parts of ger have their own place per customs as well. For example, saddle, bridle, hobble, and airag sack are placed on the right side of the ger. This is also the side where man’s accessories such as snuff bottles, knife, wrestling costume, and fur are kept indicating it is his side. The left side of the ger is considered the women’s side with the items such as milking buckets, water tank, and a bedside trunk where fine accessories and clothes, thread and needles for sewing are kept.
The biggest ger ever built was at Erdenezuu monastery in 1658. It is estimated this ger, named Bat – Ulzii, was 9 meters in height and 20 meters in diameter. The base of the ger remains inside the Erdenezuu monastery walls to this day.