The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni, the Buddhist temple (Золотая обитель Будды Шакьямуни)

The Golden Abode of the Buddha Shakyamuni is the biggest Buddhist temple in both Russia and Europe. It was founded in 2005 with the 14th Dalai Lama blessing the site of the future temple during his visit to Elista. Inside the temple, there is the 9-meter statue of Buddha covered with leaf-gold which is the largest one in both Kalmykia and within entire Europe.

The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni

Kalmykia is the only European region the population of which professes the Tibetan form of Buddhism. Thanks to the close communion of Kalmyks’ ancestors, Oirat people, with Tibetan monks, religion took hold here in the 16th century. In the Soviet era, it was persecutions for Buddhism in Kalmykia, and mass repatriation of Kalmyks to Siberia which significantly affected the spiritual growth of the region.

Only in the 1990s, the complex restoration of churches started together with the restoration of spiritual traditions of Kalmykia: today there are several dozens of active Buddhist temples and the central one is the Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni. Rising above the land for 56 m snow-white temple is surrounded by 108 elegant stupas, and the entire architectural composition has the form of a mandala. At temple`s entrance guests are met by the sculpture of the White Elder – the pagan Kalmyk god who is the patron saint of this area.

A unique feature of the Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni is 17 statues of Nalanda teachers cast in bronze, Buddhist saints which the Dalai Lama has recommended to surround the temple with. The interior decoration of the majestic seven-stepped Buddhist temple decorated with magnificent paintings and sculptures also catches the eye. There are rooms for individual visits to doctors, monks, astrologers in the monastery. One floor is reserved for the residence of the Dalai Lama and the head of the Buddhists of Kalmykia each, rooms for rituals and meditation are provided.

Following the philosophy of the Dalai Lama, there are educational facilities on the first floor: a Buddhist library, a reading and a conference room, the museum of Buddhist culture and history. The second floor is provided for prayers: this is the place where the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni stands. When entering this place it is necessary to bow to the statue of Buddha three times and try not to turn to the Buddha with your back even when leaving the room. It is also necessary to observe silence inside the temple and not to disturb the congregation; all sculptures, as well as other objects, should be bypassed only clockwise. You should put on the closed clothes, take off your shoes at the entrance and have clean socks with you for temple`s attendance.

Open hours and price

The Buddhist temple

Service schedule in the Russian language

Free of charge

How to get to the Golden Abode of the Buddha Shakyamuni

Republic of Kalmykia, Elista, Klykova St

Opposite the Klykova St 64

In the Russian language – Республика Калмыкия, г. Элиста, ул. Клыкова, Хурульный комплекс


The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni website in the Russian language

PHOTO depositphotos.com

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