On December 27, the Golden Temple was opened in the capital of the republic of Kalmykia Elista (Russia), reports a REGNUM correspondent. The Golden Temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in Russia and Europe as well. Over 5,000 people came to the opening ceremony – residents of Kalmykia, representatives of Buddhist communities from Moscow, Volgograd, Saratov.
Kalmyk President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, leadership of the Buddhist Community of the republic, Royal Nepalese Ambassador to the Russian Federation Hiranya Lal Shrestha, and representatives of Buddhist communities from Buryatia, Tuva, Mongolia, Tibet participated in the ceremony.
Simultaneously, in front of the temple a statue to the White Old Monk, Kalmyk national god was also opened on Tuesday. The two-meter high symbolizes residents of the steppe republic. During the opening ceremony, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov called the monument a dedication to the Kalmyks who died during the years of deportation: “We were in a hurry to construct the temple by the end of December, the tragic day when the deportation of the Kalmyk people started.”
The size of the Golden Temple and the Buddha statue let the Mongolian delegation call the temple “center of the world Buddhism.” Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Russia and the CIS Mr.Tashi said that from this moment, “not Kalmyk students will go to Indian Buddhist institutes, on the contrary Buddhist teachers from India and Nepal will go to Elista to study students from Kalmykia, other regions of Russia, from the CIS and European countries.”