The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni temple («Bukhrn Bagshin Altn Sume») is one of the main attractions of Elista. This is a magnificent building, where prayer service, rituals and festive worship are held.
The Khurul was built in 2005 in a very short time: it took only nine months to complete. The architects were Sergei Kurneyev, Vladimir Gilyandikov, and Lev Amninov.
Along the perimeter, the Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni is surrounded by a fence, with snow-white small statues placed at a distance of five meters fr om each other. The South Gate is the main entrance, but there are also other gates in the fence of the temple, at each point of the compass. At the bottom of the stairs leading to the church, worshipers and visitors are met by Tsagan Aav, a deity associated with the pre-Buddhist beliefs of the Kalmyks and revered as the patron of the land. The sculpture was created by Naran Eledzhiev.
Particular attention is drawn to the pagodas, each of which has a sitting figure of a Great Teacher of Buddhism from ancient India. There are a total of 17 pandits, 17 saints, who have made a considerable contribution to the spread of Buddha's Word. It was His Holiness the Dalai Lama the XIV who suggested the creation of this sculptural composition, because these people are very important for every Buddhist. In the middle of the stairs leading to the temple there is a cascade of fountains, with Kubera, a deity of wealth, at the very top.
The prayer hall (dugan) features a 9-meter high statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. Its authors are the sculptor Vladimir Vaskin, Honored Artist of Russia, and a group of Kalmyk artists. The visible parts of the body (the face, the chest, and the right shoulder with the arm) are covered with gold leaf. According to the Buddhist canons, sacred objects were put inside the statue: mantras, prayers, jewelry, incense, handfuls of earth from all parts of the country, crops and other plants of the Kalmyk land.
On the third level, there are rooms for individual receptions of the faithful, as well as administrative offices. Decoration work is performed here, as well as in the dugan. Nine tanka artists work here, decorating the temple, at the invitation of Shadzhin Lama of Kalmykia, Telo Tulku Rinpoche.
The fourth level is the residence of the head of the Buddhists of Kalmykia, Telo Tulku Rinpoche, and a small conference room.
The fifth level houses the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV.
The first level has the Museum of History of Buddhism, with unique masks intended for Tsam Mystery, archival photographs and objects of ancient art, and a conference room, wh ere doctors of Buddhist philosophy lecture on the rudiments of Buddhism three times a week.
The library is still receiving new books. His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV presented the temple with a complete collection of the Buddha's Word, «Ganzhur» and «Danzhur».
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