Elista, Russia

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Elista, Russia

Region: Kalmykia

Geographic Coordinates: 46.316700, 44.266700
Temperature Range: -40.0°C to 30.0°C (-40°F to 86°F)
Climate: Cold and dry winters, warm and moderately rainy summers.
Population: 103535
Language: Kalmyk

Elista is the capital city of the Republic of Kalmykia, A federal subject of Russia. The city is located in the southeast part of European Russia, Close to the Caspian Sea. Elista is known for its unique cultural and historical heritage, As well as its stunning natural beauty. One of the main attractions in Elista is the Buddhist temple complex. Built-in 1995, It has become one of Europe’s largest Buddhist centers. The complex includes a magnificent white stupa that stands over 40 meters tall and can be seen from almost anywhere in town.

Visitors can explore several temples inside adorned with colorful murals depicting Buddha’s life. Another highlight of Elista is its impressive Chess City built to host international chess tournaments and promote chess culture throughout Russia. The Chess City features an enormous chessboard with giant pieces that visitors can play on, As well as a museum dedicated to chess history and culture. Nature lovers will appreciate Elista’s beautiful landscape, Which includes vast grasslands dotted with small lakes and hillsides covered in wildflowers.

One popular spot for hiking and picnicking is Bumbin Ornol National Park where visitors can see rare birds like swans and cranes nesting among fields of wildflowers. In addition to these attractions, Elista has several museums that offer insights into local history and culture such as the Kalmyk Museum-Reserve Complex The Golden Horde showcasing artifacts from ancient nomadic tribes who once roamed this region. foodies will love exploring Elista’s vibrant culinary scene featuring hearty meat dishes like lamb kebabs cooked over an open flame or steaming bowls of beef stew served with homemade bread called boortsog.

Overall whether you’re interested in exploring Buddhism or chess culture or simply want to soak up some stunning natural scenery, Elista has something for everyone!

Important Landmarks

  1. Chess City is a complex that celebrates the game of chess, featuring a giant chessboard and statues of famous players.
  2. The Golden Temple of Buddha Shakyamuni is a grand Buddhist temple adorned with golden domes and intricate decorations.
  3. The Museum of Kalmykia History and Culture showcases exhibits on the rich history, culture, and traditions of the Kalmyk people.
  4. Victory Park is a serene park dedicated to World War II veterans, featuring monuments and memorials in their honor.
  5. Elista Central Mosque is one of Russia’s largest mosques with stunning architecture and decoration.
  6. Gorky Park offers entertainment for all ages with rides, games, events, and more!
  7. The House of Prayer for All Religions is an interfaith temple designed by architect Ildar Khanov.
  8. Elista City Hall Square serves as a central hub with fountains, sculptures, shops selling traditional Kalmyk souvenirs – perfect for tourists!
  9. Ketchenerovsky Garden Park provides visitors with peace in its tranquil walking paths lined by benches surrounded by beautiful flower beds.
  10. The Great Stupa Of Enlightenment was built as part of the 200th anniversary celebrations to commemorate Tsongkhapa’s birth – an impressive Buddhist stupa!

Primary Industries

  1. Elista, Russia is a city with diverse major industries and businesses.
  2. These include:
    • Agriculture
    • Food processing
    • Tourism
    • Education
  3. The city’s reputation for producing dairy products such as cheese and yogurt is well-known.
  4. Elista also has a significant number of hotels and restaurants that cater to tourists who come to visit the Buddhist temples and monuments in the area.
  5. The city is home to numerous universities and colleges that offer courses in various fields including:
    • Medicine
    • Engineering
    • Economics
    • Law
    • Humanities
  6. Furthermore, there are several small businesses that provide services such as:
    • Transportation
    • Construction
    • Retail trade

Noteable History

  1. Construction of the city: Elista was founded in 1865 as a small settlement and grew into a city over time.
  2. Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic: In 1935, Elista became the capital of the newly created Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
  3. World Chess Championship: Elista hosted the World Chess Championship in 1998 and again in 2006, which brought international attention to the city.
  4. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov served as president of Kalmykia from 1993 to 2010 and is known for his controversial statements about his encounters with extraterrestrial life.
  5. Buddhism in Russia: Elista is home to one of the largest Buddhist communities in Russia, with several temples and monasteries located within the city limits.
  6. Russian Revolution: During the Russian Revolution, there were several uprisings by local Bolsheviks against government forces stationed in Elista.
  7. Great Patriotic War (World War II): During World War II, many residents of Elista fought on behalf of Soviet forces against Nazi Germany.
  8. Cultural festivals: The annual Kalmykian New Year festival called Zul celebrates traditional Kalmyk culture through music, dance, and food.
  9. Industrialization: In recent years, there has been significant investment in industrial development projects within Elista’s borders to help boost economic growth for its citizens.
  10. Russian Federation elections: Election campaigns are held regularly where candidates from different political parties participate trying to win votes from people residing here.

Museums and Things To See

  1. The Chess City complex is a unique destination dedicated to chess, featuring a giant chess board and pieces, as well as the World Chess Hall of Fame.
  2. The Kalmyk State Museum of Local Lore is an informative museum showcasing exhibits on the history and culture of the Kalmyk people.
  3. The Golden Temple of Elista is a beautiful Buddhist temple with intricate decorations and stunning architecture that is definitely worth visiting.
  4. The Memorial Complex to the Victims of Political Repression serves as a sobering monument dedicated to those who suffered under Soviet rule, reminding us all to never forget this dark period in history.
  5. The Museum of Fine Arts named after Savitsky showcases works by Russian avant-garde artists from the early 20th century, providing visitors with an opportunity to appreciate some truly exceptional art.
  6. The House-Museum of Gennady Tsyplakov is dedicated to this famous Kalmyk poet and writer’s life and work, making it an ideal destination for literature enthusiasts.
  7. The Palace of Sports Arena hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, exhibitions, and sporting events making it an excellent place for entertainment lovers.
  8. Victory Park is a large park featuring monuments and memorials dedicated to veterans and fallen soldiers from various wars in Russia’s history – perfect for anyone interested in learning more about Russia’s past conflicts.
  9. Elista Central Mosque boasts impressive traditional Islamic architecture that visitors can explore its interior design features such as carpets or paintings etc.
  10. The Khurul Monastery serves as an important spiritual center for Buddhists in Russia offering peace & tranquility amidst serene surroundings – definitely worth checking out!

Sports Teams

  1. Elista is the capital city of the Republic of Kalmykia located in Russia.
  2. The city has a rich history and culture with a strong focus on chess, having hosted the World Chess Olympiad in 1998 and earning the nickname Chess City.
  3. Additionally, Elista boasts several sports clubs and organizations that cater to various sports such as football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, boxing, wrestling, and martial arts.
  4. Notable athletes from Elista include Olympic medalist wrestlers Buvaisar Saitiev and his brother Adam Saitiev.

Cultural Events

  1. Kalmykia National Day is celebrated on November 4th to commemorate the founding of the Republic of Kalmykia. The day is marked with parades, concerts, and cultural events.
  2. Tsagan Sar or White Moon Festival is a traditional holiday in Kalmyk culture that celebrates the beginning of spring. It is typically observed in January or February.
  3. Zul Festival is a summer festival that marks the end of Ramadan with music, dance performances, and food stalls.
  4. Elista has hosted several international chess tournaments including the Chess Olympiad in 1998 and World Chess Championship in 2006.
  5. The International Buddhist Film Festival has been held annually in Elista since 2012 to showcase films related to Buddhism from around the world.
  6. EthnoFest Dzhangar showcases traditional music, dance performances, and crafts from various ethnic groups living in Kalmykia.
  7. Republic Day falls on September 22nd each year to celebrate the adoption of the Constitution of Kalmykia through parades and cultural events showcasing local traditions and customs.
  8. KalmCon is an annual convention for fans of science fiction/fantasy literature/games/movies/etc., which takes place every autumn since 2017 (as well as other similar events).


  1. Kalmykian Cuisine – This is the traditional cuisine of the Kalmyk people, who are the largest ethnic group in Elista. It includes dishes such as buuz (steamed meat dumplings), bansh (boiled meat dumplings), and tsuivan (stir-fried noodles with vegetables and meat).
  2. Cafe Kalmykia – This cafe serves authentic Kalmykian cuisine, including buuz, bansh, tsuivan, and other traditional dishes.
  3. Cafe Buryat-Mongol – This restaurant serves Buryat-Mongolian cuisine, which is similar to Kalmykian cuisine but with some differences in ingredients and preparation methods.
  4. Restaurant Kumysnaya Polyana – This restaurant specializes in kumys (fermented mare’s milk), which is a popular drink among the nomadic peoples of Central Asia.
  5. Restaurant Khan Shatyr – This restaurant offers a mix of Russian, European, and Asian cuisines with a focus on fresh seafood.
  6. Barbecue Restaurant Shashlychnaya Alleya – As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in shashlik (grilled meat skewers) served with various salads and sides.
  7. Coffee House Coffeemania – For those looking for a more Western-style coffee shop experience, Coffeemania offers a variety of specialty coffees along with pastries and sandwiches.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Victory Park: a spacious park that boasts walking paths, beautiful fountains, and impressive monuments.
  2. Gorky Park: a well-liked park that offers playgrounds, picnic areas, and sports facilities for visitors to enjoy.
  3. Central Park of Culture and Leisure: a lush green space that features lovely gardens, outdoor cafes, and an amusement park for all ages to relish.
  4. Elista City Zoo: home to various animals such as lions, tigers, bears, and monkeys for animal lovers to admire.
  5. Chess City: an exceptional attraction dedicated solely to the game of chess with giant chess pieces and interactive exhibits that will fascinate any visitor.
  6. Aqua Park Kapitoliy: an indoor water park with slides and pools designed for all ages to have fun in the water.
  7. Ice Palace Arena: an ice rink offering public skating sessions as well as ice hockey games and tournaments for those who love winter sports.
  8. Central Stadium Trud: a sports complex featuring soccer fields, tennis courts, and track-and-field facilities available for public use so everyone can enjoy their favorite activities here.
  9. Elista Planetarium Museum – A museum dedicated entirely to astronomy featuring interactive exhibits about the universe that anyone interested in space will appreciate visiting.
  10. Elista History Museum – A museum showcasing the history of Elista city from ancient times till present day which is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about this fascinating place’s past.


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