Elista (from Kalmuk “Elst” - sandy) (Stepnoy in 1944-1957) is a city in the southern part of Russia, the capital of Kalmykia Republic. It is located in the south-eastern Ergeney, in the very center of Kalmykian steppes.
Elista population is about 104,000 (2012).
The phone code is +7 84722, postal codes - 358000-358014.
By the fall of 1865, there were 15 houses in Elista. This year is considered the year when the city was born. Since the early 20th century, Elista became the center of Manych ulus, Chernoyar district, Astrahan region.
In February 1918, Soviet power was established in Elista. In 1930, Elista became a town. In August 1942, during the World War II, Elista was occupied by German troops. On December, 1942, it was set free by the Soviet Army.
On December, 28th, 1943, the Kalmyk population of Elista was deported by force to Siberia, Kazakhstan and Middle Asia according to Stalin’s accuse in cooperating with Germans.
In 1957, the Kalmyks were allowed to come back. From 1944 to 1957, the Kalmyk Autonomous Republic was abolished, Elista was called the town of Stepnoy and was a part of Stavropol region.
Nowadays Elista is a political, administrative, cultural and economic center of the Republic of Kalmykia. The largest square in the city, Lenin square, is located in the center of Elista. There is a fountain “Three lotuses” and a chess board of 5x5 m size there. It is a popular place among young people.
On a high hill in the southern part of the city there is a memorial in honor of the soldiers who set the capital of Kalmykia free - the tank men of the 6th tank troop of the 28th Army. In 1965, in the park “Drouzhba” the memorial was erected in honor of Komsomol members and partisans who perished during the Civil War and the World War II.
The city has airport, bus terminal and train station. Elista transportation consists only of mini buses.
Among the places of interest in Elista there is a meter and a half statue of Buddha-Shakyamuni, made of white Ural marble. The statue was erected on July, 6, 1995, on the 60th anniversary of Dalai Lama XIV. Nowadays the rotunda with the statue of Buddha became not only a special decoration of the city but a cult place as well.
Another Elista district - City-Chess - should be mentioned. In its center there is a Palace of Chess build for the purpose of holding chess competitions. City-Chess presents realization of the project New Vasyuki from the novel “12 Chairs”, the avenue heading there is named after Ostap Bender.
The displays at the Palmov Republican Museum of local study show the history of development and growing of the Republic. The Drama theater in Elista which was opened in 1936, was a great event in the cultural life of Kalmykia Republic and is named after its founder Baatr Basangov.
There are Kalmyk State University, Automobile College, Colleges of Medicine and Culinary, Arts School, classical and other gymnasiums, commercial and technical lyceums, 3 professional schools, high schools and kindergartens in Elista.
The first Buddhist chapel in Kalmykia, Syakyusyan-Syume, was opened on October, 5, 1996. It took 4 years to construct the chapel, the money for which was donated by the inhabitants and the President of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
On December, 27th, 2005, the biggest Buddhist chapel in Kalmykia Republic was sanctified - the New Central hurul (Golden Home of Buddha Shakyamuni), inside there is the tallest statue of Buddha in Europe.