Kalmykia

What is Kalmykia known for?


fast developing

, Tsagan Aman is a popular fishing area and a fast developing spa-resort * Zundi Tolgi Other destinations *'''Yashalta Salt Lake''' — located between Berezovoe and Solenoye villages of Yashalta district, it is known in Kalmykia for its therapeutic values. The administration of Yashalta district and republican authorities are planning to open a balneo-resort on Yashalta Salt Lake. Curiously, Yashalta was founded by Estonian settlers in 1877. *'''Chess-City''' &mdash


picturesque wild

it is a picturesque wild scenery of Kalmyk flora and fauna, but also a perfect place for hunting and fishing. *'''Buddhist temples and monasteries ''', ''khuruls'' number is over 30 all over the republic. The smaller sacred memorials or ''stupa'' are dedicated to good events. *'''Bamb-TseTsg''' (''Tullip'') - National Nature Park. Founded in 1991 it includes over 500 hectares of grass and tullip fields of red (mostly), white, yellow and violet colour. Understand History In the ancient times the region was home to nomadic tribes - Khazars and later on it was the north-western corner of the mighty Mongol Empire - the Golden Horde. Being Historical Crossroads on the steppe route, known as Great Silky Way to Asia, the region had its section east to the Caspian coast. The Western Mongol Kalmyk tribes, also called Oirats, migrated across Central Asia from an ancestral home around Xinjiang, China and southeastern Kazakhstan and eventually arrived in Southern Russia, displacing the Tatars of the Astrakhan (Astrakhan Oblast) Khanate. Originally an independent khanate, Kalmykia's independence was slowly chipped away and it was eventually assimilated into the Russian Empire. As more than half of Kalmyks are followers of Tibetan Buddhism, the country is often referred to as the only Buddhist country in Europe. Sadly, nearly all of Kalmykia's beautiful khuruls (Kalmyk Buddhist temples) as well as all Christian churches were demolished under Stalin's massive campaign of cultural vandalism. Under German occupation all Jews of Elista were exterminated. Later in 1943 Stalin deported the entire population of Kalmyks to Kazakhstan and Siberia. The inappropriate agriculture along with previous collectivization caused erosion and desertification. Those Kalmyks who survived the brutal deportation and exile were finally allowed to return home in 1957, under Khruschev. But despite these hardships, Kalmykia's khuruls are being rebuilt, and the people remain, and merit a visit. Present day Kalmykia garnered some press attention for the excesses of its former flamboyant and dictatorial president Ilyumzhinov. Ilyumzhinov, a former Kalmyk statesman in the USSR and president of the World Chess Federation, led Kalmykia since the break up of the Soviet Union, but failed to deliver on rather grandiose promises to turn Kalmykia into a "Caspian Kuwait" in which there would be "a cell phone for every shepherd." He, however, turned Elista into the claimed chess capital of the world by building a small district of Elista known as "City Chess" and by hosting successive chess championships in the capital. Being one of Europe's poorest and most underdeveloped regions, Kalmykia now has one of the highest birthrates in Russia and growing private food production sector. Livestock raising and processing remains the main economic activity and there is also some fishing and arable farming. Oil-production contributed significantly to the economic revival. The official GDP growth in the republic was 2% in 2010. Religion Besides Buddhists and Orthodox Christians, there are smaller communities of Muslims, Catholics and Protestants. Talk Although the traditional language of the Kalmyk (Kalmyk phrasebook) majority is Kalmyk, it is mainly older people who speak it natively, while younger people usually speak Russian as their native language (although they are taught Kalmyk in school). Nowadays just a few villages are mainly Kalmyk-speaking by all generations. Russian (Russian phrasebook) is spoken and understood everywhere - although not by some of the very oldest Kalmyks. Get in The Republic of Kalmykia is a part of the Russian Federation. Therefore, when planning your trip to Kalmykia, you should apply for Russian visa. By plane The Elista airport is open for flights from Moscow by RusLine and St. Petersburg by Ural Airlines. By train The Moscow-Elista train route goes through Stavropol. However, the most convenient way is travel to Volgograd by train then on to Elista by an express minibus (marshrutka), which are cheap. By car By bus Several private companies operate a daily bus service between Moscow and Elista. The pickup point in Moscow is Luzhniki Stadium. A one-way ticket costs about 1000RUR. By boat Get around See Itineraries In addition to the sights within the present reduced boundaries of the Republic of Kalmykia, worth visiting in Astrakhan oblast is one of the few remaining pre-revolutionary Buddhist Temples (under restoration but disused so far) (''Хошеутовский хурул'') in the village of Rechnoe on the left (east) bank of the Volga. It was founded in honour of Kalmyks fought against Napoleon and later was visited by novelist Alexander Dumas. To its north is Mount Bogdo (Great), revered by Buddhist Kalmyks, and with many fossils in its rocks. To its south the sacred lotus of the Buddhist Kalmyks can be seen growing in the waters of the Volga delta. These objects are inside the Nature reserve. In Rostov Oblast here are some settlements previously occupied mainly by the newer Buzaf clan of traditionally more russified and christianised Kalmyks who were also Cossacks. They were not allowed to reoccupy this area after their return from deportation. In Stavropol krai to the south lies the spa resort of Yessentuki (Kalmyk: '''Ten Flags'') in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, near Europe's highest peak, Mt Elbrus. In the European part of the Republic of Kazakhstan can be found the town of Kalmykovo, looking across the Ural River at Asia. And if you cross Kazakhstan to its border with China, you can meet the Oirats, living in Dzhungaria, part of Xingjiang province. They are those Kalmyks who did not wish to remain in Kalmykia when it was incorporated into the Russian Empire, so they returned home. All these places occupy a small part of the former Kalmyk Empire that stretched from the Great Wall of China to the River Don in Europe, and from the forests of Siberia in the north to Tibet and the Himalayas in the south. Do *The republic's national sport is (by the will of the former President Ilyumzhinov) chess and locals play throughout school. It is relatively easy to join a game in the parks. *Fishing, hunting (especially geese, apparently) *Attend a performance of traditional Kalmyk dance *Horseback riding *Tullip-watching lasts from the end of April till the first week of May, when the steppes is being covered with wild red flowers Eat *'''Berk''' — Kalmyk traditional dumplings are larger and contain more meat than your average meat dumplings *'''Bortsg''' — Kalmyk traditional frybread *'''Makahan''' — Kalmyk dry horse meat sausage *'''Makhan sheltagan''' — Kalmyk traditional soup, contains a lot of meat and potato. *'''Kuyr''' *'''Dotur''' - lamb meat and haslet *'''Bortsoki''' - cookies Drink Traditional Kalmyk drinks bear some similarity to those found in Mongolia, but are unique to the region. Try: *'''Dzhomba''' — milk tea with salt (the so called ''Kalmyk tea'' served and drank in a certain ceremony) *'''Kumys''' — a sour horse milk that is considered a cure for respiratory diseases like tuberculosis, asthma, etc. *'''Araka''' — a milk vodka Sleep With tourism on the rise, travellers will have no difficulty finding good accommodation in Elista, although accommodations outside of the capital may be scarce or of lesser quality. It may be possible (and extremely rewarding) to arrange homestays in rural areas by asking around town or village centres. Stay safe Stay healthy Kalmykia is known for its sunny weather and fresh air. However, visitors are advised not to drink tap water due to the high content of minerals and salt. Otherwise, Kalmykia offers a healthy environment, and delicious and fresh food — mutton and beef being specialties, also Caspian caviar, prized as far away as Moscow and Saint Petersburg. *From April till October stay sun-protected. *Swimming in the salt lake is prohibited for more than 20 min. because of the possible chemical burn. WikiPedia:Kalmykia Commons:Category:Kalmykia


decades long

of occasions. The Kalmyks have also established communities in the United States (Kalmyk American), primarily in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The majority are descended from those Kalmyks who fled from Russia in late 1920 to France, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and, later, Germany. Many of those Kalmyks living in Germany at the end of World War II were eventually granted passage to the United States. As a consequence of their decades-long migration through Europe, many older


national nature

it is a picturesque wild scenery of Kalmyk flora and fauna, but also a perfect place for hunting and fishing. *'''Buddhist temples and monasteries ''', ''khuruls'' number is over 30 all over the republic. The smaller sacred memorials or ''stupa'' are dedicated to good events. *'''Bamb-TseTsg''' (''Tullip'') - National Nature Park. Founded in 1991 it includes over 500 hectares of grass and tullip fields of red (mostly), white, yellow and violet colour. Understand History


online year

are Buddhists. The steppe has long been depicted as the typical Russian landscape. It is a broad band of treeless, grassy plains, interrupted by mountain ranges, extending from Hungary across Ukraine, southern Russia, and Kazakhstan before ending

pantheistic and pagan rites, along with the major religions. Induction into religion takes place primarily along ethnic lines. Slavs (Slavic peoples) are overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian. Turkic speakers are predominantly Muslim, although several Turkic groups in Russia are not. ref name religion2 >


successful military

fulfilled its responsibility to protect the southern borders of Russia and conducted many military expeditions against its Turkic-speaking neighbors. Successful military expeditions were also conducted in the Caucasus. The Khanate experienced economic prosperity from free trade with Russian border towns, China, Tibet and with their Muslim neighbors. During this era, the Kalmyks also kept close contacts with their Oirat kinsmen in Dzungaria, as well as the Dalai Lama in Tibet


educational work

taken by Soviet authorities to control the people included the imposition of a harsh church tax to close churches, monasteries and parish schools. Public education became mandatory to indoctrinate the youth. The Cyrillic script replaced Todo Bichig, the traditional Kalmyk vertical script. In spite of these measures, some of the better known Kalmyk monasteries were able to expand their religious and educational work. The Kalmyks of the Don Host (Don Voisko Oblast), however, were not so


massive campaign

massive campaign of cultural vandalism. Under German occupation all Jews of Elista were exterminated. Later in 1943 Stalin deported the entire population of Kalmyks to Kazakhstan and Siberia. The inappropriate agriculture along with previous collectivization caused erosion and desertification. Those Kalmyks who survived the brutal deportation and exile were finally allowed to return home in 1957, under Khruschev. But despite these hardships, Kalmykia's khuruls are being rebuilt


extremely successful

. German benevolence, however, did not extend to all people living in the Kalmyk ASSR. At least 93 Jewish families, for example, were rounded up and killed. The total Jewish dead numbered approximately 100. *Kalmüken Verband Dr. Doll (Kalmukian Volunteers) *Abwehrtrupp 103 (Kalmukian Volunteers) *Kalmücken-Legion or Kalmücken-Kavallerie-Korps (Kalmukian Volunteers) The Kalmyk units were extremely

successful in flushing out and killing Soviet partisans. But by December 1942, the Soviet Red army retook the Kalmyk ASSR, forcing the Kalmyks assigned to those units to flee, in some cases, with their wives and children in hand. The Kalmyk units retreated westward into unfamiliar territory with the retreating German army and were reorganized into the Kalmuck Legion, although the Kalmyks themselves preferred the name Kalmuck Cavalry Corps. The casualty rate also increased substantially


articles news

) *Official website of the Kalmyk State University WikiPedia:Kalmykia Commons:Category:Kalmykia

Kalmykia

The '''Republic of Kalmykia''' (

It is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the plurality religion. It has become well known as an international center for chess because its former President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, is the head of the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

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