The opening of the statue of Maitreya Buddha to be held in Kalmykia

On 22 September, there will be a big event in the life of Russian Buddhists. The opening of the statue of Buddha Maitreya will be held in the city of Lagan (Republic of Kalmykia) at the monastery complex "Lagan Dargyeling Hurul". Its height is 15 meters, weight is 30 tons and 600 bags of steppe wormwood were used in construction. The statue is covered in gold paint. Hands are folded in Dharmachakra mudra style (it thus denotes the setting into motion of the Wheel of the teaching of the Dharma). The upholstery of the Buddha’s throne is being completed with a thick layer of aluminium ornamented by snow lions. The supreme lama of Kalmykia Telo Tulku Rinpoche will arrive for the opening.


The idea of building the largest Maitreya Buddha in Europe in Kalmykia was born in 2008 after sacred Buddhist relics from the collection of Lama Zopa Rinpoche arrived to the republic. Sacred relics were brought by his students as part of the programme for the construction of the 152-metre statue of Maitreya Buddha in the Indian town of Kushinagar. In Kalmykia, it was then decided to erect a smaller model of the statue.

In 2008, the idea was supported by Kalmykia Shajin Lama Telo Tulku Rinpoche and first President of Kalmykia, sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Donations began to flow in with the support of the local government officials, but it still took eleven long years to complete.
Today, the largest statue of Maitreya Buddha is located in China in the Sichuan province near the city of Leshan. Its height is 71 meters and it is carved in the rock at the confluence of three rivers. Its construction took ninety years. There are similar large statues in India, Hong Kong and Mongolia. The statue in Lagan will become the largest in Russia and Europe.