Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondents chose the best short trips

What can a traveller see in a day in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia? The name of this city is translated from Kalmyk as "sandy", and this is one of the centres of Russian Buddhism. Incidentally, it is the only one in the European part of our country.

The city is small and it is only a century and a half old. A little over a hundred thousand people live there. And the main sights of Elista can be seen in a few hours.
Here is a bronze Ostap Bender with twelve chairs - one of the first monuments to a literary character in Russia. Nearby is a chess town built during the time of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (the head of the region, who held this position from 1993 to 2010. In 1998, a Chess Olympiad was held here, which ended with the victory of the Russian team.

You must see the architectural symbol of Elista “Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni”, which is one of the largest khuruls in Europe. The temple is surrounded by seventeen pagodas with statues of pundits. And a large gilded statue of Buddha is sitting inside.

It's within easy reach of the city centre. You can take a break from the heat in a large park, and taste national dishes in any cafe or restaurant.
Kalmykia is not too accessible region of Russia, although it is in the south of the European part of the country with a good transport infrastructure in general. The airport is currently closed. Even from Moscow, trains don’t operate on a daily schedule, but there is a bus service.