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Geden Sheddup Choikorling Monastery was opened on October 5, 1996 in the presence of more than 30,000 people and is the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery to be built in the Republic of Kalmykia, since its beginning as an autonomous oblast in 1920. The monastery also is the Republic's first Buddhist place of worship since Joseph Stalin ordered the destruction of all Buddhist temples and monasteries during the Collectivization era and the Great Purge in the 1930s.
Geden Sheddup Choikorling is a Tibetan name, translated as "A Holy Abode for Theory and Practice of the School of Gelugpa." This name was given to the monastery by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama who also chose its location – on the steppes just outside the Republic's capital city, Elista, during his first visit to the Republic in the summer of 1991.
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