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One thousand gold Buddhas take part in religious restoration in Siberia

In the main Buddhist temple of Russia’s Republic of Tyva 1,000 little gold Buddhas have gone on display. The statues will then be moved to a unique temple when all the sacred ceremonies have been performed.

The 30 cm-high Buddhas were made under the personal supervision of Nepalese Lama Tuge Rinpoche. For almost a year the statues will go through ritual ceremonies before reaching its final destination – the renovated Buddhist temple “Ustuu-Huree”. The original temple was destroyed in the 1930s and the new one will be an exact copy of it.

The one thousand little Buddhas cost the republic five million rubles – more than $170,000. The money was collected by the people of Tyva.

“This is truly a national construction which is being supported by the republic’s authorities and by our famous fellow countryman Sergey Shoigu [of Russia’s Emergency Minister],” the Buddhist spiritual leader Dzambel Lodoy said.

Ustuu-Huree is one of the two major temple complexes of the republic. The construction was based on a project by the Tibetan Lama Kuntan Rimpoche, in association with Chinese masters.

“Reconstruction of Ustuu-Huree is an act of conscience. During the troubled years there were no temples left. They were all destroyed by the regime and many churchmen were repressed. That’s why I suppose my colleagues took it as their moral duty to provide personal help in reconstructing the history of Ustuu-Huree,” the head of the Tyva Republic Sholban Kara-ool said.