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Prehistoric paganism and shamanism gave way to Judaism with the Khazars.
This was succeeded by Islam with the Alans while the Mongol hordes brought Tengriism, and the later Nogais were Muslim, before their replacement by the present-day Buddhist Oirats/Kalmyks.
Elista, the capital of the republic, has of late, gained an international reputation for international chess competitions.
The republic is located in the southwestern part of European Russia and borders, clockwise, with Volgograd Oblast in the northwest and north, Astrakhan Oblast in the north and east, the Republic of Dagestan in the south, Stavropol Krai in the southwest, and with Rostov Oblast in the west. A small stretch of the Volga River flows through eastern Kalmykia.
Electronic registration (online check-in) is available on selected trains.
In order to save time, we advise you to use the electronic registration system.
The small town Utta is the hottest place in the whole of Russia.
On July 12, 2010, during a huge heatwave affecting all of Russia, an all-time record-warm temperature was observed with 45.4 °C.
According to the Kurgan hypothesis the upland regions of Kalmykia formed part of the cradle of Indo-European culture.
The average January temperature is −5 °C (23 °F) and the average July temperature is 24 °C (75 °F).
Average annual precipitation ranges from 170 millimeters (6.7 in) in the east of the republic to 400 millimeters (16 in) in the west.
The republic's wildlife includes the saiga antelope, whose habitat is protected in Chyornye Zemli Nature Reserve.
Kalmykia has a cold semi-desert climate, with hot and dry summers and cold winters with little snow.