(TibetanReview.net, Jul28, 2015) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, received a grand reception from all religious sections and communities as he arrived in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir state of India on Jul 27 for a few days’ visit. Dressed in their elaborate different kinds of traditional attires and jewelleries, thousands of people lined the street from Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport to the Spituk Monastery, his host for the current visit.
Holding ceremonial greeting scarves, smoking-incense sticks and flowers, as well as blowing horns and beating drums, the Ladakhis and others from Leh and nearby areas, formed almost an unbroken welcoming chain. Arriving at Spituk, the Dalai Lama was welcomed by the Ganden Tripa Rizong Rinpoche, the head of the Gelug order of Tibetan Buddhism, and the young Bakula Rinpoche. In a short address to the gathering, the Dalai Lama explained that he was on a few days’ visit.
Having undertaken very hectic tours of the UK, the USA and Germany and having been invited to take part in numerous grand and elaborate 80th birthday celebrations as well as being offered successive long-life offerings, the Dalai Lama said he was a bit tired, that he thought Ladakh would be dry and relaxing and so he was visiting the place for a few days’ stay. He promised a longer visit in August next year.
Earlier, arriving in a J&K state airplane, the Dalai Lama was welcomed at the airport by a party led by Rizong Rinpoche, the Bakula Rinpoche, Thiksey Rinpoche and many other Lamas. The others included the state’s Minister of State Tsering Dorjee, Chief Executive Councillor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Rigzin Spalbar and Leh MLA Rigzin Jora. Representing the Muslim community were Sheikh Syebuddin and Ashraf Ali, while David Gergen was there on behalf of Ladakh’s Christians. Leaders of the Ladakh Gompa Association and of the Ladakh Buddhist Association were also present.
Ladakh adjoins Chinese ruled Tibet. Although there is no territorial dispute between India and China in this region, there have been numerous Chinese army incursions, and standoffs between the two sides, attributed to misperceptions of the line of actual control of the undefined border areas.