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Dalai Lama reaches Gangtok for day’s teaching


Gangtok, Dec 11 (IANS) Chants of “Long live, the Dalai Lama” filed the air as Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Monday reached here to give a one-day teaching. He flew from Delhi to Bagdogra in West Bengal en route to Sikkim. He was received at the airport by Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Sikkim government, Sonam Lama. From Bagdogra, the Nobel Peace Laureate flew to Gangtok by helicopter. He was welcomed on arrival at the Libing Helipad by Prem Singh Tamang, Chief Minister of Sikkim, besides several senior ministers and officials. As the Dalai Lama drove away from the helipad, the road was lined by groups of monks from almost a dozen local monasteries. Many of them wore their ceremonial hats and played cymbals, drums and horns in greeting. Out on the main road a group of Tashi Sholpa dancers danced in welcome, while local people, Sikkimese and Tibetans, lined the street. They had smiles on their faces and, in their hands folded in homage they offered white or yellow silk scarves, flowers and incense by way of greeting. Groups of Tibetan women danced and sang with joy. Another group followed a cheerleader exuberantly crying out, “Long live, the Dalai Lama”. Outside the door to the hotel, members of the Sikkim Police Guard presented arms and the Dalai Lama took the salute. At the door, he was offered a traditional ‘Chema changphu’ by way of greeting. At the door to his suite, the Dalai Lama was greeted by his elder brother, Gyalo Thondup. Members of the Chief Minister’s family then came to pay their respects. After teaching in Gangtok on Tuesday, the Dalai Lama will travel to Salugara in West Bengal on December 14 and later to Bodhgaya, where he will give three-day teachings from December 29 at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground. He will attend a long-life offering ceremony on January 1, 2024. –IANS vg/pgh

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