Sikkim gears up to welcome Dalai Lama: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s five-day visit to north eastern state of Sikkim, nestled in the mountains at the India-China border, is beginning next month at the invitation of Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang.
This will be the Dalai Lama’s seventh visit to Sikkim from October 10 to 14, a cultural and spiritual significant one to strengthen the connection between the Tibetan spiritual leader and the people of Sikkim.
The first visit was made in 1956 on his way to attend the 2500th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha in India and at that time due to heavy snowfall on the way to Tibet he had stayed in Sikkim for nearly a month.
He paid his last visit in December 2010 during which he did a two-day spiritual retreat at the 17th century Tashiding monastery, one of the most sacred and holiest Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim, according to a post on his official website.
This visit holds significant cultural and spiritual importance, as it marks a renewed connection between the Tibetan spiritual leader and the people of Sikkim.
It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava had visited both Bhutan and Sikkim during his travels in Tibet in the eight century A.D.
Sikkim Chief Minister Tamang has expressed delight for the visit.
“The Dalai Lama will reach Sikkim on October 10 and will return on October 14. Ever since we formed the government in 2019, it has been our continued effort to extend an invitation to His Holiness to visit Sikkim and seek his blessings. Finally, our effort is seeing fruition this year. So, we should leave no stone unturned in making the visit (of the Dalai Lama) a historic and memorable one,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.
During his previous visit, the spiritual leader did the retreat at the Tashiding monastery built in 1641 by Ngadak Sempa Chembo, who belonged to Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism.
Ngadak was one of the three wise men who held the consecration ceremony crowning the first King of Sikkim at Yuksom. It was extended and renovated in 1717 during the reign of the third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal.