Dalai Lama arrives in Tawang

Dalai Lama arrives in Tawang

Monks of the Tawang Monastery during preparations for the visit of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday. PTI

The Dalai Lama landed in Assam's main city of Guwahati from New Delhi at 7.45 a.m.

"The Dalai Lama is very happy and is excited to be in Arunachal Pradesh," T.G. Rinpoche, a senior Buddhist spiritual leader and former Arunachal Pradesh minister said over telephone from Guwahati after receiving the Dalai Lama at the airport.

Since morning, people lined up on both sides of the streets of Tawang, starting from near the helipad some eight kilometres from the town.

"We are simply excited and blessed to have the Dalai Lama here," said Sarwang Lama, a middle aged monk attired in a new robe.

Tibetan prayer flags and banners, including life size posters of the Dalai Lama, adorned the streets and rooftops to welcome the Tibetan spiritual leader.

At the Tawang monastery, about 800 monks, including several senior clergies, were present to give the Dalai Lama a religious welcome.

The Dalai Lama Sunday would inaugurate a museum and a library at the monastery and then address monks and priests.

"The Dalai Lama's main itinerary begins Monday when he starts the prayer session at a school playground near the monastery. That would be his first public appearance," said Guru Tuku, the abbot of the monastery.

It was through Tawang, a revered seat of Buddhism, that in 1959 the Dalai Lama escaped the Chinese to enter India.

The Tibetan leader will then visit the adjoining town of Bomdilla and Dirang Nov 12, before leaving for state capital Itanagar Nov 14. The visit ends Nov 15.

China has raked up a controversy by asking India not to allow the Tibetan spiritual leader to visit Arunachal Pradesh.

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