Dalai Lama to inaugurate South Asia's biggest monastery

Dalai Lama to inaugurate South Asia's biggest monastery

Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama prays during a special prayer session at The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya on Friday. AFP

Dalai Lama, who is arriving here tomorrow on a four-day visit to the state, would consecrate and inaugurate the monastery, built at a cost of Rs 8 crore, religious chief of Tibetan settlement at Chandragiri, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche told reporters.

About 4,000 guests from across the world are likely to attend the rituals and consecration ceremony that would continue for four days, he said.

The monastery with 70-feet high five-storey edifice is constructed over an area of 10 acres in Atanpuri style of architecture of Nalanda, he added.

The monastery, named after Acharya Padmasambhav who was born in Orissa and believed to have spread Buddhism to Tibet in 7th century, is an architectural marvel and a dream project of the Tibetan people in exile settled in the state, Rinpoche said, adding architects from Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, besides local masons took over six years to build it.

With a 21-feet long Buddha idol, the monastery would act as a link between Orissa's history and that of Buddhism. During 7th and 10th centuries, the state was considered cradle of Vijryana Buddhism or Tantrik Buddhism, known as Tantrayana, he said.
Preparation was on in full swing for inauguration of the monastery by the Dalai Lama, who had last visited the Tibetan settlement in 2003. The Nobel laureate is also scheduled to open a Stupa of enlightenment.

Dalai Lama would also address students at the Central school and the Tibetan people at Chandragiri and is expected to deliver a public address here on January 14, he said.
Recognised as a tourism site, the monastery is already thronged by tourists, Rinpoche said, adding domestic and international tourism would flourish with the 'Rigon Thupten Mindorling Monastery' becoming a vital and positive economic force for surrounding communities.

By providing employment to locals and Tibetans, the monastery would play a major role in economic development of the region, besides becoming a source of income for several non-government societies, he said.

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