The Dalai Lama arrived in Leh Wednesday morning for a 20-day visit after his recent trip to Srinagar, capital of northern India’s Jammu and Kashmir. The 77-year-old Buddhist leader was received at the airport by representatives of the state administration, politicians, high ranking religious leaders, and local residents. Reports say over 35,000 Ladakhis and tourists thronged on both sides of the 7 km route from the airport to his place of stay at Shiwa Tsal Palace.
Chief Representative of the Tibetan settlement in Ladakh Dhondup Tashi in an interview this morning said the Dalai Lama gave a short address during a grand welcome ceremony held at Shiwai Tsal. "His Holiness the Dalai Lama reminded the Himalayan audience comprised of dignitaries, religious leaders, and local residents of their responsiblity to keep Buddhism lineage intact during this difficult time in Tibet's history, and urged everyone to be a 21st century Buddhist by engaging in serious studies, debates and deliberations on Buddhism. ”
Ladakh has a significant population of Buddhist followers who are very eager and happy to have the Dalai Lama visit the place again, according to Dhondup.
The Dalai Lama will give a four day teaching from August 4 to 7. The revered buddhist leader will give teachings on Tsongkhapa's The Three Principal Paths (lamtso namsum) and Atisha's Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (jangchup lamdron) at Shewatsel Grounds in Leh. He will also confer an Avalokiteshvera Initiation (thukje chenpo jigten wangchuk wang).
The Dalai Lama first visited Ladakh in 1967, followed by frequent visits to Leh, Nyuma, Hanle, Zanskar and Nubra to give teachings to the large number of Buddhists residing in the region. The Tibetan leader also gave Kalachakra initiations in Leh in 1976 and in Zangskar in 1988.