At 81, Dalai Lama Makes 'Bumpy' Road Trip To Arunachal Pradesh

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At 81, Dalai Lama Makes 'Bumpy' Road Trip To Arunachal Pradesh

The Dalai Lama has undertaken a 500-km long road trip to reach his destination (Reuters)


Perhaps for the first time in his 81 years - barring his escape from Lhasa to Tawang and on to Dharamsala - the Dalai Lama has undertaken a 500 km long road trip to reach his destination.

From Guwahati to Tawang.

The only concession he has made to the inclement weather that prevented him from flying to Tawang in a helicopter is that he turned his schedule upside down.

So instead of Tawang, he began his visit to Arunachal Pradesh with a sermon at Bomdila, where he held prayers around 8.30 am today.

How was the ride from Guwahati to Bomdila? 104 km up tall mountains? "Long," laughed Dalai Lama's spokesperson, Mr Tanzin Taklha, "and a little bumpy".

A 'little' bumpy is an understatement of the year. National Highway 15 is severely damaged in many patches because of landslides and road construction.

On Thursday he will hold a similar meeting at Dirang

Then on 7th, he travels to Tawang, all of 130 kilometres of mountainous roads.

China firmly opposed the visit on the India-China border by the Dalai Lama, who it labels a dangerous separatist. On Friday, China said it was "resolutely opposed" to the visit and urged India to "avoid taking any actions that would further complicate the border issue".

Responding to China's objection, India said the Dalai Lama's trip to Arunachal is a religious one and no political meaning should be attached to it.

"Arunachal Pradesh is an inseparable part of India and China should not object to his visit and interfere in India's internal affairs," said Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday.

The Dalai Lama has also described his visit as aimed at promoting religious harmony.


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