Dalai Lama Returns To His First Home In India

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Dalai Lama Returns To His First Home In India

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The Dalai Lama returned to his first home in India, the Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh. (AFP)

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh:  The Dalai Lama returned to his first home in India, the Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, where he had spent three days after fleeing Tibet in 1959.

Monks wearing the traditional yellow hat of the Gelug sect of Buddhism escorted the Dalai Lama to the same hall in the monastery where he had delivered his first preaching in India 58 years ago.

"I remember the time," said 71-year-old Mr Goling Yangkhar who was just 13 then. "We heard there was trouble in Tibet, that the China has seized it. And then the Dalai Lama came. He preached to us. He was just 25-year-old then," he added.

The Dalai Lama's aides held his hands and led him to the hall. The 82-year-old Nobel laureate had just made a 140-km road journey from Dirang across the 14,000 foot Sela Pass.
 
dalai lama afp

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the Sangdok Palri Monastery at Jang in Tawang (AFP)

Inside the hall, seated under the statue of a towering Buddha, he spoke briefly to monks and dignitaries. A huge security deployment screened entry into the hall.

Opposite the hall is the monastery museum which houses rare photographs of the Dalai Lama at 25, arriving at Tawang with a small entourage of people. Assam Rifles soldiers are seen escorting the party.
 
dalai lama old photos

Rare photos of Dalai Lama at the Tawang Monastry museum.

In an interview overseas, the Dalai Lama had been asked if he had ever worn a pair of trousers. He had said, yes, when he disguised himself as an ordinary person and escaped from Lhasa.

In the photos at the museum, however, he is not wearing trousers but is seen in traditional clothes and glasses.

Comments
Today, the Dalai Lama will address people at Tawang's parade ground. Some 60,000 people are expected to attend the address.

Tawang is all dressed up. The weekend promises to be a spiritual feast for the people here.

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