Monday, June 12, 2017

Catching Glimpse of His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Leh!

On his annual visit to Ladakh region, we were lucky to catch a glimpse of His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama while we were in Leh in July 2016. During his annual trip to Ladakh, he was visiting one of the small monasteries in Leh. We totally oblivious to this fact were roaming around the streets of Leh when locals mentioned about his visit. All we had to do was wake up a little early and walk up to Leh main market. Not just locals but many tourists had gathered on the street in the main market to welcome him.

It was such a wonderful experience, though tourists were not allowed inside the monastery, there was quiet a good crowd on the streets to receive him. He was offered a red carpet welcome with traditional music. We found a good vantage point on the second floor of a nearby cafe and had great views.

Monastery He Was Visiting
The ripe old Lama disembarked from his armored car, greeted and waved much to the delight of the crowd. He was very humble and kind and he just did not walk into the monastery upon arriving but took time to interact with people and blessed his devotees. Again at the entrance of the monastery, he turned and greeted the entire crowd one last time before entering the monastery.

Though his health was not too great and with the constant travel taking a toll on him, he still had the most charming smile and was eager to interact and was humble to all. Truly, he deserves the respect that is being offered and is definitely one of the humblest souls.

The love, respect and trust that the people of Ladakh have for The 14th Dalai Lama was evident not just in Leh but even in Thiksey where for his birthday, we saw a large number of crowd gather and pay their respects and wishes to him. We were under the impression that there was a festival going on but later got to know the real reason behind the massive crowd. In true sense, for the people of Ladakh, the 14th Dalai Lama's birthday is no less than a festival.

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