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Month-long Buddhist pilgrimage concludes in Ladakh
A grand reception was organised by Buddhist monks of Hemis Monastery in Ladakh
to welcome the pilgrims on a month-long pilgrimage on foot from Manali in Himachal
Pradesh. Initiated and headed by the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche, the pilgrimage
walk commenced from Manali on May 23 and concluded at Hemis Monastery on Wednesday.
The 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche is the spiritual head of the Drukpa lineage.
He is revered as the reincarnation of Drogon Tsangpa Gyare (founder of the Drukpa
lineage). Buddhist monks undertook the padyatra (journey on foot) spanning 400
km across the rugged Himalayan mountains from Manali to Ladakh. Tshering Phunstok,
a monk from Darjeeling, who undertook the journey with a hundred others, said
that he enjoyed every bit of the padyatra. "It was difficult but we enjoyed it.
Sometimes we had to climb up to 5000 metres above the sea level and sometimes
3000 metres. We had a hard time, but we enjoyed very much with the 12th Gyalwang
Drukpa," said Phunstok. The journey was also aimed at helping the population of
Himalayan region through humanitarian projects and initiatives in the area of
education, medical help, preservation of heritage and environment. During the
month-long journey, the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche, imparted knowledge to people
about the importance of environment, health and modern education. "His Holiness
educated people about the harmful effects of polythene. At the same time, he also
taught them the importance of modern education," said Tshering Norbu, a Buddhist
scholar. The group crossed five high Himalayan passes, the highest of which, Shikunla
and Singgela, both are at an altitude of about 5,200 metres above the sea level.
On its way, the group also visited holy sites of Chakrasamvara, Avalokiteshvara,
Guru Padmasambhava and one of the sites of the great Drukpa master, Naropa.
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