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His Holiness the Dalai Lama Receives Rousing Welcome in Sikkim

Sikkim CM Prem Singh Tamang along with the dignitaries watching as His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives in Gangtok, Sikkim on 11 December 2023. Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL.

Sikkim: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives in Sikkim today to a rousing welcome by the leadership of the Sikkim government and the people of Sikkim including the Tibetan community there.

The 88-year-old Nobel Laureate was received at the airport by the Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Sikkim Government, Ven Sonam Lama. From Bagdogra, His Holiness flew to Gangtok by helicopter. He was welcomed on arrival at the Libing Helipad by Shri Prem Singh Tamang, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim, the Chief Secretary, Shri Vijay Bhushan Pathak, the Director General of Police, Shri Amrendra Kumar Singh, and several senior ministers and officials, as well as Tibetan Representatives from Gangtok, Darjeeling and Kalimpong.

As His Holiness made his way to his residence for the next two days, the streets were thronged by groups of monks from almost a dozen local monasteries. Many of them wore their ceremonial hats and played cymbals, drums and horns in greeting. Out on the main road, a group of Tashi Shölpa dancers danced in welcome, while local people, Sikkimese and Tibetans, lined the street. They had smiles on their faces and, in their hands folded in homage they offered white or yellow silk scarves, flowers and incense by way of greeting. Groups of Tibetan women danced and sang with joy. Another group followed a cheerleader exuberantly crying out, “Long live, the Dalai Lama”.

Outside the door to the hotel, members of the Sikkim Police Guard presented arms and His Holiness took the salute. At the door, he was offered a traditional ‘Chema changphu’ by way of greeting. Just inside the lobby, he was welcomed by the remaining ministers and senior officials of the Sikkim Government. At the door to his suite, His Holiness was greeted by his elder brother, Gyalo Thondup. Members of the Chief Minister’s family then came to pay their respects.

Immediately after lunch, the Governor of Sikkim, H.E. Lakshman Prasad Acharya, paid His Holiness a courtesy call.

-Sourced from dalailama.com

His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting Sikkim Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang on his arrival in Gangtok, Sikkim, India on December 11, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL.

Tibetans in Sikkim welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL.

Members of the local community lining the streets to welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama as he drives to his hotel in Gangtok, Sikkim, India on December 11, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

HH Dalai Lama’s second eldest brother Kasur Gyalo Thondup with His Holiness at the hotel in Gangtok. Photo:Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama offering a Buddha statue to the Governor of Sikkim H.E. Lakshman Prasad Achararya during their meeting in Gangtok, Sikkim, India on December 11, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL