Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama Arrives In Kashmir For Week-long Visit

Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama Arrives In Kashmir For Week-long Visit

12 July 2012
India Today


Srinagar: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrived here on Thursday on a week-long trip. The spiritual leader is visiting Kashmir after a gap of 25 years. During his stay he is likely to visit Hazratbal shrine and some Tibetan refugee settlements in old city Srinagar. Chief minister Omar Abdullah received the Dalai Lama at Srinagar airport. Abdullah welcomed the religious leader and conveyed his good wishes to him. He also enquired about his health. 'Dalai Lama reciprocated the good wishes and prayed for peace, prosperity and development of the state,' the government spokesman said. The Tibetan colony at Eidgah is of those people whose ancestors had gone to Tibet for trade and settled there. They returned to Kashmir in 1960 after invasion of Tibet by China. India had to secure their migration from Chinese government on the basis of their Kashmir origin. Reports say New Delhi had produced a list of 129 Muslim families of Kashmir origin, who were then repatriated from Tibet in 1960. At present their population is about 1100. These refugees have distinct identity which is an amalgam of Kashmiri and Tibetan. Kashmir is also known as the seat of fourth Buddhist council. Seven km from Lal Chowk, on the foothills of Zabarwan range of mountains at Harwan is situated a historical Buddhist site which is identified as Shadarhadvana and is said to be the centre of the Fourth Buddhist Council held during the reign of Kanishka. At present among the remains are tiered base of a stupa, a set of rooms in diaper pebble style of masonry. The area around the stupa is decorated with tiles. The antiquities found here include terracotta figures, fragments of Buddha image and few clay tablets bearing miniature stupas.