Times of India, 8 April 2017
TAWANG: Overcoming bad weather, the Dalai Lamafinally arrived in Tawang, the second most important seat of Tibetan Buddhism after Lhasa, amid rousing welcome by hundreds of people to the spiritual leader on Friday.
Holding the Indian national flag, schoolchildren stood on either side of the road that the Dalai Lama’s convoy took. Along a 5 km stretch of the serpentine mountainous road, people waited for the Dalai Lama with traditional offerings.
On reaching Tawang, about 47km south of the McMahon Line which separates India from Tibet, the Dalai Lama drove straight to the Gaden Namgyal Lhatse Gonpha, popularly known as Tawang monastery, where he had stayed after he escaped to China in 1959.
Between Dirang and Tawang, people waited for hours to pay their obeisance to the Dalai Lama, whom followers of Tibetan Buddhism worship as “living God”.
Buddhists from across Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan and other states have arrived to attend the Dalai Lama’s discourses over the next three days.
“I can’t miss this opportunity. I have come with my family,” Rinchen Dorjee, a businesswoman from Bhutan, said.
“We started cleaning the road and putting up prayer flags yesterday. We are fortunate that he is travelling by road. We can pay our respects to him in person,” said Lopsang Tempa from Dirang.
The Dalai Lama stopped for some time at Sela, situated at 13,700ft above sea level. Army, ITBP and SSB personnel were seen guarding the road from Sela to Tawang.
Tawang deputy commissioner Sang Phuntso said the Dalai Lama would stay at the Tawang monastery for four days. “The Tibetan leader is scheduled to fly to Itanagar by a helicopter. If the weather does not improve, he may return to Guwahati by road,” a senior police officer said.