After 13 years, Dalai Lama to visit Sikkim from October 10

By, Shimla
Sep 24, 2023 11:41 PM IST

The Dalai Lama’s itinerary for Sikkim includes religious teachings and interactions with the people of the picturesque state

Tibetan religious leader, the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso is scheduled to visit Sikkim from October 10 after a gap of 13 years. This visit has heightened diplomatic discussions and intrigue, given the ongoing border tensions between India and China.

The Dalai Lama. (HT File Photo)
The Dalai Lama. (HT File Photo)

The Dalai Lama’s itinerary for Sikkim includes religious teachings and interactions with the people of the picturesque state. The Dalai Lama was born on July 6, 1935, at Taktser village in Amdo province of Tibet.

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As Chinese soldiers marched into Tibet and resistance to its rule in the region intensified, the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959. China has banned Tibetans from carrying pictures of the Dalai Lama within China-occupied-Tibet.

One of the most noteworthy aspects is the location for the Dalai Lama’s sermons. He will be preaching to his followers in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, situated just 54 km away from the China border. This proximity to the border at Nathula Pass adds a layer of significance to the visit, given the sensitive geopolitical context.

The spiritual leader’s visit to Sikkim commences on October 10 with a morning sermon at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok. In the session, he will impart teachings on the book titled “37 Practices of Bodhisattvas,” authored by Sangpo Thokme.

On October 12, the spiritual leader will continue his teachings, focusing on Padmasambhava. These spiritual discourses are anticipated to draw a substantial gathering of devotees and spiritual seekers.

While the Sikkim government has announced a five-day visit, from October 10 to 14, the Dalai Lama’s office has released a schedule for only two days. This has piqued curiosity about whether the spiritual leader will engage in unannounced programmes or choose to rest during the remaining three days of his visit.

In April, Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Tamang had a meeting with the Dalai Lama in Delhi, signifying the importance of this visit to the state. Recently, the CM and 10 government officials met the spiritual leader at his residence in Dharamshala and extended an invitation for him to visit the region.

The timing of this visit, amid the India-China border dispute, adds an intrigue and will be closely observed. It remains to be seen if the visit sparks any diplomatic discussions or gestures.


    Gaurav Bisht heads Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. He covers politics in the hill state and other issues concerning the masses.

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