Tibetan spiritual leader allowed to visit near China border

September 2nd, 2008 - 4:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Sep 2 (IANS) India has finally allowed Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorjee, a Tibetan spiritual guru, to conduct his religious tour in areas close to China border, his aides said here Tuesday.The 17th Karmapa, the only major monk reincarnate recognised by both the Dalai Lama and China, had sought permission to visit various monasteries in Lahaul and Spiti districts of Himachal Pradesh as well as Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir in July this year.

At that time, the aides said, he was not given permission to visit Buddhist-dominated areas along the China border in the wake of the Beijing Olympics. But the government had not cited any reason while denying him permission.

Now his religious tour will start from Sep 8 with a visit to Ladakh.

Later, he will attend prayer meetings in Lahaul and Spiti, including the world-famous Tabo monastery, which is also called the Ajanta of the Himalayas.

The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu School, which is one of the four sects of Buddhism. He is considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.

The Karmapa fled Tibet and sought refuge in India some eight years ago. Ever since, he has mostly lived in the Gyuto Tantric monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala - the seat of the Tibetan government in exile, which is not recognised by any country.

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