Kollegal, Karnataka, India, 17 February 2009 (By B.K. Upmanyu, Northern Voices Online) - After inaugurating the Tibetan college in Bangalore yesterday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived this morning at Dhondhenling
Tibetan Settlement, located in Kollegal in South Indian state Karnataka. His Holiness is scheduled to stay in the settlement today. Dignitaries from the Indian administration, including member of local legislative assembly, Mr Narendra R, deputy commissioner and superintendent of police received His Holiness upon his arrival at the settlement. On behalf of the Tibetan community, secretary of home department, representative of Dhondhenling settlement, Dzongchen Rinpoche, Tana Rinpoche, Tenpa Nyima Rinpoche, president of local Tibetan assembly and principal of CST school, welcomed His Holiness. Around 5000 Tibetan residents, including school children, representatives from the various institutions of the settlement, accorded a ceremonial reception to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A group of schoolchildren presented traditional dance, Tashi shoelpa, on the occasion.
Later a ceremony was held at the official residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama which was attended by dignitaries from the local Indian administration and representatives from the Dhodhenling settlement. In his brief address to the gathering, His Holiness the Dalai Lama extended gratitude to the state government for their support.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will confer teachings today morning following which the Tibetan community will present auspicious offerings for long and healthy life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The representative of Dhondhenling will present annual report of various activities undertaken by the settlement. Following this, Mr Ngodup Dorjee, secretary of home department and Mr Tsewang Sonam, president of local Tibetan assembly, will address the gathering. Dhondenling Tibetan settlement was established in 1974 with the help of the Government
of Indian and Karnataka State. Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency (MYRADA) extended their technical help in construction of living quarters, settlement offices, hospital , school buildings road etc. The settlement has total area of 3000 acres.
The settlement, with a total population of 5246, consists of 22 villages or refugee camps with average of 25-35 families in each camps. Agriculture is the main stay of the settlement people. They cultivate maize, rice, ragi etc. Apart from the agriculture, some of the settlers also do sweater selling during winter season to earn extra income to their family.