Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India, 25 July 2016 – His Holiness left Dharamsala early this morning before sunrise for Jammu. He made a brief stop near Pathankot where a group of Ladakhi schoolchildren studying in a nearby boarding school greeted His Holiness with flowers and smiles. As the Leh-bound plane took off from Jammu and came out of the clouds the snow-capped mountains peeked into view followed soon after by the barren brown mountains of the Leh valley.
|Some of the thousands of people lining the road from the airport to Shewatsel Phodrang to greet His Holiness the Dalai Lama as he arrives in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 25, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL|
Thousands of people, many dressed in their finest attires holding traditional scarves, flowers and incense, lined the road from the airport to Shewatsel Phodrang. Mothers holding their newborn babies dotted the route seeking blessings from His Holiness. The 12-kilometer route took over one hour to drive.
Arriving at Shewatsel Phodrang, His Holiness’ official residence in Ladakh, His Holiness assumed his seat in the small assembly hall below his residence where the lamas, local leaders, both civilian and police, as well as religious and community leaders gathered. Ganden Tri Rinpoche, the President of the Ladakh Buddhist Association, and the local Tibetan Settlement Officer made the traditional mendel tensum offering to His Holiness.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the assembly hall of Shewatsel Phodrang in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 25, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL|
His Holiness briefed them about efforts to introduce a curriculum based on secular ethics which he hoped would be completed by the end of this year. He requested the local leaders to consider introducing this curriculum in the local schools in Ladakh.
Finally, before retiring for the day, His Holiness informed them that he was planning to spend the next three to four weeks in Leh including a two-week rest period with no scheduled engagements.