His Holiness the Dalai Lama made his first foreign visit outside Tibet in 1954 when he spent almost a year in China meeting with its leaders and touring various places. In 1956, His Holiness made his second visit abroad to India at the invitation of the Mahabodhi Society of India to attend the 2500th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Lord Buddha. In 1959, His Holiness once again returned to India, this time as a refugee escaping the brutal Chinese occupation of Tibet, thus beginning his life in exile.
With the initial years of exile being focused on the rehabilitation of tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees in India, His Holiness made many visits within India visiting the refugees and their newly established camps. In 1967, His Holiness made his first visits abroad since coming into exile, visiting Japan and Thailand. In 1973, His Holiness made his first visit to the West, visiting 12 European countries in a record 75 days! His first visit to the Americas was to the United States and Canada in 1979.
To glance at a list of His Holiness' past visits, please click below.