Dalai Lama's visit to Lahaul-Spiti promotes tourism in Himachal

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Lahaul-Spiti (Himachal), July 14 (ANI): Lahul-Spiti, a tribal region which remains isolated for more than half-a-year from rest of world, is presently emerging as a centre for religious tourism.

The place has started drawing a big number of tourists from different parts of the country and world since Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's visits to Lahaul-Spiti's Kaza and Tabo towns. It is also very close to Tibet.

An increasing number of Buddhist devotees are converging from different corners of the world here to attend spiritual sessions by Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama at Lahaul and Spiti.

Hordes of Tibetan and Indian Buddhists, monks, nuns, children, foreign tourists, and others have assembled at the Sakya monastery in Lahaul-Spiti district of the state for the preaching.

Sunn, a Mexican national, is one of such devotees who came to the hill town to meet the Dalai Lama.

"I came here to see Dalai Lama and it's a beautiful place. It was little bit hard to come here. Very special scenery and the ceremonies were great," said Sunn.

Meanwhile, the arrival of tourists and devotees is giving boost to the enthusiasm of local residents. They are delighted, as they hope that visiting devotees will further promote the region on the map of international religious tourism, especially for Buddhist followers worldwide.

"Tourists are coming here in large numbers. A minimum 400 to 500 visitors arrive here daily. They have come here to attend spiritual sessions and preaching. It is nice as tourists will come and see monasteries and culture here and they will further promote it in the world," said Sohan Singh, a village council head.

Besides Sakya monastery, there are other famous monasteries such as Key, Kibber, Khangsar, Komic and Tabo in the northern region.

The Dalai Lama has been living in Dharamsala along with thousands of his followers ever since they fled from their homeland after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

An estimated 134,000 Tibetans live in exile, a majority of them in India and Nepal. By Prem Thakur (ANI)

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