Trade picks up in Gangtok during Dalai Lama's visit

Gangtok, Dec.23 (ANI): Visitors from across the world thronged Gangtok to attend sermons delivered by the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, providing boost to the trade and business in the region.

The sale of items, which are an important part of Buddhist rituals, are in great demand.

The travel and tourism segment in the region too has gained.

Tour operators said the visit has definitely brought a good amount of people in the region, leading to good market sales.

"His Holiness, the Dalai Lama's visit has boosted our tourism because so many people have come to Gangtok. They went to Tashiding, they went to Pelling, the number of tourists, which I have seen many religious tourists have come, disciples, there are devotees," said Lukendra Rasaily, the president of the Travel Agent Association of Sikkim (TAAS).

Shopkeepers are an elated lot, as the Dalai Lama's visit has given them an opportunity to increase their sales.

Tseten Norbu Bhutia, a resident, said it is not only trade that has earned a boost but also one's spiritual quest.

"It's not only a big boost for the local economy but it's a big boost for the spiritual seekers as well," said Bhutia.

The Tibetan spiritual leader sanctified the proposed Buddha statue Sangay Chomden Dey (Lord Buddha in Sikkim) that stands 125 feet in height and would be the tallest Buddha statue in the world.

The statue is made of nickel-aluminium bronze alloy and weighs about 57 tonnes.

Over 30,000 devotees attended the sermon delivered by Dalai Lama out of which many were foreign tourists, Buddhist monks from across the country and abroad. By Tashi Pradhan(ANI)

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