Monday, October 5, 2009


Fifty years ago, the 14th Dalai Lama made his escape into India through Tawang. He stayed in this monastery, the 328 year old Galden Namgey Lhatse Monastery, Tibetan Buddhism's biggest monastery after the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Fifty years later much has changed. We now have the 1962 war and a defeat--deep imprint of which still remains in the minds of Indians and residents of Tawang. Fifty years later, we also have the Tawang Lhasa highway. A highway that I thought looked better with all the distance maths on this beautiful yellow board. I visited Tawang to find out if indeed people were waiting for the Dalai Lama's much talked about November visit. Last year he had cancelled his visit reportedly after he was denied permission to travel by the Ministry of External Affairs. This year the story so far seems to be different. Tawang remains the shortest route from Tibet into India. When we went, it was early morning, very few people and the monastery was just waking up.

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