Monday, December 3, 2012

Pilgrimage to Mundgod: With H.H the Dalai Lama. Part I

On Pilgrimage...

In this post, I will write about the journey and some other interesting things that happened. And in the next post, I will write about the audience with His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Towards the evening of 28th November, with the tawny sun set, we started packing our clothes to set on the pilgrimage to Mundgod. We were a group of Bhutanese students studying in Navodaya Group of Institutions. Mundgod is about 400 plus Kilometers from Raichur. I was so impressed that all of my friends have Bhutanese National dress in their bags. We have that unique dress, united. Finally, at 9.30 pm bus started moving, all of us smiled with the assurance that we are on the pilgrimage to meet His holiness the Dalai Lama who would visit Mundgod, where thousands of Tibetans settled as refugee since China captured their peaceful country. It was full of fun in the bus: we tried closing our eyes and enter into the dreamland but bumping bus cut our beautiful dream short. Early in the morning of 29th November, we reached Mundgod.

We were so impressed with the architectural beauty of the monasteries where thousands of Tibetan monks study. We forgot that we were in India. Designs and painting resembles Bhutanese architecture a lot. We were mesmerized with the beautiful paintings, so artistic! Then our senior Tshering Choden escorted us to the room (Bhutanese students were offered two rooms for boys a room for girls). I am sure I run short of word to describe the spectacular scene without these photos:

KalaChakra Stupa

Gaden Shartse  Thoesam Norling Monastry.

Audience with Bhutanese Rinpochoe and Gesheys...

On 29th November, all Bhutanese were granted audience by Thukden  Yarphel Rinpochoe in the afternoon. He appreciated our willingness to wear our national dress despite being in India. And, as a token of gift and hearty welcome, he sponsored dinner for all Bhutanese pilgrims ( 46 students from Raichur and some Bhutanese devotees). We are so grateful to Rinpochoe for his time with us. 

On the morning of 30th November, Geshey Thukden granted us audience. He expressed his happiness to see us in Gho and Kira. He gave us the token of appreciation, individually. We offered Khadar to greet him in Bhutanese tradition. Towards the crawl of twilight, we were in Gajang Tibetan Herbal Center with Geshey Dr. Lobsang Tenzin. He is from Trashi Yangtse. He said, "I am so happy that you all came to meet me. Serve your country to the best of your ability as an educated people. Our country is unique and must remain so through all generations. You all look handsome and beautiful in Gho and Kira." He speaks so humble and keeps smiling throughout our presence. I can still feel his soft touch on my cheeks when I offered Khadar to him. We had photo session. He played and snapped photo with the children.

I am so sure that we would not have got this opportunity without the help of two Bhutanese monks. We would like to thank two monks for escorting us, guiding us and for making our presence important. Without you two we may not have got this golden opportunity to meet Rinpochoe and Gesheys who are also from Bhutan. I felt proud to be the son of Drukyul.  

Bhutanes boys posing for photo after the reception of H.H the Dalai Lama

International Appreciations...

"I am impressed that you all care to come in National Dress. It looks spectacular and unique," said one of the Bhutanese monk. We met with the Bhutanese students from Pune. Had there been no dress, how would we recognize them in the crowd?

There were hundreds of tourist in queue, who all came to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama and attain his 13 days Jangchup Lamrim Teachings. We succeeded to catch their attention, it happened all naturally. They were amazed with our union, walking all together in same dress. They came forward to snap photos with us, some piped and snapped our photos. And smiled broad when we notice them stealing our presence to their camera. 

Singaporean tourist teased Kinley Wangchuk, "Oh! handsome boy came here," and touched his hair and adjusted their posture for the shoot. They were happy with our interactive nature. 

With Singaporean tourist where Kinley was teased.
Tibetan Dishes...

Camp sumpa (meaning Camp 3) was our frequent destination, for we get to taste Momo, Bathup, Thukpa and other Bhutanese-friendly dishes. We felt we are in Bhutan when we see Choekyed signboard everywhere. We can read it. It is so amazing that the Bhutanese and the Tibetan can interact in our own languages. We spoke in Dzongkha, they understood us. They spoke in Tibetan, we understood them. In some cases, we have to communicate in Hindi when we fail to communicate in our own languages. That was full of fun. 

Some of our boys were trapped by the beautiful Tibetan girls. Their eyes were hooked to them until they enter their house or go out of their sight. But our boys never has that gut to speak with them ha-ha-ha. 


Beggars were in plenty. It could be because the compassionate monks offer them enough. They have different styles of begging: some carry crying baby and beg from us to fed her child full, some dance and sing, some simply sit and beg, some were forceful enough to take advantage of cool Bhutanese, and some were with drums. I was startled with two beggars. They were a couple. Wife beats the drum, musically. And husband dance, rhythmically. He carried a whip of a length little bit shorter than his height. He beats his body where whip goes around his body making loud sound. If I get that hard beating, I would not be able to move my body for next two days. But he does it normally. He does it every time we request him to do. Bhutanese boys gave him around Rs. 40 for his skillful demonstration. But I didn't.

Concluding remark...

Drukpas from Drukyul

It is the evidence which proves how handsome, beautiful,  smart, pretty, decent and disciplined the Bhutanese looks in our national dress. I am so happy that we got this golden opportunity. It was the memorable moment. I was teased, "Wai...Chief Guest, you are coming late," just before we snapped this photo because I was late for some reason. We always have the sense of humor. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes Monu, You all look very very handsome, decent, unique and beautiful in our national all should do this often....

    I know there is no dress code that can match ours. gho and kira are simply awesome and mind blowing.

    by the way I am starting to feel very envious with u guys....You all met H.H Dalai Lama!!!!!

    Man I also dream of meeting Him one day... I want to let H.H how much i appreciate about his peace plan in this world... I worship him...and yea send me some blessing too....



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