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In Pictures: Dalai Lama leads peace prayers
Tibetan spiritual leader performs Kalachakra as 150,000 devotees attend religious meet in India-administered Kashmir.
Last updated: 07 Jul 2014 12:20
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Tibetans snuck into India dodging Chinese border guards to see their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, perform the 33rd Kalachakra for world peace in Shey, a tiny town nestled 3,400m-high in the Himalayas.

The massive religious teaching, said to empower tens of thousands of his disciples to attain enlightenment, is a significant event for Buddhists.

About 150,000 devotees from around the world are flocking to the northern Ladakh district in India-administered Kashmir, which shares an eastern border with Tibet.

The Dalai Lama also reiterated his plea to Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to halt violence against Muslims, in a speech to tens of thousands of devotees to mark his 79th birthday.

China reportedly deployed extra troops and cracked down on Tibetans travelling to attend the 12-day gathering that began on July 3. Despite this, several Tibetans told Al Jazeera that they crept over the border at night.

The Dalai Lama fled China in the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, settling in Dharamshala in northern India, where he set up the Tibetan government in exile. He has since held Kalachakras every few years or so around the world - from India to New York.

The Tibetan spiritual leader remains a point of tension between India and China. Just days before the Kalachakra, Chinese troops reportedly showed their might at a disputed border between Tibet and Ladakh, repeatedly entering territory both countries claim.


/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

Ladakh's first Kalachakra in 38 years saw hotels in the main town of Leh booked out, with followers bedding down in thousands of tents, empty government buildings and schools.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

Ladakh Buddhist Association President Dr Tondup Tsewang told Al Jazeera that the Kalachakra was of great importance to the region, which is home to numerous Tibetan refugees.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

Dr Tsewang, who keeps a tattered fabric badge from attending Ladakh's first Kalachakra in 1976, said that the whole community was involved in the event.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

Nearly 80,000 local Ladakhis, 15,000 Tibetans from around the world, 9000 monks and nuns, 5000 foreigners and numerous Indians attended the first day's teaching.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

Many Ladakhis came dressed in traditional clothes: voluminous woollen goncha robes clinched at the waist, dupatta silk scarfs and top hats.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

Monks of all ages couldn't contain their excitement, running to get a seat in the Kalachakra ground on the bank of the River Indus after passing security.

 


/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

A vast shade-cloth was erected to protect followers from the sun, while nine LCD TV screens broadcast the Dalai Lama around the Kalachakra ground.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

The event was also live-streamed online via a camera above the stage and translated into 11 languages.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

Local police and army were called in to help secure the event, managing traffic and controlling the crowd outside.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

The Dalai Lama resigned as leader of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile in 2011 and has spoken of his desire to retire one day.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

It is expected that the Tibetan spiritual leader will confer another Kalachakra initiation next year when he turns 80.



/Dorjey Kaya/Al Jazeera

The Dalai Lama has long been calling for Tibet to be given autonomy to preserve its culture and religion, rather than full independence from China.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

The Chinese authorities regard the Dalai Lama as a separatist.



/Alys Francis/Al Jazeera

Kalachakra is a Buddhist process that empowers tens of thousands of his disciples to attain enlightenment.




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images:
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captions:

Ladakh(***)s first Kalachakra in 38 years saw hotels in the main town of Leh booked out, with followers bedding down in thousands of tents, empty government buildings and schools.

;*;

Ladakh Buddhist Association President Dr Tondup Tsewang told Al Jazeera that the Kalachakra was of great importance to the region, which is home to numerous Tibetan refugees.

;*;

Dr Tsewang, who keeps a tattered fabric badge from attending Ladakh(***)s first Kalachakra in 1976, said that the whole community was involved in the event.

;*;

Nearly 80,000 local Ladakhis, 15,000 Tibetans from around the world, 9000 monks and nuns, 5000 foreigners and numerous Indians attended the first day(***)s teaching.

;*;

Many Ladakhis came dressed in traditional clothes: voluminous woollen goncha robes clinched at the waist, dupatta silk scarfs and top hats.

;*;

Monks of all ages couldn(***)t contain their excitement, running to get a seat in the Kalachakra ground on the bank of the River Indus after passing security.

 
;*;

A vast shade-cloth was erected to protect followers from the sun, while nine LCD TV screens broadcast the Dalai Lama around the Kalachakra ground.

;*;

The event was also live-streamed online via a camera above the stage and translated into 11 languages.

;*;

Local police and army were called in to help secure the event, managing traffic and controlling the crowd outside.

;*;

The Dalai Lama resigned as leader of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile in 2011 and has spoken of his desire to retire one day.

;*;

It is expected that the Tibetan spiritual leader will confer another Kalachakra initiation next year when he turns 80.

;*;

The Dalai Lama has long been calling for Tibet to be given autonomy to preserve its culture and religion, rather than full independence from China.

;*;

The Chinese authorities regard the Dalai Lama as a separatist.

;*;

Kalachakra is a Buddhist process that empowers tens of thousands of his disciples to attain enlightenment.

Daylife ID:
53334e6bd8796ca353313a592ae1517e
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Dorjey Kaya/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera;*;Alys Francis/Al Jazeera
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Daylife
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