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Dalai Lama to visit Kashmir

Indo-Asian News Service, June 3, 2010

Dharamsala, India -- Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will visit the mountainous district of Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir this week to attend religious functions and teach, an aide said today.

"The Dalai Lama is reaching Gulabgarh for a day June 5 where he will bless his followers and attend religious functions the next day," Tenzin Taklha, joint secretary at the Dalai Lama's office, told IANS.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is also scheduled to attend.

Gulabgarh is a small Buddhist-dominated town in Paddar sub-district, famous for its sapphire mines. It borders the picturesque Zanskar Valley in Kargil district.

"This would the first visit of the Dalai Lama to Kishtwar," Taklha said. The Nobel laureate visited Leh last year.

Jagnat Narboo, president of the Himalayan Buddhist Society, which is organising the visit, said: "The Dalai Lama will attend Kachous (a religious function) at the centuries old Lossany monastery."

He said more than 25,000 Buddhists from Himachal Pradesh and the Ladakh region of Kashmir would converge on the occasion.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since 1959 heading a government-in-exile based in Dharamsala. India is also home to some 100,000 Tibetan exiles

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