Dalai Lama to visit Ambaran next month

PTI, Oct 17,2011

Jammu, India -- Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will visit the Buddhist site of Ambaran on the outskirts of the city next month and inaugurate a photo exhibition on the ancient sites in Akhnoor.

"The Dalai Lama will visit Jammu on November 16 in connection with Buddhist sites at Akhnoor border belt in the district," Minister for Health and Horticulture Sham Lal Sharma said.

He will inaugurate a photo exhibition by Tibet expert Vijay Kranti and his photographer son Akshat Kranti at Kala Kendra on the day, he said. Appreciating the preservation work being done, the Dalai Lama had earlier agreed to touring the ancient sites after a photo exhibition was held on them at a hotel in New Delhi in April.

The exhibition, which will now be showcased in Jammu, will feature the stupa and relics at Ambaran as well as the historic Akhnoor Fort, majestic Chinab river, the Jia Poto Temple, Gurudwara Tapo Asthan and the Bhagwan Parsuram temple.

The site is known for its teracotta figures that include Buddha heads of various sizes and ornately dressed male and female statues, with clearly seen influences of the Graeco-Buddhist and Gandhara schools of art.

Buddhist monasteries here date as far back as the Gupta period and can be easily traced from the copper coins of about 500 AD, adding to their significance.