Dalai Lama Inaugurates Buddha Statue During Visit to Ladakh, India

NTDTV.com, Jul 28, 2010

Ladakh, India -- The Dalai Lama inaugurated a 106-foot-tall Buddha statue during his nine-day visit to the Himalayan region of Ladakh. The statue of Buddha Maitreya is at a monastery in India's Jammu and Kashmir State.

Buddhist monks welcomed the Dalai Lama at the monastery, playing religious musical instruments and drums.

Hundreds of Ladakhi and Tibetan Buddhists attended the sermons by the Dalai Lama.

"Your arrival here is a very significant thing for us. Just by sitting beside you, there is a feeling of calmness. You came to our land and prayed for the people of this region, for peace and brotherhood. We do not wish for anything more than this", said Omar Abdullah, Chief of Jammu and Kashmir State in his welcome address.

The statue of Lord Maîtreya Buddha or the future Buddha is the tallest in the Ladakh region, which has a significant population of Buddhist followers.

Built under the leadership of Thiksay Rinpoche of the Diskit monastery, the statue took six years to complete and cost 30 million rupees, or more than 600-thousand dollars.