Thousands gather in Himachal to celebrate Buddhist fairBy IANS
Thursday, February 25, 2010
SHIMLA - Thousands of Buddhists from India and abroad have thronged to the Rewalsar lake in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district for the two-day Tsechu fair to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Padma Sambhava.
“Thousands of Buddhists have gathered at Rewalsar for the famous Tsechu fair that began Wednesday. The fair is being celebrated since centuries on the tenth of the first month every new year according to the Tibetan calendar,” an organiser of the fair told IANS Thursday.
The fair commemorates the birthday of Padma Sambhava, who went to Tibet from India via Nepal and preached Buddhism there in 747 AD. He meditated for many years on the banks of the Rewalsar, around 200 km from the state capital.
Besides a monastery, a Sikh shrine and a Hindu temple are also located on the banks of the lake.
Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts in the state have large Buddhist populations.
Tibetan spiritual guru the Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet and took refuge in Dharamsala in the state in 1959 with thousands of his devotees and established a government-in-exile.
Around 140,000 Tibetans now live in exile, over 100,000 of them in different parts of India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.