Religious procession marks Buddha Jayanti celebrations in Leh

Excelsior Correspondent
LEH, Apr 30: To mark the auspicious occasion of 2562nd Buddha Jayanti celebration, thousands of people congregated at historical Polo Ground with great zeal and enthusiasm.
The main event was the religious procession known as “Bhumskor” in which a large number of people carrying sacred books went around Leh town along with twelve Jhankis (Tableau) depicting the twelve great enlightening deeds of Buddha.
Hundreds of school children representing different schools also participated in the procession which commenced from Chowkhang Vihara and after passing through Namgyal Tsemo culminated at Polo Ground where people in large numbers were present. The historical event, organized by Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), began with lighting of traditional lamp “Chotmey”.
The chief guest Skaybje Rigyal Tsang Konchok Tenzin Rigpe Dorjay Rinpoche talked about Lord Buddha’s contribution to the entire humanity. Rigyal Rincpoche also drew the attention of the people over the exponential changes that Ladakh has seen over the last few years because of so many tourists visiting Ladakh. Rincpoche advised people of Ladakh to keep the region’s fragile ecology undisturbed from such developments.
Earlier, LBA president, Tsewang Thinles, in his welcome speech, said that if there are still discriminations being meted out to some sections of the society in the name of caste, then we cannot be called the followers of Lord Buddha. He said we need to be 21st century’s Buddhists and practices like the caste system has no place in Buddhism.
President, Ladakh Gonpa Association, Shetup Chamba, also spoke on the occasion. Students of various schools sung devotional songs praising Lord Buddha. A skit was also presented depicting the life history of Gautama Buddha.
A blood donation camp was also organized on the occasion by LBA youth in collaboration with Health Department.
The event came to end with vote of thanks by LBA vice president, Rinchen Namgyal. Ladakh Affairs and Cooperative Minister, Chering Dorjey, LAHDC Executive Councillors– Tsering Wangdus  and Gyal P Wangyal, Councilors, MP Thupstan Chhewang, former CEC Rigzin Spalbar, political heads, religious heads and district officers also graced the occasion.