'Footsteps of Buddha': Monks from Bhutan on trip to India

02:39 PM Nov 22, 2022 | PTI |

Kolkata : A delegation of 24 high-ranking Bhutanese monks arrived in Kolkata on Tuesday on a tour of various Buddhist holy sites in India.


Buddhism is not only the state religion of the Kingdom of Bhutan but also a way of life, Venerable Ugen Namgyal, the secretary of the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan, told PTI.

”We try to live in the footsteps of the Buddha… For us, Buddhism is a way of life. Even our arts and architecture reflect our religious traditions,” he said.

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) in coordination with the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan has organised the trip for the monks who head the Buddhist Sangha in each of the districts in the picturesque Himalayan kingdom, which lies sandwiched between India’s West Bengal and China’s Tibetan autonomous region.

The tour will conclude on November 30. The monks, led by IBC’s deputy secretary-general Venerable Jang Chup Choden and Ven Namgyal, will visit various Buddhist sites in India, including the Nagarjuna Konda in Andhra Pradesh, Buddhavanam in Telangana and Sankissa in Uttar Pradesh. ‘Zhung Dratshang’ or the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan was established in 1620. The unification of the country, codification of the laws, and organisational development of the dual system of governance took place only after the establishment of this significant institution.


According to Bhutan’s Constitution, the ‘Zhung Dratshang’ is an autonomous institution, financed by an annual grant from the royal government.


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