The Dalai Lama will be on a five-day visit to Sikkim from October 28, the State Ecclesiastical Department Minister, Ven Sonam Lama said. Lama, who is currently at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, told newspersons here via video conferencing that he, along with the department secretary Passang D Phempu had met the Buddhist spiritual head at his residence there and delivered a letter from Chief Minister P S Tamang inviting him to Sikkim.
The Dalai Lama accepted the invitation and expressed his keen desire to visit Sikkim. Tamang said "I am joyful that His Holiness accepted the invitation to visit our State. His benign presence will be a great privilege for the devotees to seek his blessings".
The Dalai Lama is the head of the Gelugpa sect of Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism which has a large number of followers in Sikkim. This will be the 86-year-old Buddhist spiritual head's sixth visit to the State, which till 1975 was a Buddhist monarchy and had a close cultural relationship with Tibet.
The Nobel Peace Prize awardee had last visited the State in 2010. He was scheduled to visit Sikkim in 2018, but it was cancelled due to his health problems.