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Visit of her Excellency, the President of India, to Tawang Gaden Namgyal Lhatse Monastery 

On 2nd of April 2009, her Excellency, the President of India, Smti. Pratibha Devsingh Patil visited Tawang Monastery, one of the oldest and biggest monasteries in the world. The President was accompanied by Retired General J. J. Singh, the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, HMLA Shri Tsewang Dhondup, HMLA, H.E. T.G. Rinpoche, Shri Gamli Padu, Deputy Commissioner and other dignitaries. The entire monks of the monastery spearheaded by the abbot, H. E. Guru Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Lopon, Lama Umzed and other senior monks accorded a ceremonial reception in a traditional way to the President.

The head of the state initiated her three day visit to the state of Arunachal Pradesh by having an audience of 340 years old Tawang Monastery in the beginning. In the visitors' book, she describes her visit at the monastery as very peaceful and warm. It has been an honour and pride for the entire members of the monastery to receive the President on her maiden visit to the region after assuming the highest constitutional seat of the country.

After exchange of greetings, the President was escorted to the Main Prayer Hall (Dhukhang) of the monastery. Her Excellency heartily offered Khata (traditional scarf), as a mark of respect, at the feet of the 27 feet gilded statue of the Buddha and displayed her deep respect for the great teacher. Apart from this, Her Excellency lighted a butter lamp and incense in the main prayer hall (Dukhang).

The first woman President also visited the museum of the monastery which was established in 1998 with the intention of preserving age old religious artefacts and other priceless objects of the past. Her Excellency was all praise for the wonderful display of antique objects. However, she emphasized the further need to preserve them scientifically with the help of available technology.

For the entertainment of the first citizen, monks performed monastic dances, sporting colourful attires. She also had the taste of butter tea, which is the most popular beverage of the region. A brochure, written in English, on Tawang Monastery was also handed over to the President. The President also shares a spot in the photograph with the abbot and senior monks of the monastery.

At the time of departure from the monastery after an hour of warm stay here, the entire monks of the monastery bade her farewell and the abbot of the monastery expressed his happiness over the visit of the Supreme Commander.

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