søndag 22. april 2018

The spirit of Little Tibet

There are many reasons to go to Dharamshala. It is one of Himachal Pradesh’s most important towns. It now has its own cricket stadium. It has a beautiful location at the foot of the Himalayas. But, in truth, there is only one reason why it has come to so much global attention. In 1960, the Dalai Lama moved to Dharamshala, then a sleepy ghost town, and set up the Tibetan government-in-exile. He chose the suburb of McLeod Ganj, a few miles away from the main city, and the Tibetans built imposing structures, including the house where the Dalai Lama himself lives.

Over time, more and more Tibetans fled from Chinese rule and settled in Dharamshala, to the extent that something like 30 per cent of the population is Tibetan. But because the Tibetans are concentrated in McLeod Ganj, it often feels like there are many more of them, and McLeod Ganj is known as Little Tibet.