The Dalai Lama describes it as "freedom in exile," but it's a "freedom" which has lasted longer than he likely ever dreamed about. Sixty years ago. the Tibetan Buddhist leader set foot on Indian soil to begin his life as a refugee.
After an unsuccessful revolt following the arrival of Chinese troops in Tibet, the Dalai fled Lhasa in fear for his life. Only 23 years old, he and his followers crossed a treacherous Himalayan pass into India on horseback, arriving on March 31, 1959. Then-Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru offered the religious leader asylum along with tens of thousands of other Tibetans who had followed him into exile. Ever since, the Dalai Lama -- who is revered as a living god by millions of Tibetan Buddhists -- has made India his home. India officially calls him "(our) most esteemed and honored guest."