Dalai Lama visit to Jammu surprises many

Dalai Lama visit to Jammu surprises many

Hameed Shaheen

ISLAMABAD: The first ever visit tomorrow (Nov 17, 2011) by Dalai Lama, the spiritual elder of the Buddhists worldwide, to the thus-far-forgotten time-demolished Buddhist monastery of Ambaran on the Chenab riverside in occupied Jammu, has filled the air with ripples of curiosities and attraction both.

Ambaran is little known to the average person except the archeological scholars of the region whose unexhausted thirst for such sites locations led them to many other discoveries in the State, in AJK and in IHK both.

The Ambaran Buddhist monastery site, experts say, comprises meditation corners, spiritual ordeals/discipline quarters, fully functional from second century to mid-sixth century attracting devotees from far and wide. Today the spiritual practices are alive in the Laddakh region of Jammu and Kashmir state, a region harboring Siachin heights extra strategic to the whole world, what to speak of countries around – Pakistan, China and India.

Dalai Lama now sojourning in Dharamsala in India had fled Tibet some fifty years back. The elderly Lama’s meeting with the US president in the White House on US government invitation in the recent past had soared the political temperament of both China and US to a new sour.

In Shardah, a highly picturesque secluded natural site in the Upper Neelum Valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, exists the site of a Buddhist university on the ancient route from Taxila via Mansehra to Muzaffarabad to Neelum Valley to Gilgit to China and Far East. Experts believe this route is revivable even today with modern logistics and journey break facilities.

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