Mangan, 22 Aug (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) on Thursday inaugurated Buddhist Circuit Building “Karma Tobden Denkhang” at Goenchen Phodong Karma Thubten Tashi Chokorling (Phodong Monastery) in North Sikkim in a propitious presence of His Eminence Drupen Dichen Rinpoche from Rumtek Monastery.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by Hon’ble Speaker, SLA, Hon’ble Deputy Speaker, SLA, Hon’ble, MP, Lok Sabha, Hon’ble Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Secretaries, DM/North, SP/North, officers from various departments, monks and local dignitaries.
Upon his arrival, the HCM was welcomed with a ceremonial reception by Ven. Udor Chosum at the main monastery. Thereafter, the HCM offered prayers at the main shrine-hall of Monastery.
Addressing on his maiden visit to North Sikkim as the Chief Minister, Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) extended his congratulations to the people of the district and the Lamas of Phodong monastery for getting a new Buddhist circuit building to cater to the needs of growing number of pilgrims coming to the monastery.
Responding to the demands placed by the Omjay of Phodong Monastery regarding visit of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to Sikkim, the HCM informed that the Government of India has given its consent to allow the Karmapa to visit Sikkim and also assured that the Karmapa will make his maiden visit to Sikkim in near future.
The HCM appreciated the efforts made by the Lamas who went on 707 days on hunger strike for the same cause and thanked the Government of India for granting his holiness to visit the Himalayan state. The Chief Minister mentioned the importance of bringing the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to the State for blessing, peace and communal harmony of the State.
Speaking on tourism of Sikkim, the HCM said that Buddhist circuit building like “Karma Topden Denkhang” plays a big role on bringing tourists from far corners of the globe. He stated that he has seen a very high potential of tourism industry in the North Sikkim and believes that the State is yet to capitalize on the full potential of the attracting tourists in the State.
He emphasized on the developing tourism infrastructure of highest degree to attract high class tourists in the State. High Class Tourism Corridor will be initiated to attract more tourists throughout the region, he added.
Furthermore, the HCM informed that his Government has an opinion of transforming every village of Sikkim into Smart Villages and elucidated the concept of “Smile Always” a gift of Rs 10/- by all the tourists visiting Sikkim which will be an extra impetus to the Tourism Sector of the State.
In this context, he called on the people of the State to put collective effort to promote tourism industry in the State.
The HCM assured that his Government is committed to fulfill the rising aspirations of all segments of the state. In doing so, he called on for people’s constant support. He encouraged the Government employees to work together for betterment of society.
Additionally, he stressed that the better working culture can only be achieved through an example set by the heads of department. He instructed the Government employees to duly discharge their duty with utmost sincerity and punctuality in the interest of the public.
Minister of RMD and Ecclesiastical Department, Shri Sonam Lama, reiterated the struggles faced by the Lama community to bring His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to Sikkim and thanked everyone who stood for this noble cause in difficult times.
Minister of Forest Environment & Wildlife Management Department, Shri Karma Loday Bhutia, gave brief details of Phodong Monastery. He said that this monastery is one of the oldest and precious monasteries which has become a centerpiece of tourist attraction. He anticipated that the newly constructed Buddhist circuit building in the vicinity of Phodong monastery will attract more tourists in the future.
Presenting the technical report of newly constructed Buddhist Circuit House, Secretary, Tourism Department, Shri T.T. Bhutia, informed this new tourist infrastructure at Phodong Monastery is constructed under the Project/Infrastructure Development for Destination and Circuits (PIDDC) Scheme in collaboration with Tourism Department, Government of Sikkim. The said Circuit House is equipped with the facilities like 7 nos. of Guest room, Lobby, Dormitory, Basement, Cafeteria and Kitchen.
On the occasion, the HCM was felicitated with the portrait of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje by the Phodong Monastery Committee.
Meanwhile, eight other reverent Lamas of Phodong Monastery were also accorded with citation for their marvelous contribution to the monastery.