Staff Reporter

Dalai Lama formally consecrates it in a 30-minute long ritual

HYDERABAD: When Dalai Lama consecrated the Buddha statue amidst the waters of the Hussainsagar, one fact appeared to be almost forgotten. The 17 metre-tall, monolithic statue was installed on December 1, 1992, but it was not consecrated not even during the visit of Dalai Lama a few years ago. It resembled an inaugural of sorts -- of the platform on which the statue was decorated and also of Khairunnisa, a double-decked cruise liner, on which the spiritual leader travelled.

While it has never been admitted by political leaders, they were wary of consecrating the statue for what appeared to be sentimental reasons. Former Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao lost power even as sculptors were working on the statue. Tragedy struck when M. Channa Reddy was the Chief Minister. The statue slipped into the Hussainsagar as it was being ferried aboard a barge. Some people lost their lives. It was up to former Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu to get it installed. During his tenure, not much thought was given to consecrate the statue. When the Dalai Lama consecrated it in a 30-minute ritual, the dream of many Buddhists came true on Monday.