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Incredible India campaign goofs up on Tawang Monastery

The Incredible India campaign has goofed up on Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, suggesting the ancient structure was built just three decades ago.

A tweet by @incredibleindia tagging Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons reads: “Cradled amidst the mist-laden valleys of the Himalayas is Tawang Monastery, India’s largest Buddhist monastery. It was built at the request of the 5th Dalai Lama in 1980-81.”

Known in Tibetan as Gaden Namgyal Lhatse, the Tawang Monastery was indeed built according to the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso. But it was founded in 1680-81 by a monk named Merag Lodre Gyatso of the Gelug sect after the 4th Dalai Lama gave him a painting of goddess Palden Lhamo to be kept in the monastery. An eight-metre high gilded statue of Lord Buddha dominates the sanctum of the monastery.

“It must be a case of typographical error. We will take up with the Centre for correcting the date of the 338-year-old monastery,” Kanto Danggen, director of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tourism Department, told The Hindu.

Local legend has it that China had attacked Tawang in 1962 primarily to extract the secret to eternal youth believed to be buried under the monastery built at about 10,000 ft above sea level.

An international tourism campaign by the government since 2002, Incredible India had erred a decade ago by passing off a black African rhino as the great Indian rhinoceros, the bulk of whose population is in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park. The rhinos in Assam are one-horned, unlike their African cousins that sport two horns.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 9:08:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/incredible-india-campaign-goofs-up-on-tawang-monastery/article25596588.ece

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