Tibetan monk crawls his way from Nepal to Bihar

Indo-Asian News Service, January 3, 2007

Patna, India -- A Buddhist monk from Tibet, who is crawling all the way to Bodh Gaya in Bihar, has entered the state from neighbouring Nepal.

Gyansen Lama, who in his 20s, began his bizarre journey from Tibet 18 months ago to express his devotion to the Buddha, the founder of the world's fastest growing religion, advocating moderation and non-violence.

Lama entered Eastern Champaran district last week and is slowly moving towards Bodh Gaya, 110 km from here. He will offer special prayers at the 1,500-year-old Mahabodhi temple near the Bodhi tree, under which Buddha attained enlightenment.

He is set to fulfil his goal in the next few months.

"He will do it unless his health deteriorates due to the ongoing cold wave in Bihar," said an official of the Tibetan monastery in Bodh Gaya Wednesday.

A large number of people had gathered at different parts of his route to watch his unusual pilgrimage.

Lama reached Kathmandu over a month ago and is believed to cover seven kilometres daily on an average. He is accompanied by two more monks, who take care of his health and daily needs.

The Mahabodhi temple was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in June 2002 and attracts hundreds of tourists every day.