The United States Ambassador to India, Kenneth I. Juster made his first ever three-day visit to Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, an official said today.
“During his visit to Ladakh, he met His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche Jigme Mipham, the spiritual representative to His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa,” he said.
The Ambassador also visited the Hemis Monastery and Druk Padma Karpo School. The Hemis Monastery is one of the oldest and most prominent monasteries in Ladakh and is held in great esteem by Buddhists of the Drukpa sect.
“The Ambassador received a warm traditional welcome in both Hemis and Drukpa Padma Karpo School [also known as the ‘Rancho School’ – where the film 3 Idiots was shot],” said the official.
“The monks and school children put together for the Ambassador a cultural show that offered a glimpse of Ladakhi music, dance, and cuisine.”
The children of the school demonstrated their self-defence skills through a small Kung-Fu demonstration and the Ambassador was highly impressed by the school and its children.
He also visited the Hemis Museum and the management of the Hemis Monastery laid out an elaborate ethnic Ladakhi vegetarian lunch for the Ambassador.
“During their meeting, Mr Ambassador and His Eminence discussed synergistic goals of the US and India that align with universal sustainability, climate change, women, and youth empowerment,” said the official.
“His Eminence shared with the Ambassador the historical significance of the Hemis Monastery and origins of the Drukpa lineage.”
He also briefed the Ambassador on the various on-ground developmental initiatives carried out by the Drukpas in Ladakh and underscored their persistent efforts in combating human trafficking and providing aid services in the face of natural disasters.
“As a goodwill gesture, the Ambassador presented His Eminence an ‘Ambassador Coin’ as a memento,” said the official.
The Hemis Monastery has hosted a number of eminent guests over the years. This was the Ambassador’s first ever visit to Ladakh in his capacity as the Ambassador to India.