DHARAMSALA, India – Hundreds of people gathered at a Buddhist temple in northern India’s Dharamsala on Thursday to celebrate the birthday of the head of Tibetan Buddhism.
Around 1,500 people, mostly Tibetans, came to the main Tibetan Buddhist temple of Tsuglhakhang at McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamsala, an epa journalist reported.
Many attendees were dressed in traditional Tibetan clothing as they played music and performed dances for the birthday of the Dalai Lama, who turned 82 on Thursday.
A giant cake was prepared for the event, which participants cut into pieces and gave out to attendees.
Numerous Tibetan flags were also on display at the celebration, including a large one that hung above a balcony at the temple.
The Dalai Lama – whose birth name is Tenzin Gyatso – was not in attendance at the Dharamsala event and instead celebrated his birthday in Ladakh, according to the Hindustan Times newspaper.
Dharamsala is home for the Dalai Lama and a large population of Tibetans as it also the center of the Central Tibetan Administration, Tibet’s government in exile.
The Dalai Lama has lived here in exile since 1959 when he fled Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.