Thursday, January 27, 2011


We left Orissa Tibetan Settlement around 4 in the morning as it was supposed to be a very long car ride to Mainpat Tibetan Settlement. We had not anticipated how long it would be. It turned out to be a surprise.

(TNT la having a traditional lunch on the way to Mainpat with Ugen Tenzin la and Jigme Jungney la)

It turned out to be more than an eighteen hour journey. We finally reached Mainpat sometime around 10 in the night. I don’t think I need to mention anything about how tiresome the whole journey was but it was interesting to see that Mainpat Tibetan Settlement is located on a small hill and the weather was much cooler compared to Orissa which was already pretty hot and we could imagine how hot it would be in the summer.

(Landscape of Mainpat Tibetan Settlement)

The Mainpat Phendeyling Tibetan Settlement consists of 7 Camps and each camp separated from one another by an average distance of 5 to 6 Km’s. So it was great to see a packed hall and I have to commend the work TCHRD is doing in regards to educating the Tibetan Public about Democracy.

Another nickname for Mainpat is that it is sometimes called the Switzerland of the settlements as during summer, it is beautiful with flowers blooming. Unluckily, we were not able to see that as we were there in the wrong season but we could see the beautiful landscape. It is an agricultural based settlement but at the same time, most of the Tibetans depend on their winter sweater selling business.

(Ugen Tenzin la, the Director of TCHRD introducing TNT la)

When TNT la was speaking to the Local Tibetans, I don’t know whether it was just my opinion but it was as if not a single word was lost. Everyone was listening to each and every word and when the questions came, TNT la answered each and everyone precisely and to their satisfaction.

(A packed hall in Mainpat)

Even though the session was only for about two hours, it went on for another half an hour due to the huge number of questions.

(Outside the hall in Mainpat)

We left Mainpat around 1 in the afternoon as we had to travel to Raipur which was another 7 hours away for our flight to Dharamsala.