Ratnagiri: The 140 km long Eco Pad Yatra led by Drukpa lineage environmentalists His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche along with 100 Monks and Nuns of the Drukpa lineage and more than 200 devotees from across the world to raise awareness on environmental preservation and highlight Odisha as an important Buddhist heritage sites comes to an end today at Ratnagiri.
The 8-day long Eco Pad Yatra began from Bhubaneshwar after Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, the Tourism and Culture Minister of Odisha flagged off the yatra on 24th October, 2018. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, His Eminence Thuksey Rinpoche along with monks, nuns and devotees traversed across five important Buddhist sites, including Dhauli, to Khandagiri, Udayagiri, and to Lalitgiri before concluding at Ratnagiri.
Also, the Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik met His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche to express his support for the initiative. He thanked Drukpa Lineage for highlighting the important heritage sites of Odisha on this journey.
Speaking on the occasion, His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa said, “Our Pad Yatra aimed at reminding people about the importance of the mother nature and the important teachings of Buddha. The love and support we received from local population all along the way have given us a lot of hope. We do believe that locals will continue to contribute towards saving the Mother Nature and living in peace with their environment.”
During the journey, His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa encouraged yatris to be mindful and avoid killing any insects or animals unwittingly. His Holiness, His Eminence and the monastics performed Mahakala prayer in the holy place of Dhauli to seek protection and to purify all obstacles leading to spiritual enlightenment. The yatris also visited Ganesh Gunpha cave, dating back to the first century BC in Udayagiri and performed smoke puja with a strong belief and good heart to seek peace. His Holiness along with participants was received in Lalitgiri by Pradip Bhuyan, president of Buddhyan. It is one of the important heritage sites of the region and once was home to a prominent Buddhist academic institution as well as several relics and archaeological treasures. Along the way, the pad yatris also undertook a massive cleaning in Khandagiri and Paradip beach as well as on the journey and collected toxic litter and educated locals on environmental preservation. Over 1000 kg of waste, largely comprising of plastic water bottles and snack packages were collected by the pad yatris during the course of their eight-day journey.
The local population were thanked for their warm welcome and generosity shown to the pad yatris throughout their journey.