Odisha to host 2018 “Eco Pad Yatra”

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Bhubaneswar: His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, over 150 monastics of the Drukpa lineage and more than 200 devotees from across the world will undertake a 140km walking journey in Odisha this month, to raise awareness on environmental preservation. Now in its 13th year, this annual event known worldwide as the “Eco Pad Yatra” (foot journey). It has changed the landscape of each chosen location, inspiring new waves of environmental activity. Odisha has initiated action to check the use of plastic . Reports state that beginning October 2, plastic bags are banned in six cities and the ban is expected to be extended to more cities.

The Eco-Pad Yatra will kick off in Bhubaneswar on 24 October, 2018. In the 8-day long EcoPad Yatra, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and participants will travel 140km by foot through five important Buddhist sites, including Bhubaneswar, Udayagiri (known as the city of major stupas and monasteries), Dhauli (the city of the famous Shanti Stupa), to Lalitgiri (the city known for its enormous brick monasteries) and Ratnagiri (a city with remains of 300 minor stupas).

Speaking about the upcoming event, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa shares that, “In ancient times the Buddha walked with his disciples and taught them through his physical actions as well as verbal expressions. Similarly, through this Eco Pad Yatra, we are communing with one another through action, drawing inspiration from the Buddhist heritage of Odisha, and spreading an urgent environmental message along with it.”

During the course of the Eco Pad Yatra, His Holiness, His Eminence and the monastic and lay pilgrims will offer daily prayers for peace and compassion, perform large-scale cleanings of the terrain along its route, and will campaign amongst the local citizens about the importance of preserving nature and sustainability. The event will also promote awareness about the Buddhist heritage sites of Odisha, where cultural relics and monastic structures have been preserved for hundreds of years.

This will be the 16th consecutive Eco Pad Yatra undertaken by the Drukpa lineage. The Eco Pad Yatra will conclude on 31st October 2018 in Ratnagiri, Odisha.

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