Bhubaneswar: Eco Pad Yatra led by Drukpa lineage environmentalists was flagged off by Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, the Tourism and Culture Minister of Odisha, from the State Odisha Bharat Scouts & Guide Campus. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, over 100 Monks and Nuns of the Drukpa lineage and more than 200 devotees from across the world are undertaking a 140 km walking journey in Odisha to raise awareness on environmental preservation.
The 8 day long Eco Pad Yatra led by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche will cover 140 km 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). The Pad Yatra will also cover the Buddhist heritage sites in the areas.
Speaking at the event, His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche said, “In our Modern lifestyle, we have totally forgotten the ancient times as well as mother nature – both of which hold important lessons for us. Our Pad Yatra aims to remind people of both these important aspects and the important teachings of Buddha. We look forward to motivating people along our walking journey as walking on earth helps us build a relationship with the nature and also connect with people on ground and inspire them to take care of their environment and spread awareness on the same among others. All this while taking inspiration from the Buddhist heritage sites of Odisha.”
Speaking on the event, Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, the Tourism and Culture Minister said, “We welcome His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche and Drukpa Nuns and Monks along with their devotees who are undertaking this 140 km pad yatra with an important mission to raise awareness about preservation of our environment among the people of Odisha. Odisha has the honour of having many important Buddhist heritage sites across the state and we look forward to this Pad Yatra bringing attention on them and the important lessons from Lord Buddha on peace, universal brotherhood and harmony with nature.”
During the course of the Eco Pad Yatra, His Holiness, His Eminence, Monks and Nuns and the devotees 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.
The Eco Pad Yatra will conclude on 31st October 2018 in Ratnagiri, Odisha.