Tawang-Dalai Lama inaugurates Dorjee Khandu Memorial Museum

 Tawang

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama today inaugurated the Dorjee Khandu Memorial Museum and the adjacent Jangchub Chorten here in presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Parliamentary Secretary Jambey Tashi, local legislator Tsering Tashi, monks, officials and family members of Late Dorjee Khandu.

The Dalai Lama, who earlier in the day continued with his teachings at the Yid GaChosin monastery ground, consecrated the museum and made an elaborate tour of the exhibits. Creative Consultant Moji Riba guided the Dalai Lama and explained in detail the sections and exhibits of the museum.

The Dorjee Khandu Memorial Museum and the Jangchub Chorten, both in a sprawling and scenic complex, is designed as a personal history monument of former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister late Dorjee Khandu, who passed away in a helicopter crash in April 2011, at the peak of his political career.

The museum is supported by the Govt of Arunachal Pradesh with a grant of Rs. 1.8 crores, made during the visit of the then Chief Minister late Jarbom Gamlin to attend the last rites of late Khandu. It was decided by the State government that an apt memorial be created in honour of late Khandu, under whom the State witnessed phenomenal growth and development.

It was but a befitting tribute to the late leader, whose memorial museum was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama himself in presence of his eldest son Pema Khandu, the present chief minister of the state, and family members.

The central idea of the museum is to share with visitors late Dorjee Khandu’s personal life journey, as well as the achievements made by him in his years of public life.

Gallery 1 and 2 uses a mix-media blend to bring to its visitors a collection of exhibits and information on late Dorjee Khandu’s life and work.

A key feature of Gallery 1 is the display on the 32nd Kalachakra held at Bodh Gaya, Bihar in 2012. This edition of one of Buddhism’s most significant religious events was initiated by late Khandu and later organised by his family.

The Luguthang Arena at the centre of the gallery pays homage to those who perished in the fateful helicopter crash on 30 April 2011 and contains exhibits and personal articles retrieved from the crash site. This arena also has a tribute to each of the four other persons who were on-board with him on the flight.

Gallery 2 is a large-sized panel on late Khandu’s vision for Arunachal Pradesh, highlighting the thrust areas of his tenure. It also highlights his idea of a ‘people first’ style of governance and his emphasis on working collectively in the spirit of ‘Team Arunachal’.

In keeping with the museum’s organic character, visitors are appealed to also contribute videos, audio recordings and photographs they have of late Dorjee Khandu, which will be incorporated into the content held in the museum.

A unique aspect of The Dorjee Khandu Memorial Museum is the changing exhibitions in Gallery 3, which is titled The Canvas of Changing Light.

Tawang-Dalai Lama inaugurates Dorjee Khandu Memorial MuseumApart from the permanent exhibits on the life and work of late Dorjee Khandu, the museum will host periodically changing exhibitions on subjects and themes that were of interest to him. These exhibitions will be on-site for a year and later be curated as a travelling exhibition to various towns of Arunachal Pradesh.

This gallery opens with an exhibition on His Holiness the 6th Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso and seeks to understand the aura that surrounds one of the State’s most prolific historical figures.

The museum also pays homage to His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama and features an arena that depicts his journey into exile in India in March 1959, and with it, the return of the Dalai Lama to Tawang as prophesied by His Holiness The Sixth.

Appreciating the project in remembrance of the late leader, who was personally very close to him, the Dalai Lama obliged to leave imprints of his hands permanently on a special plate put up in the museum with his portrait and that of the Sixth Dalai Lama.

Later, the Dalai Lama also planted a tree sapling in the premises of the museum.

Earlier in the day, the Dalai Lama made a visit to the Urgyeling Monastery, the birthplace of the Sixth Dalai Lama Tseyang Gyatso, where he had his lunch.