Gangtok: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama reached Gangtok on Monday for a four-day visit. He was received by the Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay, other dignitaries and devotees at Libing Helipad.

Senior Sikkim state government officials and representatives from the Tibetan Parliament, Tibetan Settlement Office and Local Tibetan Assembly were also present to greet the revered spiritual leader.

Following his reception at the helipad, monks from various monasteries of the state orchestrated a traditional Buddhist ritual of dance and prayer known as 'Sherbang', amidst an atmosphere charged with spiritual energy.

Dalai Lama will be giving a one-day teaching on Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo's 37 Practises of a Boddhisattava (Laklen Sodunma) on Tuesday morning at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok and will also be virtually laying the foundation stones of the Karmapa Park project at Rumtek and the Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo statue project at Simmik Khamdong constituency, Gangtok district.

The Tibetan spiritual leader is scheduled to give teachings from December 12 to 14 in Sikkim.

This visit has heightened diplomatic discussions regarding the ongoing border tension between India and China.

He will leave for teachings in West Bengal's Salugara on December 14. He will give a general teaching followed by the Ceremony for Generation of Bodhicitta (semkye) at Sed-Gyued Monastery.Dalai Lama's secretary, Chimi Rigzin said, "His Holiness is going to Sikkim at the invitation of the State Government of Sikkim and CM Prem Singh Tamang and he will be there for two days during which he will give teachings at Paljor Stadium, which is a public teaching and the next day there is a state banquet for his holiness and then on the 14th morning he goes to Salugara and he will give a public teaching there."

"Sikkim is a very important state and in fact, it was Sikkim that his holiness first came to India in 1956 to attend the 2500th anniversary of the Buddha Jayanti, so he has since then visited Sikkim quite a few times and he said he became quite sentimental when he goes to Sikkim whenever he goes there because when he first arrived in Sikkim in 1956, as I said earlier, he sort of felt very sentimental about it. Well, Sikkim is a state of government of India so China has no reason to be annoyed because China also recognises Sikkim as a state of India," Dalai Lama's secretary added.