A museum paying tribute to Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, hailed as the “architect of modern Ladakh,” is being set up at the Spituk monastery in Ladakh. The museum, which will highlight the 19th Arhat Bakula Rinpoche’s contribution to the region’s development, was laid its foundation stone by Ladakh Lieutenant Governor Brigadier B D Mishra (retd.) on Tuesday.
The museum aims to preserve and showcase Ladakh’s rich heritage while paying homage to the great visionary who played a significant role in shaping modern-day Ladakh. Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, born in 1917 in the village of Matho in Ladakh, was a spiritual leader, a diplomat, and a politician. He dedicated his life to the betterment of Ladakh and its people.
Rinpoche was the first Ladakhi to be appointed as India’s Ambassador to Mongolia and later became India’s Ambassador to Bhutan. He played a pivotal role in the formation of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) and was its first Chairman. He also served as a Member of Parliament and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1988 for his contributions to public affairs.
Rinpoche’s vision for Ladakh was to transform it into a modern, self-sustaining region that could preserve its unique cultural identity while embracing modernity. He believed that education was the key to empowering the people of Ladakh, and he worked tirelessly to establish schools, colleges, and vocational training centers in the region.
Under his leadership, several key infrastructure projects were initiated, including the construction of roads, bridges, and airports. He also helped establish the Ladakh Institute of Prevention (LIP), which focuses on preventive healthcare and traditional medical practices.
Rinpoche’s tireless efforts resulted in the development of Ladakh’s tourism industry, which is now a major source of income for the region. He was instrumental in establishing the Hemis National Park, which is home to the endangered snow leopard and other rare species.
The museum will showcase Rinpoche’s life and legacy, including his contributions to Ladakh’s social, economic, and cultural development. It will also feature exhibits on Ladakh’s rich history, art, and culture.
The establishment of the museum is a significant step in preserving Ladakh’s cultural heritage and honoring the contributions of one of its greatest sons. It will serve as a source of inspiration for future generations and a reminder of the importance of preserving our cultural identity while embracing progress and development.
The Ladakh Lieutenant Governor Brigadier B D Mishra (retd.) has expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating that “the setting up of the Spituk monastery museum is a major step in preserving and showcasing Ladakh’s rich heritage. It will be a tribute to the 19th Arhat Bakula Rinpoche, who dedicated his life to the betterment of Ladakh and its people.”
The museum is expected to attract tourists and scholars from around the world, providing them with an opportunity to learn about Ladakh’s unique cultural heritage and the contributions of one of its greatest leaders. It is scheduled to be completed in the coming years, and its opening is eagerly awaited by the people of Ladakh and beyond.