Visit: On behalf of the government and the people of India, the union minister of state for youth affairs, Sarbananda Sonowal, presented Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay with a Bodhi tree sapling at Bodhgaya on Saturday.

Receiving the sapling on behalf of His Majesty The King and the people of Bhutan, Lyonchhoen said the sacred gift was very significant especially at a time when the people of Bhutan are celebrating the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

“The year 2015 is a very important and significant year for Bhutan because we have enjoyed 60 years of peace, prosperity and happiness. During his reign, he has established strong ties of friendship between the people of Bhutan and India,” Lyonchhoen said.

During the last 60 years, Lyonchhoen said that Bhutan saw an unprecedented socio-economic development. More importantly, Bhutan witnessed the flourishing of Lord Buddha’s teaching.

“I am honored to receive this sacred gift on behalf of His Majesty The King and all Bhutanese,” Lyonchhoen said. “This will further strengthen the ties of friendship between our two countries and further strengthen the ties of history and spirituality that we celebrate among our two people and our two countries.”

Economic affairs minister, Norbu Wangchuk, said “It is very significant because we happen to be one of the four countries only in the world to have received the sacred Bodhi tree.”

The union minister of state for youth affairs said that the President of India during his visit to Bhutan in November 2014 announced that a sapling of the scared Bodhi tree would be gifted to Bhutan in 2015.

“Teaching of Buddha spreads the message of peace, non-violence and universal brotherhood across the world and has universal significance,” he said. “This unique gift will undoubtedly reinforce the bonds of peace, compassion and harmony between Bhutan and India.”

Also known as Jangchub shing, the Bodhi tree is where Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

Lyonchhoen and his delegation arrived back yesterday after a nine-day official visit to India.

By Tshering Wangdi, Bodhgaya