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ULAN-UDE, April 11 (Itar-Tass) - The Buddhist Traditional Sangha (church) is grateful to the Russian state and personally to President Vladimir Putin for support to the Buddhist confession in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday visited the Ivolginsky datsan, a Buddhist monastery, the centre of the Buddhist traditional church located in Buryatia, the Sangha press service reported on Thursday.
During his visit Putin and the monks discussed several initiatives. They include a charitable project for handing over a flock of sheep to municipal entities and villages in Buryatia for healthy and proper nutrition of children in kindergartens, schools and hospitals as well as a program of development of Sangha workshops for the manufacture of Buddhist sculptures, religious attributes and utensils.
The head of the Tamchinsky datsan asked Putin for assistance in building a road to the reviving monastery, one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in pre-revolutionary Russia which was an official residence of Pandito Khambo Lama from 1809 to the mid-1930s. Besides, he also stressed the importance of supporting the Zayayev Buddhist University and the Aginsk Buddhist Academy.
Putin visited the palace of the 12th Pandito Khambo Lama, Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov now buried in the Ivolginsky datsan, twice: during his tour of the datsan and prior to his departure.
Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, the hierarch of Russian Buddhism, died while meditating in the pose of Lotos, at the age of 75 in 1927. He was buried not far from Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia. His body was exhumed in 2002 after lying in the grave for 75 years. The incorruptible body of Pandito Khambo Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itiglov has become one of the most revered Buddhist holy things. His body has been lying in a specially built palace in the Ivolginsky datsan since late 2008.