Dalai Lama's Home-in-Exile Is Hippie Haven

Ex-pats turn Himalayan town into counterculture zone
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 13, 2008 8:30 AM CDT
Tibetan exiles pray as they participate in a candlelit vigil in Dharamsala, India, Thursday, March 20, 2008.    (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
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(Newser) – Western ex-patriots have turned the Dalai Lama's home-in-exile into a hippie hotspot, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The Himalayan town of Dharamsala, population 20,000, has become a center for for espresso-sipping yoga-lovers and web-surfing monks. Many more come in search of wisdom, but the town is not without its “charlatans,” says one settler.

“You cannot deny that Dharamsala has something to it,” says an Israeli who helped the Dalai Lama and is now building South Asia’s biggest wireless network. “It does something to you—and it’s a good thing.” Artists, social workers, and intellectuals worldwide come to visit, digest the Tibetan culture, and end up staying. “The feeling is that we are together,” one says.