In 2009, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and 700 people spent three months trekking through the harshest terrain of the Himalayas to meet with remote villagers and nomadic tribes to assess their needs for aid and support. It was the first Drukpa Pada Yatra event and garnered wide publicity for its campaign to educate remote villagers and nomadic tribes about environmental protection and sustainable living.
His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa is the spiritual head of the Drukpa lineage, one of the main Buddhist schools of the Himalayas. Over four million Drukpa Buddhists live throughout Bhutan, Tibet, China, Nepal and India, and in several countries in Europe, North and South America, and Africa. The core philosophy of the movement is to address modern global challenges through active compassion.
Following on the success of the first Pada Yatra, several subsequent such events were held to promote peace and harmony as well as an eco-friendly way of living. His Holiness was invited by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksha, President of Sri Lanka, to undertake the sixth Pada Yatra, which is also the first to be held outside India, on March 06, 2013. The Pada Yatra will take route from South to North, covering a distance of about 500km and visiting holy sites such as Sri Pada, Kandy, Matale, Dambull, Sigiriya,
Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura before concluding at Jaffna on April 6. About 240 monks and nuns from India, Nepal and Bhutan and several other participants representing 16 other countries accompany the Pada Yatra.