A 72-year-old veteran of the 1962 Sino-Indian war on Friday inaugurated a community kitchen built by the Army at a remote Buddhist pilgrimage site in Ladakh, officials said.
The kitchen at the revered Tarsing Karmo Gompa in far flung eastern Ladakh has been built by the 'Fire and Fury' Corps of the Army based here after locals requested for such a facility, an official said.
"The facility was dedicated to the locals by 72-year-old Havildar (retd) Punchok Stobdan who has been awarded the Vir Chakra and is one of the living heroes of the 1962 Sino-Indian war," he said.
Stobdan had fought in the Daulat Beg Oldie sector of sub-sector north, the official said.
Naik Tashi Stanzin (97), another Army veteran who lives in the area, was also present during the event.
The Gompa is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site and is situated 26 kms from Shyok village in Durbuk block of Leh district.
Despite its remote location, it is visited by thousands of Buddhist pilgrims every year. Some popular caves like Guru Padmasambhava Caves, Dolma Caves and Lunga-Raksha Caves exist in and around the Gompa, the official said.
The project was undertaken by the Patiala Brigade of the Army's Trishul division under the border area development project (BADP) and the work was completed in a record time, despite technical and logistics challenges associated with construction at such a remote location, he said.
The Tarsing Karmo Gompa festival is due to be held shortly.
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