In a significant and historic development, His Majesty The King of Bhutan arrived in Guwahati yesterday, commencing a weeklong official visit to India. The gracious visit not only marks a milestone in the diplomatic relations between Bhutan and India but also deepens the age-old ties between the people of Assam and Bhutan, who share a rich history of trade and cultural exchange.
The arrival of His Majesty was met with a warm and grand reception at the Lokpriya Gopinath International Airport in Guwahati. The Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, along with members of the cabinet and senior government officials of the state, extended a hearty welcome to the esteemed guest.
Upon His Majesty’s arrival, an auspicious visit to the revered Kamakhya Temple, perched atop the Nilachal hills in the city, was the first order of business. His Majesty offered heartfelt prayers at the temple, which holds a special place in the hearts of devotees and pilgrims.
Later in the day, His Majesty engaged in vital diplomatic discussions. The Foreign Secretary of India, Vinay Kwatra, called on The King to discuss matters of mutual interest. The Chief Minister of Assam, along with ministers and senior government officials, also had the privilege of meeting His Majesty, further fostering the strong bond between Bhutan and India.
One of the highlights of the visit was His Majesty’s interaction with the Bhutanese community residing in Guwahati. This gesture of unity and camaraderie showcased the importance of people-to-people connections and cultural exchanges between the two nations.
One cannot overlook His Majesty’s visit to the ancient Kamakhya Temple, parts of which are said to date back to the 8th century. This visit not only showcased Bhutan’s respect for the shared spiritual and cultural heritage with India but also served as a testament to the enduring ties between the two nations.
In the evening, the Governor of Assam, Gulab Chand Kataria, hosted a cultural program and dinner in honor of His Majesty, underscoring the significance of this visit to Assam.
This official visit to Assam holds a special place as it is His Majesty’s first visit to the state, emphasizing the profound neighborly relationship that Bhutan and Bhutanese people share with Assam. During this three-day visit, His Majesty is expected to explore the renowned Kaziranga National Park, celebrating the natural splendor of the region.
The visit reaffirms the robust friendship between Bhutan and India, exemplified by the friendly interactions and goodwill between the people of Bhutan and the neighboring Indian states. The people of Assam are elated by His Majesty’s visit, seeing it as a symbol of the enduring friendship between Bhutan and India.
Speaking about the visit, a businessman in Guwahati, Kalita Das, emphasized the strong business ties between Bhutan and Assam and expressed optimism that this relationship would continue to thrive. “Both Bhutan and India have maintained a positive relationship. I expect that our relationship will continue to grow even stronger,” he said.
Ranjan Ali, a tailor in Dadgari, reflected on the brighter and more harmonious future that the visit promises for Bhutan and Assam. “We always support and help each other, and we will continue to maintain our friendship,” he affirmed.
The Secretary-General of the Bhutan-India Friendship Association (BIFA), Gelephu Chapter, Dawa Penjor, spoke of the immense joy among the people of Assam about His Majesty’s visit. He highlighted the significant role that Assam has played in the development of Gelephu, a town in Bhutan, and expressed confidence in their continued support for collaborative development initiatives. “Our friendship is a win-win situation,” he added. “We have been working closely to make the relationship between our two nations even stronger.”
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, expressing his sentiments on social media, said, “Under the guidance of our Prime Minister, we look forward to the strengthening of the special relationship between our two countries.”
With a 649-kilometer border shared between Bhutan and India, including 267 kilometers with Assam, these visits and interactions hold the promise of furthering the deep-rooted economic and cultural connections. It is a testament to the shared history, values, and aspirations of the people of Bhutan and Assam, exemplifying the unbreakable bond between these neighboring nations.
As a goodwill gesture ahead of His Majesty’s visit, the Assam Cabinet approved the reservation of MBBS seats in Assam’s medical colleges for the Royal Government of Bhutan, underlining the commitment to nurturing the close relationship and cooperation between the two nations. This historic visit stands as a testament to the enduring friendship and unwavering ties between Bhutan and Assam, and by extension, Bhutan and India.