Dharamsala, Jan 26 : Elderly Buddhist monk Yeshi Dhonden, who was the personal physician of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for two decades, has been chosen for Padma Shri by the Indian government for his contribution towards medicine.
He is the second Tibetan to receive the prestigious award after Geshe Ngawang Samten.
"We congratulate his personal contribution and recognition of Tibetan medicine which is now increasingly being discovered and treasured by the international community for its healing prowess," a statement from the Central Tibetan Administration said.
Dhonden was the Dalai Lama's personal physician from 1960, a year after the Tibetan leader escaped to India.
He has gained reputation over the years for being highly effective and beneficial to patients, particularly as a cancer specialist.
Dhonden, who lives in McLeod Ganj -- the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile -- was both Director-cum-Principal of the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute until 1979.
Over 63 years, he has treated patients with all kinds of ailments.
Old timers in McLeod Ganj, which remained almost uninhabited until the arrival of the Dalai Lama along with his followers in 1960, told IANS that Dhonden reached here along with the spiritual leader.