On her visit to the Kalachakra at Amaravathi, Kavitha Sreekumar found that the release of the Panchen Lama was the most important priority for many.
Apart from the obvious, the Kalachakra was marked by family reunions, candlelight vigils on full moon nights for the release of Panchen Lama - prisoner of the Chinese government - and talks of a free Tibet.
We got some glimpses into one of the biggest spiritual events of the decade as it came to a close.
Dolma Dorjee, artisan from Lhasa who, like 8,600 Tibetans from the Chinese territory, came to attend the initiation ceremony, said, "It was the ambition of my life to attend a Kalachakra, which is the initiation ceremony that empowers us to go through the mundane as well as the spiritual.
"This is her first trip to India and the first opportunity to meet many of the relatives who fled from Tibet decades ago. "I met my 11-year-old nephew Tashi here at Amaravathi for the first time.
His parents had come to India much before he was born,"she said as she held on to her prayer beads.
Jigme Thinley, joint secretary of the Tibetan Youth Congress, and one of the volunteers helping out the 50,000-strong pilgrims present, said, "The maximum number of enquiries that we received were about longlost relatives and neighbours.
People were hoping to meet their lovedones before they leave."
The candlelight vigils lit up Amaravathi, and were carried out to give thanks for the prayers for the exiled community that is scattered in more than 47 countries.
Karma Tashi, who was born and brought up in the US, says, "I don't know when I will meet all these Tibetans again. This is my offering to keep us going, give us strength and lead us on a spiritual path."
Among the many posters that lined the little town was one of Panchen Lama who is a political prisoner of the Chinese government.
He is the successor of the Dalai Lama. Sinead Ghair Bhith says, "We want the world to understand the violation of human rights of the child who is being held as a prisoner.
He has to lead Tibetans. This may be the last major event for the dalai Lama."The prayers are for him too.
The protests with candles were as non-violent as the preaching of the Shakyamuni Buddha, who gave the first Kalachakra initiation in Amaravathi, held over 2, 500 years ago.