THE Loch Ness Monster could be confirmed as a "spiritual entity" when a new Buddhist centre opens in the Highlands.

Britain's first Buddhist Lama, who is heading up the new project, said Nessie is a "naga" - a water deity that brings prosperity in the ­religion. Lama Gelongmo Zangmo, spiritual director of the project, aims to create a new spiritual centre overlooking the Loch in the Drumnadrochit area this autumn.

Formerly a nun, Lama Zangmo was the first woman in Britain to be chosen as a Lama in Britain in 2001.

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Lama Zangmo said ­yesterday: "Nessie is a naga. We build the relationship with the naga, try to please them and don't abuse the environment.

"If Nessie is treated well, she will bring prosperity."

Tributes have already been made at the Samye Ling monastery in Dumfries-shire, a cone-shaped shelter has been made at the nearby River Esk where sacrifices have been left to the spirit.