Monastic Life Beneath the Himalayas

An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and Monasteries

Monastic Life Beneath the Himalayas

Tibetan culture and Buddhism have become so inextricably linked over the centuries, that it is difficult to separate the two. The richness of the culture and religion, with its detailed zymology and little understood traditions and customs can be difficult for the outsider to grasp, but as one delves deeper and layers of meaning begin to unfold, one is rewarded with a glimpse of a culture so fascinating and magnetic, that one cannot help but want to uncover more. Monasteries and nunneries are in many ways the thriving hubs of Tibetan culture, where centuries old lineages are being preserved. Many of these monasteries hay been reestablished in India, and are open to visitors, including Gyuto Tantric College and Dolmaling Nunnery.

Let our knowledgeable guides take you on a half day walking tour to visit these two Places located just near Norbulingka, and observe the daily routines, curriculum, and lifestyles of monks and nuns: hear about the basics of Tibetan Buddhist practice and study, and let us reveal to you how integral Tibetan monasticism is to the culture as a whole

Gyuto Monastery is one of the two main centers for Tantric studies in the Gelukpa tradition. Gvuto was founded in Tibet in 1474 by the first Dalai Lama’s chief disciple, Kunga Dhondup. In 1959, the monastery was reestablished in India, and now houses over 500 monks, and is the temporary residence of His Holiness the Karmapa. The Gyuto monks are internally famous for their chanting and were even nominated for a Grammy in 2011. The expansive, light-filled campus and magnificent temple instantly lift the spirit, and the large gilded statues of tantric deities inspire mystery and reverence for this deep tradition which has continued there in a unbroken lineage for more than 500 years. Dolmaling Nunnery, located behind Norbulingka, is the first nunnery ever to offer a full Buddhist philosophy curriculum for nuns. Founded by the Tibetan Nun’s Project in the 1990’s, the 17 year long Buddhist studies program trains nuns in Buddhist philosophy and debate, as well as Tibetan language and English. The air in its beautiful and immaculate gardens is pervaded with a sense of peace, and a stroll through the grounds offers a glimpse into the life of a Tibetan nun.

Tour Details

  • This tour could be either in the morning or afternoon.
  • Morning tour meets at Norbulingka main gate at 9am and afternoon meets at 2pm.
  • Be sure to wear walking shoes, as it is a 2 km walk to Gyuto Monastery.
  • Each tour includes a specially prepared momo lunch or dinner, the traditional Tibetan celebration food Please specify your meal preferences before the tour.
  • The cost per person is 1,500 Rps. and group should be a minimum of two people.

The Perfect Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and Monasteries

Please book at least one day in advance