Geden Choeling

Geden Choeling, of the Gelugpa tradition, is the oldest nunnery in the Dharamsala area and is located in McLeod Ganj, Upper Dharamsala. The nunnery had absorbed a steady stream of refugee nuns since 1975 and now about 140 nuns live and study there.

The nunnery was started by several nuns who fled the Nechung Ri Nunnery in Tibet after it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Those nuns collaborated with others from several other former nunneries in Tibet to build a new nunnery which they called “Geden Choeling,” which means “home of the virtuous ones who devote their lives to the Buddha Dharma.”

Buddhist nun studying at Tibetan nunneryThe nunnery has a well-established education system and an office run by the nun’s committee. Out of the roughly 140 nuns, just over half are attending classes regularly and others are taking on responsibilities in the nunnery.

The nunnery is also home to a number of elderly nuns, many of whom, became nuns later in life and who are taken care of in the nunnery by the younger nuns.

The Tibetan Nuns Project helps with sponsorship of nuns at Geden Choeling and has also helped the nunnery to set up a study curriculum, along with classes in English and basic introduction to computers. The Tibetan Nuns Project continues to support their educational efforts.