Geden Choeling

Geden Choeling, of the Gelukpa tradition, is the oldest nunnery in Dharamsala and is located in McLeod Ganj, Upper Dharamsala. The nunnery had absorbed a steady stream of refugee nuns since 1975 and now over 139 nuns live and study there – some of whom are older than 60.

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 nunneryOut of the 139 nuns, 75 are attending classes regularly and others are taking on responsibilities in the nunnery. Currently there are five full-time working teachers teaching Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan, and English. The nunnery has several levels of classes and two nuns appeared for the first year Geshema exam in May of 2013.