Dorjee Zong, An Ancient High-Altitude Nunnery
Dorjee Zong Nunnery is one of the oldest centers in pursuit of monastic education in Zanskar, an arid, high-altitude region of northern India. Founded in the 14th century, it has a long tradition of meditating nuns, some famed for reaching high levels of realization and attainment.
The Tibetan Nuns Project accepted the nunnery into its sponsorship program in 2009. Until recently, the buildings at this 700-year-old nunnery were very basic. There was just one classroom and one main building that was used for everything.
Dorjee Zong is now going through an exciting transition and major construction project thanks to generous donors. In 2019 building began on:
- A nunnery school with seven classrooms to accommodate 50 students
- A new housing block
- A new kitchen, dining hall, and storeroom
- A prayer hall
- An office block
- New toilet and bathroom building
Construction Continues During Pandemic
The project is nearing completion. Despite the pandemic, this summer work continued on the construction of the new buildings, including the housing blocks, the kitchen, the classrooms and so on.
In the summer of 2021, 20 workers were employed on the project. Although the construction season at this altitude is very short, there was a lot of work done including:
- Plastering of the exterior and interior second story of the main building
- Carpentry work for the dining hall, kitchen, classroom, library, and prayer hall
- Making cupboards, chairs, tables, and little study tables for the young nuns
- Plumbing for the kitchen and bathrooms
- Windows for the classroom, staffroom, and second story
New School Bus In Action
In 2019, generous donors funded the purchase of a school bus to enable the young nuns at Dorjee Zong to continue their education. The nuns needed a school bus to make the 12-mile round-trip journey to the government school to continue their education beyond Grade 5.
The bus is providing a wonderful service not just for the nuns but also for young girls going to and from school. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the Indian schools were closed for some time. Now they are open again and the nuns are going back and forth to school using the bus.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the expansion project and the bus!