The Nunneries

The majority of Buddhist nuns leave Tibet because of the repressive political situation. Over the past two decades, a steady stream of nuns has arrived in Dharamsala in the Himalayan region of North India seeking refuge. These women wish only to live, study, practice, and teach in accordance with their spiritual beliefs.

Ranging in age from early teens to mid-80s, they come from all parts of Tibet and from many different backgrounds. Upon arrival in India, many nuns have suffered severely from their long, arduous, and often dangerous escapes. Some have been tortured and imprisoned by Chinese authorities in Tibet. In most cases the nuns arrive without money or possessions to a community already struggling to support itself.

Through our sponsorship program, and the support of our hundreds of sponsors from around the world, we currently support and educate over 700 nuns living in northern India. Learn more.

Nunneries and Nuns

  • Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute, built and fully supported by the Project, was the first institute dedicated specifically to higher education for Tibetan Buddhist nuns from all traditions.
  • Shugsep Nunnery and Institute, of the Nyingma tradition, was built and fully supported by the Project, and traces its lineage back to some of the greatest female teachers in Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Geden Choeling Nunnery, of the Gelug tradition, is the oldest nunnery in Dharamsala.
  • Tilokpur Nunnery, of the Kagyu tradition, provides scriptural and ritual training and is beginning a study program.
  • Sakya Nuns Institute, inaugurated in September 2009 in Mundawala near Dehra Dun, will offer a full course of studies followed by the monks at Sakya College.
  • Sherab Choeling Nunnery, in Lahaul-Spiti, has resident nuns who have begun a rigorous course of study, the first of its kind for women of that region.
  • Other nuns and nunneries that we help include nuns not living in nunneries, nuns on retreat, Khari Ganden Tenphel Ling Nunnery in Nepal, and Dorjee Zong Nunnery in Zanskar.