Norbulingka Institute, founded in 1995 by Kelsang and Kim Yeshi at Sidhpur, near Dharamshala, India, is dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan culture in its literary and artistic forms.
The institute is named after Norbulingka, the traditional summer residence of the Dalai Lamas, in Lhasa, Tibet. The ground plan is based on the proportions of Avalokitesvara, the thousand-armed god of compassion, with the temple as the head.
Norbulingka is dedicated to handing down tradition and restoring standards by providing training, education and employment for Tibetans. It supports an environment in which Tibetan community and family values can flourish. It reconciles the traditional creatively and respectfully with the modern, and seeks to create an international awareness of Tibetan values and their expression in art and literature. Norbulingka produces high quality, traditionally crafted art objects, as well as clothing and home furnishings. Free guided tours of the institute are available to visitors every day except Sunday. Workshop are also offered for those wishing to study Tibetan arts. The institute also runs two guesthouses—Norling Guesthouse and Chonor House. All proceeds from all Norbulingka's projects go directly back into the institute to further our endeavors to preserve Tibetan culture.
Norbulingka's art studios include Tibetan statue making, thangka painting, screen-printing, applique and tailoring, woodcarving, wood painting, papermaking, and wood and metal craft.
The Academy of Tibetan Culture, established in 1997, offers a three-year course of higher education in traditional Tibetan studies, as well as English, Chinese, and world history.
The Research Department of Norbulingka houses the team composing the official biography of the Dalai Lama, of which nine volumes in Tibetan have already been published. The research section is also compiling a comprehensive encyclopedia of Tibetan culture.
The institute also has the two-storeyed 'Seat of Happiness Temple' (Deden Tsuglakhang) built in 1985 and set amidst the Japanese inspired Norbulingka gardens. It is known for its 1,173 murals of Buddha, frescoes of all the Dalai Lamas and drawings chronicling the life of the 14th Dalai Lama. In the main hall stands the 4 mt high gilded copper Buddha Sakyamuni statue, made by institute's master statue-maker, the late Chenmo Pemba Dorje, and one of largest such statues outside Tibet. Around the temple are workshops of artisans and apprentices that produce various art objects, which are sold at the Norbulingka Shop, for the benefit of Tibetan refugees.
The Losel Doll Museum has diorama displays of traditional Tibetan scenes, using miniature Tibetan dolls in traditional costumes.
A short distance from the institute lies the Dolma Ling Buddhist nunnery,and the Gyato Monastery, temporary residence of the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
Lhasa is the urban center of the prefecture-level Lhasa City and the administrative capital of Tibet Autonomous Region in Southwest China. The inner urban area of Lhasa City is equivalent to the administrative borders of Chengguan District, which is part of the wider prefectural Lhasa City.
The Potala Palace is a dzong fortress in Lhasa, Tibet. It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas from 1649 to 1959, has been a museum since then, and has been a World Heritage Site since 1994.
There are currently two, separately enthroned 17th Gyalwang Karmapas: Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje. The Karmapa is the spiritual leader of the nine-hundred-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Jokhang, also known as the Qoikang Monastery, Jokang, Jokhang Temple, Jokhang Monastery and Zuglagkang, is a Buddhist temple in Barkhor Square in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Tibetans, in general, consider this temple as the most sacred and important temple in Tibet. The temple is currently maintained by the Gelug school, but they accept worshipers from all sects of Buddhism. The temple's architectural style is a mixture of Indian vihara design, Tibetan and Nepalese design.
The sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje was the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Followers believed him to be part of the oldest line of reincarnate lamas in Vajrayana Buddhism, known as the Karmapas, whose coming was predicted by the Buddha in the Samadhiraja Sutra. The 16th Karmapa was considered to be a "living Buddha" and was deeply involved in the transmission of the Vajrayana Buddhism to Europe and North America following the Chinese invasion of Tibet. He had many monikers, including “King of the Yogis”, and is the subject of numerous books and films.
The Dorje Shugden controversy is a controversy over Dorje Shugden, also known as Dolgyal, whom some consider to be one of several protectors of the Gelug school, the school of Tibetan Buddhism to which the Dalai Lamas belong. Dorje Shugden has become the symbolic focal point of a conflict over the "purity" of the Gelug school and the inclusion of non-Gelug teachings, especially Nyingma ones.
Norbulingka is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, Tibet, built from 1755. It served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s up until the 14th Dalai Lama's exile in 1959. Part of the "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace", Norbulingka is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was added as an extension of this Historic Ensemble in 2001. It was built by the 7th Dalai Lama and served both as administrative centre and religious centre. It is a unique representation of Tibetan palace architecture.
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama, is the traditional monastic seat of the Panchen Lama, and an historically and culturally important monastery in Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet.
Sera Monastery is one of the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, located 1.25 miles (2.01 km) north of Lhasa and about 5 km (3.1 mi) north of the Jokhang. The other two are Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery. The origin of its name is attributed to a fact that during construction, the hill behind the monastery was covered with blooming wild roses.
Ganden Monastery or Ganden Namgyeling or Monastery of Gahlden is one of the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet. It is in Dagzê County, Lhasa. The other two are Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery. Ganden Monastery was founded in 1409 by Je Tsongkhapa Lozang-dragpa, founder of the Gelug order. The monastery was destroyed after 1959, but has since been partially rebuilt. Another monastery with the same name and tradition was established in Southern India in 1966 by Tibetan exiles.
Ramoche Temple is a Buddhist monastery in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. It dates back to the seventh century and is considered to be the most important temple in the city after the Jokhang Temple. Situated in the northwestern part of the Tibetan capital, it is east of the Potala and north of the Jokhang. The site occupies an area of 4,000 square meters.
Yerpa is a monastery and a number of ancient meditation caves that used to house about 300 monks, located a short drive to the east of Lhasa, Tibet.
Nechung Monastery, Nechung Gompa or Nechung Chok, is the seat of the State Oracle of Tibet. It is also referred to as Sungi Gyelpoi Tsenkar, the "Demon Fortress of the Oracle King."
Tradruk Temple in the Yarlung Valley is the earliest great geomantic temple after the Jokhang and some sources say it predates that temple.
McLeod Ganj, also spelt McLeodganj, is a suburb of Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is known as "Little Lhasa" or "Dhasa" because of its large population of Tibetans. The Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered in McLeod Ganj.
Buddhism in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has been a long recorded practice. The spread of Buddhism in the region has occurred intermediately throughout its history. Starting in the 3rd century BCE, Buddhism was propagated by the Maurya Empire under the reign of Ashoka. The region would remain an important center for Buddhism under the Kushan Empire and its vassals. Over the centuries the following of Buddhism has greatly fluctuated. Yet by experiencing revivals and migrations, Buddhism continued to be rooted in the region, particularly in the Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur valleys.
Jowo Shakyamuni or Jowo Rinpoche is a depiction of the Gautama Buddha in the Tibetan tradition. Together with Jowo Mikyö Dorje, it is one of the most sacred statues in Tibet. Jowo Rinpoche is housed in the Jokhang temple and Jowo Mikyö Dorje in the Ramoche temple in Lhasa.
The Third Trijang Rinpoche, Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (1901–1981) was a Gelugpa Lama and a direct disciple of Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo. He succeeded Ling Rinpoche as the junior tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama when the Dalai Lama was nineteen years old. He was also a lama of many Gelug Lamas who taught in the West including Zong Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten and Lama Yeshe. Trijang Rinpoche's oral teachings were recorded by Zimey Rinpoche in a book called the Yellow Book.
Lhasa is noted for its historic buildings and structures related to Tibetan Buddhism. Several major architectural works have been included as UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.