The arrival of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, along with thousands of refugees
at Dharamshala in 1959, made he life here more active. A number of Tibetan settlements,
with religious education and other rehabilitation centres mushroomed all over the
Mcleodganj area. As Dharamshala became the headquarters of the Tibetan Government in
exile, headed by the Dalai Lama, it gained prominence all over the world and prominent
personalities started arriving here. Mcleodganj emerged as a major Buddhist centre. The
Gompa, a sacred place of learning and worship for Buddhists, houses a 1500 year old idol of
Guru Padam-Sambhav and a life size image of Avalokiteshvra. Historic relic brought from
Lahasa during the cultural revolution have also been preserved here. A huge collection of
225 volumes of Lord Buddha’s sermons and discourses all in Sanskrit and called ‘Thangyur’
in Tibetan have been safely placed in silken embroidered poaches in a corner of the emple.
The market in Mcleodganj Which is basically a Tibetan settlement is lined with small shops
selling Tibetan carpets, paintings and other handicraft items. A large number of restaurants,
specializing in Tibetan cuisine, are packed with tourists wanting to have a taste of this
peculiar food. To preserve and develop in exile the artistic literary aspects of Tibetan culture
the Tibetan Institute of performing Arts (TIPA) was founded in August 1959, in Dharamshala
(Mcleodganj). TIPA is to train a younger generation of artists who were born and brought up
in India. Tipa has a very rich collection of traditional costumers and jewellery from various
regions of Tibet. TIPA also holds an costumes and jewellery from various regions of Tibet.
TIPA also holds an annual opera festival called ‘SHOTOU’ which was an annual feature in
Lhasa prior to 1959.
The traditional paintings called ‘Thankas’ are a unique Tibetan art form. Tibetan ‘Thankas’ as
a medium of expressing Buddhist ideals and, as such they have sacred objects. As the
destruction and dilution of ancient cultures across the world is becoming more evident, the
Norbulingka Institute has been set with the motive of preserving such art forms. Young
Tibetans, including monks are taught this art by a selected group of teachers who managed
to escape to India. The wood carving school offers complete training in the art of traditional
wood carving. In fact, the annual Himalayan International Festival held in Mcleodganj in
December every year has become a cultural bonanza for the tourists as well as the locals.
Artists from Nepal, North eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir take part in the festival which
attract people from all over the world.
Dastination to Visit
Dalai lama Complexe