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Zongkar Choede-A Monastery in Exile

Founded in the 9th century Zongkar Choede is one of the oldest monasteries in Tibet. King Palden Rigpa Goen, direct descendent of the ancient kings of Tibet, donated this monastery, which is situated in the province of Ngari, West Tibet.

A special tradition of the Monastery is the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and it is related religious arts, such as the establishment and offering ofSand Mandalas, sacred Cham-dances and Butter-sculptures.


Before the Chinese invasion in 1959, Zongkar Choede had about 500 monks, but only 50 were able to flee the country into exile. Those who have been left have been forced to flee the country into exile. Those who were left have been forced to give up the monastic life. Many have died in prison and forced into labor camps.

The original refugees lived until 1971 in the exile town of Dharamsala in Northern India. Soon after, like many other Tibetan refugees, the Indian Government allotted them land in Southern India. Due to the harsh climatic conditions and many other difficult circumstances only 18 monks survived the early period and the beginning conditions of the Monastery.

Thanks to the communal efforts of the monks, the Tibetan community, and the able guidance of the abbot the situation gradually improved. At present more than 90 monks, aged between 8 and 80 live in the Monastery. Through agricultural they have now become almost self-supporting.

Preservation of ancient Tibetan Traditions

Besides the cultivation of corn and keeping of the life stock, the monks constructed a water reservoir and electricity supply which serves not only the monastic community but also the surrounding village. The Monastery has a carpet production unit in which original Tibetan carpets are handcrafted. An area is set aside for carpet manufacturing activities.

Non-commercial arts also have their firm place in the monastic life, serving as the foundation for the continuity of religion and culture, which in turn constitute the basis of the social community of the Monastery and many of the surrounding villages.

Zongkar Choede Monastery
P.O.Gurupura, Hunsur Taluk
Dist Mysore

Phone: 0091-8222-46055, 46059
Fax: 0091-8222-46023
E mail address

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