Norbulingka Institute is name after the summer residence of The Dalai Lama at Lhasa, this learning center is a must-see attraction located in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.
Not only is it a place to enhance your knowledge and observe live Tibetan culture, but it also boasts a stunning garden filled with meandering paths, flowing streams, small waterfalls, and ponds, all set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Dhauladhar Mountains. Trust me when I say, the serene environment is one of the major reasons to explore this place.
The objective of the Norbulingka Institute is to preserve the Tibetan culture through various paintings, statues, and sculptures, and to provide employment and care to qualified Tibetan refugees. You can’t help but feel the soothing atmosphere when you visit this center, and the stunning artwork will leave you spellbound.
One of the highlights of the Norbulingka Institute is the temple, Deken Tsuklagkhang, which is a magnificent example of Tibetan religious architecture. The walls are adorned with thangka frescos that depict the deeds of Lord Buddha, the fourteen Dalai Lama, and other great Buddhist masters. The centerpiece of the temple is a 14-foot gilded statue of Lord Buddha, the largest of its kind, lovingly crafted by the Norbulingka artists from hand-hammered copper sheets.
Another unique attraction at the institute is the Losel Doll Museum, which showcases 150 dolls dressed in traditional costumes from various regions in Tibet. The dolls were created by a group of artist monks as a project to support the monastery, and the costumes are made of the finest materials, depicting the richness and diversity of life on the Tibetan Plateau.
After you’ve taken in all the sights and sounds, make sure to stop by the Hummingbird Cafe, located amidst the beautiful gardens of Norbulingka. Open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM, it serves delicious and healthy food ranging from pizza to smoothies. You can reserve the private dining area, surrounded by paintings depicting traditional Tibetan folk style, making it a peaceful place to have snacks. The spacious conference hall of the cafe can also be booked for gatherings and conventions, with buffets available for groups of up to 200 people.
Lastly, the Norbulingka Institute’s flagship shop offers various products, from thangkas to carved furniture and elegant clothing, all created in the institute’s own workshop. The interior of the shop is arranged systematically, reminding people of the tradition of Tibet and preserving the traditional art of making products in its pristine form.
Accommodation is also provided by Norbulingka Institute in three different houses/hotels that are located within its premises, Norling House, Chonor House, and Serkong House. All the facilities, including air conditioning, laundry services, and other services, are provided by the houses along with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can book accommodations directly on the official website of the Norbulingka Institute.
Lastly, as a treasured park, Norbulingka Institute is an ideal place to take photographs of the natural scenery. However, for the interior of the Buddhist halls and premises, permission may be required. So, if permission is granted, be sure to avoid using your flashlight while taking photographs of the paintings and statues.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your camera, and head over to the Norbulingka Institute to experience the beauty and serenity of this incredible place!