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Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery (DGL) is located in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, Northern India. This area is rich in Tibetan Buddhist culture and DGL is around 60 kms from McLeod Ganj (Upper Dharamsala), the seat-in-exile of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The monasteries of Tashi Jong, Palpung Sherab Ling and the Tibetan colony of Bir are also within easy travelling distance.

DGL is situated about halfway between the towns of Palampur and Baijnath (about 10kms or 15-20 minutes by taxi from each), near the small village of Padhiarkar.

Our Temple

Our temple is at the heart of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery where nuns gather everyday to perform the rituals around which the monastic calendar revolves.

 

Since this is a Nunnery, the inner decoration of the temple reflects female embodiments of Enlightenment – Tara, Vajrayogini and so on – and this is especially emphasised in the exquisite murals around the walls and the rounded stained glass windows.

 

There are walls dedicated to senior nun saints surrounding Shakyamuni Buddha and Mahaprajapati who was the Buddha’s stepmother and the first nun. These are rarely portrayed in Buddhist art. Also there is the great yogin Milarepa surrounded by his female disciples.

 

When people enter they immediately feel a sense of peace together with gentle but powerful feminine energy: they feel awed and uplifted.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

Visitors are welcome to visit and may also join nuns during their regular pujas/prayer service in the Temple

The Dragon Café

Our recently opened Cafe offers a range of delicious, home cooked vegetarian snacks and a selection of drinks.  More substantial meals and bakery items can be ordered in advance.

We can cater for groups by advance booking only. Please contact our office to request our full menu for pre-ordering.

The Cafe, located just inside our main entrance is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 6pm, closed on Sundays.

Make an Appointment with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo offers private meetings at the Nunnery, by advance appointment only, depending on her schedule and commitments.

When Jetsunma is available, she usually receives visitors on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 2–3pm and 3-4 pm, by appointment only.

For all enquiries and to make an appointment please contact our office.

Travel Instructions to Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery

From Outside India

New Delhi (DEL) is the nearest International airport.

Domestic flights from there to Dharamsala/Gaggal (DHM) airport take around 90 minutes. DGL is a 2 hour taxi ride from Dharamsala airport.

Travel from McLeod Ganj / Dharamsala

Most of our visitors will be coming from McLeod Ganj / Dharamsala. Travel by taxi or bus are both possible options for a return day trip.

Taxi: Taxis offer a fixed return price from McLeod Ganj/Dharamsala. Travel time is approximately two hours each direction. Current cost is 2,000 rupees return – taxi drivers are happy to wait during your visit.

Bus: From the main bus station in Kotwali Bazaar, Lower Dharamsala. Travel time is 3 + hours each direction and costs around 200 rupees round trip. There are 2 possibilities:

  • Direct bus: There are several buses a day from Dharamsala to Baijnath.
  • Bus change in Palampur: Buses from Dharamsala to Palampur are more frequent. In Palampur, you change to a local bus in the direction of Baijnath.

In either case, tell the bus conductor that you want to get off at Padhiarkhar, which is just before the Alhilal Army Camp (15-20 mins journey time after leaving Palampur).

Once you’re leaving Palampur, follow the same directions as below.

Finding the Road to DGL Nunnery from Palampur

Take the main road to Baijnath and travel for about 10kms (15-20 minutes by taxi or bus). Just after a bend in the road you’ll see this stretch:

Once across the bridge, you'll see this small row of shops. Follow this road, which curves around for about 1½ kms (a 10 minute walk).
You will arrive at this stone wall, which surrounds DGL. Around the corner you will reach the main gates.
You made it! Welcome to Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery.

Accommodation Nearby

Most visitors come on a day trip from Dharamsala, but occasionally Dongyu Gatsal Ling is able to offer a place to stay for overnight visitors to the Nunnery. All enquiries must be made in advance by contacting the DGL Office.

Alternatively, the nearby monastic Tibetan community of Tashi Jong has several Guest Houses priced between 500 and 1,000 rupees. To make a booking at Tashi Jong, contact Pema on:
Email tashijongoffice@yahoo.com
Tel: (+91) 9805285202 between 9am to 5pm

The Taragarh Palace Heritage Hotel is also nearby, while there is a range of more moderately priced hotels in Palampur.

Retreat Options at DGL and Nearby

DGL has limited retreat facilities available, for women only.

We do not offer instruction or training and can only consider women who have had some experience of solitary retreat and are under the guidance of their own teachers.

Please contact the office if you wish to know more about our facility.

We can recommend the following centres that offer various courses and retreat options. Please contact them directly for more information.

Thosamling Nunnery, Institute and Retreat Centre

www.thosamling.com

Thosamling offers a quiet and inspiring location for both ordained sangha and lay women to do private retreats. Tibetan language and Buddhist Philosophy courses are also available (for men & women). Thosamling is located between DGL and Dharamsala in the town of Sidhbari, close to Norbulingka and Gyuto Monastery (home of HH the Karmapa).

Tushita Meditation Centre

www.tushita.info

Tushita, an FPMT study and meditation centre, is located in the village of Dharamkot, just above McLeod Ganj. It runs drop-in meditation sessions and 10-day residential courses on introductory Buddhism, as well as retreats for more experienced practitioners.

Deer Park Institute

www.deerpark.in

Deer Park is a centre for study of classical Indian wisdom traditions. Established by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on the campus of a former Buddhist monastic institute, it runs courses and offers accommodation in the Tibetan colony of Bir. DGL is located about two-thirds of the way between McLeod Ganj and Bir, so by taxi it takes about 40 minutes to get to Deer Park from here.

Jetsunma teaches at Deer Park once or twice a year.

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