View of Zangskar Valley
Zangskar Nunneries

Member nunneries of Zangskar Nuns Association:

  1. Karsha Chuchikjall Kachod Grubling
  2. Pishu Namgyal Choling
  3. Zangla Byangchub Choling
  4. Rizhing Dorje Dzong
  5. Tungri Phuntsog Ling
  6. Sani Kachod Ling
  7. Skyagam Phagmo Ling
  8. Manda Padma Choling
  9. Bya Dolma Choling
  10. Chumig Gyartse Namtak Choling



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Zangla Byangchub Choling

|| Photos || History ||

Zangla Byangchub Choling is nestled into a mountainside at the end of the village road. A concrete courtyard surrounded by tall flowers is at the center of the nunnery, which has an unusually large 500 year old prayer hall with freshly painted wood floors. Twenty-one nuns are members of the assembly, ranging in age from 15 to a spirited 85 years old. Only 12 nuns live at the nunnery and the remainder are doing advanced studies elsewhere. The resident nuns are currently studying Tibetan grammar and writing with a teacher from Dharamsala. Fifteen girls, ages 7 to 9, attend the school at the nunnery sponsored by the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies. Their coursework includes math, English, Hindi, and Buddhist philosophy. There has been no ritual instruction available to the older nuns for several years since their last teacher died.

The nuns eat most of their meals communally, prepared in a kitchen that was intended to be a guest room, until their originally kitchen collapsed. They are building a new guest room with government funds and a passive solar room for winter study. The nuns are in need of mattresses and tables for the large prayer hall, which is used when important monks visit the nunnery. They are also in need of a classroom since the students are currently taught outside or in a room intended for prayer sessions. Group prayers are offered every morning, all day on special days, and for 26 days in the winter. Electricity is available, but only when the water for the hydraulic system is not frozen so the nuns rely on four solar panels for almost 8 months of the year. The Zangla nuns also have three thriving greenhouses.


Zangla Nuns Zangla Buildings
Zangla Zangla

More Zangla Photos


History of Zangla Byangchub Choling

"[Zangla was] founded sometime in the 19th century possibly by royal patrons from Zangla, but with no fields or other permanent endowments."

Excerpt from Kim Gutschow's Being A Buddhist Nun (Harvard University Press, 2004: p. 101)


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