Sakya Nunnery, the only Sakya Nunnery outside Tibet, is situated near Dehradun, a few kilometers from the Palace of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin and the Sakya Monastery. As of March 2009, when the new nunnery wing and the temple were completed, the nunnery has become home to over 200 nuns, aged 9 to 40. It has a staff of 15, including both teaching and non-teaching staff.

Some nuns come from Nepal, Bhutan and the neighbouring Himalayan regions. Most nuns, however, come from Tibet and have left behind their families and friends. The Sakya Nunnery is their home and it is almost impossible for them to return, or even visit Tibet. Many faced a dangerous journey through difficult mountain passes on foot.

In 1993, a first small group of nuns arrived from Tibet and were housed near the monastery. This group quickly grew and the need  for a permanent nunnery become a pressing issue. It had been the wish of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin that a nunnery be built for the Sakyapa nuns. The Sakya nunnery was officially established in 1998 with His Holiness' blessings.

Initially, the nunnery functioned under the auspices of the Sakya Centre that managed the nunnery and covered all expenses. Now the Sakya Nunnery is registered as a non-profit society and is managed independently, while relying on donations and sponsorships. It is the only Sakya nunnery in exile, and provides a welcoming and nurturing environment, where nuns can study and practice the core of Buddhist teachings.

The nuns follow primary and secondary school curricula. There are five teachers who teach in the following subjects: Buddhist scriptures, Tibetan, Hindi, English and mathematics. Colasses are held six and a half days a week, with two exams per year for each subject. There is a 45-day annual holiday between May and June.

Nuns perform daily pujas and rituals in order to pray for all sentient beings and dispel obstacles. Special pujas are also done for donors and friends.Each year the nuns perform over 100,000 Green Tara pujas, normally commencing after Losar (Tibetan New Year ), to overcome obstacles and create favourable conditions for achieving one's wishes. As per wishes or needs, the nuns can also perform pujas for the sick, deceased, new ventures or fulfil any other requests.

In March 2009, H H the Sakya Trizin has finally inaugurated the Temple with a beautiful shrine hall. Efforts from friends from all over the world have made it possible. The temple has three floors and has built in traditional style.


Sakya Nuns Study Institute - Tsechen Sheddub Samten Phuntsok Ling

The Sakya Nuns Study Instutute is a new institute established by His Holiness the Sakya Trizin to train nuns in higher Buddhist philosphical studies. Located in a beautiful, large monastic building in Manduwala, India, it has a dormitory and classrooms for 100 nuns.

His Holiness is directly in charge of the Institute, assisted by the abbot of the Sakya College Venerable Khenpo Gyatso, who has worked very hard to establish this institute for nuns. Archaya Ani Dechen Wangmo, a very learned nun, is the principal of the Institute and Venerable Khenpo Jampa Khedup is its abbot.

The institute's curriculum is based on the 18 classical texts which are traditionally studied at the Sakya monastic colleges. Based on available funds, 25 outstanding nuns have been selected to form the first class of students. They began their studies in September 2009, after an official inauguration and blessing ritual performed by His Holiness.

Surrounded by forests, the Nuns Study Institute in Manduwala is less than an hour drive from the headquarters of the Sakya Order in Dehradun, and is located just around the corner from two other important Sakya monasteries the Ngor Ewam Chodan Monastery and the Ngor Vajrayana College for monks.

His Holiness explained the importance of this new institute: "Buddhist philosophical studies are very deep and profound.In order to understand them, thorough study is required. Therefore, the establishment of a nuns’ institute is very important." The curriculum of the Buddhist Institute offers 6 main areas of the Buddhist studies, which encompass both the Buddhist philosophical view and the stages on the path. They are: 1. Logic, 2. Abhidharma, 3. Vinaya, 4. Prajnaparamita, 5. Madhyamika, 6. Three Sets of Vows. Providing an opportunity for nuns to study these subjects is important for them to be able to teach others and for their own practice.


The Importance of Doing Retreat

When you do retreat, you are away from the busyness and distractions of the world. You are in a secluded place, where there is no noise, and no worldly activities, so that your mind is more focused, more calm. Then whatever practices you do, whatever recitation, meditation, and visualizations, are much more effective. And after you have built a base by doing effective retreat, then you can do this anywhere, as a daily practice. Therefore to do retreat is very important.
(His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin)

Retreat Facilities for Nuns

The Sakya nunnery hopes to build a retreat centre in the vicinity of Dehradun to support the many nuns who aspire to perform retreat. We are actively scouting for a suitable piece of land with the right environment for building a retreat centre. Please contact us to learn more about this project. We hope you will assist us in this meritorious project by contributing generously. More Information here.


For donations to the Retreat Facilities for Nuns, contribution can be made online with PayPall.

How you can help:

If you wish to support the Sakya Nuns Institute or the Sakya Nunnery, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or for the Retreat-House: Ahemscheidt(ad)

You can make a donation and get a receipt via Sakyadhita France or via the Sakya Foundation e.V. in Frankfurt Germany ( Please contact Gabriela Frey for it: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Information is also available on the website: and