Serthar Institute

The Serthar institute was founded in 1980 to revive Tibetan Buddhist scholarship and practice by the late Khenpo Jigme Phuntsog, and housed the largest concentration of monks and nuns, including some Chinese Buddhists, in Tibetan areas. The photo, taken in winter 2006, depicts settlements of monks and nuns and an area of empty land where more than a thousand dwellings of nuns and monks were demolished by Chinese work teams in 2001 and hundreds of nuns and monks expelled. No new settlements have been allowed to be built on the site where they were destroyed. Today, studies and religious practice continue at Serthar with a smaller population of monks and nuns and in the absence of the institute’s founder and primary teacher, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsog, who died in January 2004.