The Norbulingka Institute, located in Sidhpur village of Dharamshala, is a focal symbol of Tibetan Art in India. The center, officially established in 1955, started to preserve and promote centuries-old Tibetan traditions under the initiative of then cultural minister Kelsang Yeshi and his holiness Dalai Lama. The architect of the place is Kazuhiro Nakahara, who built the structure in a combination of traditional Tibetan and Zen Japanese designs.
Norbulingka Institute is named after ‘Norbulingka Jewel Garden’ in Tibet; the summer palace of the 14th Dalai Lama. With a spirit of tranquility, it is a serene retreat with green gardens and amazingly long streams.
Tracing back to history, in 1950, Tibetan culture was at the risk of its own identity under the Chinese invasion and followed destructions. Monasteries were pulled down and looted of their wealth. Even centuries-old repositories fell prey to it, with millions of books and manuscripts being burnt and precious statues melted down. Scholars were imprisoned, art centers closed, craftsmen unions outlawed, and thus artisans were forced to give up their craft. Although 1980 noted a transition in the tension, with increased tolerance in China, occupied Tibet, the damage done had already turned irreversible. Hence mere acceptance, couldn’t bring back the glory of Tibetan culture from the brink of extinction.
Later, Kelsang Gyatso, a well-known Buddhist scholar in a wake to reinstate the lost recognition of Tibetan cultural heritage, established several arts and sciences institutions. Norbulingka Institute was set up when the culture was going through its darkest phase and was in urgent need of such a vision. Norbulingka is dedicated to providing training in traditional Tibetan arts and hosts around 450 people including artisans and staff. The institute comprises a Centre for arts, an academy of Tibetan culture, a Literary and cultural research center, and a library.
Sidhpur is a beautiful village from the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, situated 5 km away from Dharamshala. This place rested in the lap of Dhauladhar ranges, is blessed with lush landscapes and fascinating people. Here the Aghnjar Mahadev temple, Indrunag, and Chaddai Mata temple are the main tourist attractions. Landscaping works with Slates, a famous metamorphic rock that forms the main source of income for the inhabitants of Sidhpur.