Dharamsala, Kangra Distt.


With kind support from center and state government of India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has moved to Dharamsala and soon the exile government (Central Tibetan Administration) was set up. Then many of Tibetans also followed and settled around the foothills of the Dhauladhar Ranges of Dharamsala. Still many Tibetans continue to migrate in to Dharamsala because of His Holiness the Dalai residence. So, to look after the socio-economic welfare of the Tibetan refugees in and around Dharamsala, the Tibetan Welfare office was established in 1967 and it acts like liaison between the Tibetans refugees in Dharamsala and Central Tibetan Administration. The population of Tibetan refugees are grouped under five divisions as per their scattered locations.

Settlement location:

The Tibetan Welfare Office is situated at Mcleodganj in Dharamsala of Kangra District, Himachal Pradesh. It is about 8 km from the main town Dharamsala. The altitude at Mcleodganj is approximately 1750ft. above sea level and the temperature ranges between 0°-38°Celsius with an average rainfall of 290 cm.

Settlement Population

Present population

No. of villages in the settlement:

The Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala are scattered around the hills of Dharamsala and as per their location they were divided into five divisions.

Settler’s livelihood:

Tibetans in Dharamsala don’t have any land on lease from Indian government like every other settlements in India. So, the main source of livelihood of the Tibetans in Dharamsala are they own small restaurants, shops, seasonal petty business, handicraft work, etc.

Facilities in the settlement:

School One day school up to class III (Yongling Creche-Mcleodganj)
One day school from III-Vth Standard (TCV Day School-Mcleodganj)
One day school up to class II (Gangchen Kyishong)
One Secondary School (Lower TCV)
One Senior Secondary school (Upper TCV School)
“TCV” stands for “Tibetan Childrens Village”
Health facilities One modern allopathic hospital
One Tibetan Medical and Astro institute

There is 15 monasteries in Dharamsala:

  1. Namgyal Monastery
  2. Neychung monastery
  3. Kirty Monastery
  4. TsechokTashi Samten-ling
  5. Riglam Lob-nyarkhang
  6. Gadong Monastery
  7. Tashiling Choeling Nunnery
  8. Dolmaling Nunnery
  9. Shugseb Nunnery
  10. Tsang dor-mar Namdol-ling
  11. Thardoel-ling
  12. Chemi gatsel-ling
  13. Rigzin Namdol-ling
  14. Pema Rigzin-ling
  15. Zilneon Kagye-ling
Old Peoples Home The JAMPALING old People’s Home at the back of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence is under the direct care of Department of Home. There are 150 elders and 13 staffs in this OPH.

Administrative setup:

Tibetan Welfare Office:
Mcleodganj is serving as the liaison between the Tibetans in Dharamsala and the Department of Home, Central Tibetan Administration. It is the principal office to look after welfare and overall control of running of affairs of the Tibetans in Dharamsala. The welfare officer is the representative of the Department of Home, CTA. Daily task for the representative range from adjudicating disputes to communicating with group leaders and outside authorities, and generally watching over the running of all aspects of the settlement.

Local Assemblies:
Like every other genuine democratic system the Tibetans in Dharamsala elect their own representative for better understanding of the problems with them. These elected members act as an intermediary with relevant authorities, pass on information, settle disputes and collect money. They can bring up the problems of the Tibetan people and raise the question on the working of the Tibetan Welfare Officer. These members are elected on the basis of their strength of personality and once ability to stand before the interest of their people.

Traveling guide:

Nearest Railway station Pathankot 80 Km
Nearest airport Gaggal
Bus and taxi services Yes


Please visit the separate listings for settlements in Nepal and Bhutan.