Walung Pholey Sampheling settlement was established in 1967 under Resettlement Program. Settlement is located near Gunsa village, Taplejung district, Province no. 1 at the height of 3140 meter from the sea level, and is one of the most remote regions of Nepal. This settlement no access to roads that can help to link it to the big cities of Nepal.
Tibetans are residing scattered across in different places of Olangchung, Yangma, Gunsa and taplejung bazaar of Taplejung district falling under the jurisdiction of Pholey Sampheling Tibetan settlement.
Over the years, the primary source of income and economic backbone of the settlement has been homemade carpet sales, yaks and Dzo rearing, transportation by Dzo and farming. Most of the elders are dependent on monthly stipend.
It used to have a day school funded by Tibet Foundation, UK, through the Kathmandu based show Lion Foundation besides the His Majesty’s Government of Nepal. Day school was permanently closed some years ago due to sharp decrease of Tibetan children. Currently most of the Tibetan children from walung are admitted to different Tibetan schools (CST,TCV,THF) in India under the recommendation of settlement office.
Community health Clinic
The settlement has a small health clinic run by a trained community health worker appointed by Department of Health, CTA.
Tashi Chophel Ling, a Gelukpa monastery in settlement, has five resident monks. The monastery has sacred Jangphung Jowa (Buddha from Jangbhug area of Tibet) as its main deity. This protector-deity is believed to prevent wind disasters or wind storms in the area. It is over 900 year old image. However, the monastery has no regular income. The main sources of livelihood of the monks are the offerings or fees they receive through conducting prayer services to the Tibetan families.
Chaktrul Monastery, a Nyingmapa Monastery was built by former Chaktrul Rinpoche has no residential monks following his demise. The monastery is presently managed by the community people.
Administrative set up:
Sampheling settlement is looked after by Shawara Tibetan settlement office which is located at Lazimpat, Kathmandu. It has only one official organization which is called Rangden Tsokchung and has no any other organization.
Kathmandu to Bhadrapur by flight (approx. 30 min), Birtamod to Taplejung by local bus (one day, Taplejung to Pholey settlement on foot (3-4 days)