Namchen Tangla, a county within the Qinghai-Tibet plateau region is rich in culture and history. Located around 5,000 meters above sea level, its scenery ranked among some of the best on earth although its climatic conditions are generally harsh.
And like most other parts of Tibet, Buddhism is very much alive in Nanchen with its congregations of lamas and anilas (nuns). However, what sets Nanchen apart is its larger population of anilas. Their present way of life has not change much from the way it was a few hundred years ago adhering strictly to the Buddhist monastic rules which prohibits commerce of any kind. They depend solely on the generous handouts and donations from the lay devotees. However, due to geo-economical reasons, there were only so much that the lay devotees could do which was far from sufficient. Apart from having to endure the harsh climate, most anilas suffer from malnutrition and poor health.
In 1987, in an effort to alleviate the anilas' hardship and suffering, H.E. Beru Khyentse Rinpoche initiated the "Tharjay Nunnery Project". He built a nunnery that provides basic accommodations, facilities and proper meal for them. The Tharjay Nunnery is special because it is one of the very few places for women who wish to seek refuge under Guru, Buddha, Dharma & Sangha.
In the last 16 years, the congregation had grown considerably, necessitating the need for the nunnery's expansion. In the first half of this year, Beru Khyentse had started the construction of a new two-storey building. The ground floor will house the main shrine, seven sleeping quarters, a Mani Wheel room and a small medical dispensary. The first floor will have 12 rooms, one for the abbot and the rest for visiting Rinpoches, lamas, anilas and lay retreat seekers.