Nalanda is a unique Monastery for Western monks in the Tibetan Geluk tradition. It offers an ideal environment to live and combine study and practice in an appropriate lifestyle. Currently, around 25 monks and 20 lay people form the core of the community.
Nalanda is located close to Lavaur, about 40 km from Toulouse in the Tarn district of Southwest France (see map). Located on the river Agout and with its own gardens, the monastery is surrounded by farmer's fields, enjoying a peaceful and quiet environment. Nearby is our sister centre Institut Vajra Yogini.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the Spiritual director of Nalanda and together with his teacher, Lama Yeshe, he founded Nalanda in 1981 as the first Western monastery of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Geshe Lobsang Jamphel is the current abbot. For more history on Nalanda Click Here
Additionally, we are extremely fortunate to welcome other distinguished teachers and High Lamas throughout the year. Ven. Tendar, our director, coordinates the day-to-day running of the monastery.
Primarily, Nalanda aims to be a home for monks to train in philosophy, monastic discipline and retreats. Alongside the monks, lay men can also study and stay at Nalanda whilst women have the opportunity to stay in the local area.
The monastery also relies on the work and goodwill of our wonderful volunteers, who can stay at Nalanda whilst working, giving them a chance to absorb the atmosphere of the monastery,whilst contributing in a meaningful way to its upkeep. If you are interested in volunteering at Nalanda please Click Here.
Nalanda extends a warm welcome to all visitors. Visitors are especially welcome every Sunday afternoon between 2 PM and 6 PM, or by appointment outside these times.