Menri Monastery

Menri (Medicine Mountain) Monastery is in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. It has become a bustling religious learning and ritual activity hub. Until 1998, Menri was a basic facility with a few simple adobe and stone buildings. The main temple characterizes Tibetan religious edifices. Its Tibetan-style buildings house a library, the Bon Dialectic school, a Tibetan medical university, and the Redna Menling Nunnery.

The Abbot of Menri Monastery is Gyalwa Menri Trizin– the titular head of all Bonpo. Abbot delegates tasks to his circle of leading monks. These monks hold the Doctor of Divinity or Geshe degree. They take part in religious ceremonies, supervising educational and construction projects.

Some people believe that Tibet is synonymous with Buddhism—not realizing that it is home to another world’s great religions. Bon has preserved various ancient cultural traditions. It preserves the doctrinal traditions and ecclesiastic structures of Tibetan Buddhism.


The Shining City

In 1959 a small group of Bon monks set out on foot from Tibet with the intent to establish a new permanent religious center. In the mid-1960s, Lopon Tenzin Namdak acquired a beautiful piece of land in Dolanji, India that would become Menri Monastery, the new spiritual and administrative world center of Bon.


Menri Monastery was founded in 1405 in the Tsang Province of Tibet. Following the Chinese invasion of Tibet, several monks fled Tibet and re-established Menri Monastery in India. The monks built a monastic community of mud buildings on terraces carved from a hillside. The overall project was conceived, designed and overseen by the 33rd Abbot of Menri, His Holiness Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima.

Over the next five decades Menri evolved from camp to campus, becoming Bon’s new administrative and spiritual world center. This world center of Bon is now a gleaming campus of Tibetan-style temples, a library, a university, a medical school, housing for monks, and Redna Menling Nunnery. Guest facilities welcome scholars and visitors from around the world.

Menri represents the spirit and energy of the Bon tradition and values. The monks and nuns who live and learn there represent the future of Bon. Many residents and visitors regard the Menri Monastery complex as a “Shining City on a Hill”.

People of Menri

The People of Menri includes thousands of adults and children from Tibet, Nepal, and other borderlands. Over the past five decades, they arrived as orphans, monks, and nuns. They received secular elementary and secondary school education in a Tibetan school offering special Bon training. Many of them continue their education at the Bon Dialectic School and nearby universities.

When they arrived at Menri, they found themselves under the loving protection and leadership of the Abbot of Menri, H. H. Menri Trizin 33rd (1929-2017). He was a great teacher and master builder. He envisioned and made manifest the “Shining City” of Bon. By his care and compassion, he served with gentleness, discipline, and dedication. Thus, the monastic residents of both Menri Monastery and Redna Menling Nunnery spend most of their youth in the monastery.
Many stayed as monks and nuns, while others went off to teach or move into other vocations. These people have participated in the physical work of building the Menri complex. Still, all new arrivals follow the examples of their predecessors. Like those before them, they continue to demonstrate a commitment to their hard work and studies.

Sounds of chanting and laughing permeate the atmosphere of the monastery. We, at the Bon Foundation, have respect for the People of Menri. We will do everything to support the People of Menri, they are the future of Bon. Please read on to know more about the children, monks, and nuns of Menri and consider ways to help us help them. Under the leadership of Abbot H. H. Menri Trizin, a group of Geshes representing each sector of the monastic and educational community is responsible for the planning, administration, development, and finances at Menri. In effect, the democratically- structured YBMC functions as the operational office of the Menri complex. The Bon nunnery sits across the valley known as the Redna Menling or “Land of Precious Medicine.” It is one of the few Bon nunnery in the world. Women from Tibet and the borderlands remain as nuns in the Bon culture. It stays as a rapidly growing institution that reflects women as leaders and practitioners of the Bon tradition. Menri is a refuge for Bon children. Some of whom are orphaned and sent to Menri for their sustenance and education. On the other hand, boys are sent to the Monastery to train as monks. While girls are placed in the nunnery, they are trained as nuns. The Bon Children’s Home for girls and boys for basic care and education is in the complex. The young nuns and monks attend school at the Central School for Tibetans. On the other hand, the Indian government provides education through the tenth grade. Bon tradition places high value on education, culture, and tradition. Thus, the school includes a strong component of Bon studies.