The Search for the right land to realize the new school project began in 2009.
The Vision becomes reality
Since the environment plays an important role in a child's development, the new site needed to meet several criteria:
- Surrounded by nature
- Not too far from a town to guarantee the supply of goods
- Close to Karmapa's institutions
- Easy to reach for volunteers
After 3 years of intensive search, the right place was found.
The new land forms a milestone in furthering Gyalwa Karmapa's wish to provide children and adolescents with a well-grounded education and to preserve Buddha's teachings in an authentic way in the 21st Century.
Kalimpong is a hill station located at an average elevation of 1,250 metres in the Indian state of West Bengal.
Until the mid-19th century, the area around Kalimpong was ruled in succession by the Sikkimese and Bhutanese kingdoms. In 1864, Kalimpong was ceded to the British East India Company.
The temperate climate prompted the British to develop the town as an alternative hill station to Darjeeling, to escape the scorching summer heat in the plains.
Following Indian independence in 1947, Kalimpong became part of the state of West Bengal. With China's annexation of Tibet in 1959, many Buddhist monks fled Tibet and established monasteries in Kalimpong.
Beside the good climate, the location has more advantages for the school project:
Being very near to Karmapa's residence and the Shedra (Buddhist University), it will allow for a vivid exchange between the two institutions.
Kalimpong is well reachable via airport. The nearest airport is located about 80 kilometres (2,5 hours drive) from Kalimpong.