In 1959 a small group of Bon lamas and monks, escaping the warfare in Lhasa, set out on foot across Asia to establish in India a permanent location which would serve as a Bon religious center and refugee settlement. In the mid-1960s, Lopon Tenzin Namdak, working with Catholic Relief Services, identified and organized the purchase of a rugged, but beautiful piece of land on a steep hill in northern India in the village of Dolanji. This would become Menri Monastery, the new spiritual and administrative world center of Bon.
It was named after Menri Monastery founded in 1405 in the Tsang Provence of Tibet. Over the next five decades, the early settlement of Menri--once a cluster of mud religious structures and crumbling dwellings--became a sparkling complex of colorful, graceful, and functional buildings and modern roads, all in classic Tibetan style. The project was conceived,
designed, and overseen by the 33rd Abbot of Menri, His Holiness Menri Trizin. This World Center of Bon is a gleaming and awe-inspiring campus of temples, library, a university, housing for monks, a nunnery, a dispensary, a Tibetan medical school, a farm, and guest facilities. Menri is a three-dimensional representation of the spirit and energy of Bon tradition and values where 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".
However, geological conditions and climate change are a constant threat, along with the daily wear and tear of a place well-used. The math of our preservation effort adds up as follows: