Nalanda Buddhist Institute also known as Dalida or Daley is a Buddhist Drukpa Kagyu School situated in the western region of the Punakha Valley. In the native language, the word “Nalanda” stands for endless gift of knowledge. It was founded in 1957 by the 9th Je Khenpo Shakya Rinchen. He was considered to be the reincarnation of Rechungpa, one of the two disciples of Milarapa of Kagyu Buddhist Lineage. Sited beside Talo Monastery, Nalanda Buddhist Institute is reckoned as one of the most sacred places in Bhutan. Nalanda Buddhist Institute with its religious and historic influence has become one of must visit places in Punakha Valley.
According to the Bhutanese legend, the 9th Je Khenpo Shakya Rinchen chose the site of Nalanda Buddhist Institute after seeing many auspicious signs. He saw those sign while he was travelling to Punakha Dzong during winter season from Thimphu. As per the legend, Je Khenpo Shakya Rinchen saw 8 vultures who he thought were the revered saints flying at the spot where Nalanda Buddhist Institute is erected. Later his doubts were cleared when the eight saints appeared in his dream to give him ttext-justify text-contenteaching. Hence this is how the 9th Je Khenpo laid the foundation of Nalanda Buddhist Institute.
Originally, Nalanda Buddhist Institute was only a one storey building. The second storey of Nalanda Buddhist Institute was later added by the Jambayshinyen.
During Gyalwang Shakya Rinchen’s lifetime, Nalanda monastery in Bhutan was a thriving Buddhist teaching institution with a renowned reputation. After Gyalwang Shakya Rinchen’s final thugham or Maha Samadhi, slowly the teachings stopped and the Nalanda Buddhist Institute lay dormant for many upcoming years.
The teachings in Nalanda Buddhist Institute were started several times but most of the times teachers either departed or deceased again leading the closure of the Institute.
But in 1991 Nalanda Buddhist Institute was permanently opened after the 4th Dragon King, Jigme Singe Wangchuk ordered to start the teaching with 2 lopens and 20 monks. Since then, till now, Nalanda Buddhist Institute has flourished and spread its spiritual knowledge to the people who have chosen the path of monk’s life.
At the present time there are more than 100 monks in Nalanda Buddhist Institute and run under the instruction of Ngawang Tenpi Ninchey Rinpoche. The Nalanda Buddhist Institute is mostly visited by the people who want to get an insight of the Buddhist Philosophy.
Travelers can visit Nalanda Buddhist Institute anytime between 9am to 5pm. If the visitors are lucky, they will also witness the monks practicing skill of philosophical debate in Nalanda Buddhist Institute.
The most convenient way to reach Nalanda Buddhist Institute is by hiring a car. From Punakha Valley it is an overall 1½hrs drive to reach Nalanda Buddhist Institute.
Distance: The distance between Punakha to Nalanda Buddhist Institute is 46 kilometers.