Weather :

Timings : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM every day
The monastery doesn't allow visitors between 11th November and 20th December

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu Overview

Located on the picturesque Kopan Hills (20 minutes drive from the city centre) on the fringes of Kathmandu, Kopan Monastery is a stunning Tibetan Buddhist Monastery established between the late 1960s and early 1970s by the founders of the Foundation of the Preservation of the Mahayana (FPMT). It is a well-known tourist attraction and draws people who are interested in learning Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. One can choose to enrol in a short-term (7 days) course to get a gist of this ancient way of living. The facilities are humble but ensure that everyone leaves feeling calm and composed.

Visitors may choose to explore the picturesque and tranquil monastery for a few hours, do a retreat or join one of the courses. The monastery campus is open for all. However, a general code of conduct needs to be maintained to avoid disturbing the students and the monks. They have a cafe where tourists can have a simple and wholesome vegetarian meal before taking a nice long stroll in the monastery gardens. Everyone is welcome to witness the peace even if it is just for an hour.

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History of Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery was established by Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche who were the founders of the Foundation of the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. In 1969, they bought a piece of land from a royal astrologer in Nepal and around 1971, opened it as a monastery to teach Mahayana Buddhism to people from all over the world. The courses include the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, regular guided meditations, formal and informal discussions and a strict vegetarian diet.

In the beginning, there were only 25 monks, but as of today, the monastery is home to over 350 people including the monks, the teachers, lamas and the worker staff. In 1981, two nuns joined the monastery and marked a new beginning in its history. The students come from all over the world to devote their lives to the study and practice of the invaluable teachings of Buddha and Lama Tsong Khapa who is the founder of Gelug lineage. The female students now live in the Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery which is located a little ahead of the Kopan Monastery.

Events and Festivals in Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery

Other than Buddhist monastic education, the monastery also conducts several Monastic events. The Losar (Tibetan New Year), Monlam (Great Prayer Festival), Tsip Shag (students progressing to a higher class), Sukkor Pooja & Rigjung Debate (completion of beginner level of study), Yarne and Gaya (Observance of the annual Rains Retreat), Ganden Ngamchoe (a day dedicated to Lama Tsong Khapa) and other special days of Gautama Buddha are observed and celebrated with great devotion. Each event marks a new beginning and helps students learn Buddhism in depth.

Popular Courses

Discover Buddhism:
Introductory courses to learn about the basics of Buddhism happen throughout the year.

The Next Step:
These are the advanced courses for in-depth study of Buddhism. These courses too happen throughout the year. 

Daily Dharma Talks:
During private stay times, when there are no other courses scheduled, 90 minute daily talks, meditation sessions and Q&A sessions are planned.

November Program:
This month-long course is based on the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha

FPMT Basic Program:
This is a five-year-long study program for Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition Buddhism.

One can choose from Group Retreats and Private Retreats. Group Retreats are for the people doing a year-long course. In private retreats, FPMT students are preferred due to limited space.

For more information on the courses, you can directly send an email to the Kopan Monastery. 

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