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Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Mcleodganj Overview

Situated in Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh, the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) was established in order to preserve and promote the Tibetan cultural heritage. It is known for its focus on dance, music as well as opera. Folk music, opera and dance performances are organised while the monasteries put up Thangka paintings. There is a museum on the premises which has on display exhibits pertaining to the Tibetan heritage and also consists of archives with digital and old-school audio-visual recordings. This museum is free to visit.

TIPA was established by the 14th Dalai Lama and has long been dedicated to protecting the fundamentals of the Tibetan performing arts; students are trained in folk music and dance. Some of the musical instruments one is taught to play here include the Piwang, Dram-nyen, Cymbal etc. It is also known for promoting the tradition of Ache Lhamo or Tibetan Opera that dates back to the 14th century. In fact, it is mandatory for all recruited professionals to take lessons on the Ache Lhamo tradition. The institute has a number of highly trained instructors, artists and craftsmen.

The institute is also known to host festivals including the Shoton Festival which lasts for 7 days and is a time when people follow age-old Tibetan traditions. Another popular festival celebrated here is the Yarkyi Festival which is essentially an internal competition between the Ngonpa and Gyalu groups. They research Tibetan folk traditions and put up solo and group music performances.

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