FAQs

FOR ON LOCATION PROGRAMS:

Why Center for Living Buddhist Art?
‘Center for Living Buddhist Art’ is situated in the lap of Himalayan mountains, in Kandi, a small village near Dharamshala which is the home of HH the Dalai Lama. The spiritual atmosphere is ideal for learning, creating, rejuvenating and for self transformation. The center houses the ‘Himalayan Art Museum’, and ‘Thangde Gatsal’ school of painting and art studio with an in-house library. The school offers a range of unique structured courses, which the masters have worked on for 10-15 years to bring these courses to you. Master Locho and Dr. Sarika Singh are the finest masters in the himalayan region who are committed to transmitting this ancient art to anyone who is willing to surrender to its process.

How long does the painting take for students?
It takes 3-4 months for a student to paint a basic thangka painting, usually Buddha Sakyamuni. The first 4 weeks are focused on drawing practice, then 2 weeks for inking practice after which the student can start with making the canvas and paint. For the students enrolling in Hybrid Courses may directly come for painting and take upto to two months for completion.

What is my routine at school?
The studio hours are from 10 am - 1 pm, Lunch then from 2pm-5pm, Monday-Saturday.
Students can sit for work in the studio as long as they wish or require. There are beautiful routes for evening walks throughout the village. Sunday is a holiday, when you can enjoy walks/treks in the mountains, temple visits or other local sightseeing. We recommend taking advantage of our unique library collection and Tibetan movie archives during the free hours.


What does the fees include?
The fees includes training, accommodation with private kitchen facility, lunch, internet, materials for making the painting. However, they must pay for Gold to be used in the painting and Brocade in which the thangka is mounted separately. They come in a range of variety and costs, so the student can opt for the one they like. We can help facilitate the tailor and procurement of materials for the same.

Is online class good or on location?
While the course structure, format or quality doesn't change over online or on location. Both mediums of learning and understanding have different benefits. 
 
We encourage you to come, paint and experience the life of a thangka artist here at our studio in the mountains.
Visit here:  https://livingbuddhistart.com/pages/thangka-on-location-courses

For the ones who wish to learn but cannot afford the time, to be here physically or in case our seats are full, can benefit greatly from the drawing courses in the online format at their own pace and comfort.
Visit here: https://livingbuddhistart.com/pages/thangka-distant-courses

We have now introduced Hybrid courses as well, which enable you to get best of both worlds. Now you can study drawing from the comfort of your home and complete your painting course on location.
Visit here: https://livingbuddhistart.com/pages/hybrid-thangka-coursesisit 

How to reach the Center?
The nearest airport is KANGRA AIRPORT which is 33 mins away, and nearest Railway station is PATHANKOT from where one can hire a taxi to reach here. 
You can contact below for getting a cab to reach here or go around locally.
Mr. Anil : +91 821-9482155, +91 98054 94051

Is the program open to non-US participants?
Yes, the programs are available for individuals from any country who wish to learn the detailed art of thangka painting.

I'm no longer attending school; may I participate in your program?
We strongly encourage anyone who is over the age of 18 and interested in the art to apply.


Do you accept late applications?
We have no application deadline but due to a high level of interest and small number of openings, spots may fill years in advance. Please check our web site for current availability before submitting your application.

What is the food like on the programs?
Participants can expect simple rice and local daal for Lunch. The rooms are well equipped with kitchen accessories like toaster, hot water kettle, utensils, rice cooker etc. to cook breakfast and dinner for yourself. The common cafeteria also has a microwave oven.
There are many options around, the nearest cafe is 5 minutes away by walk, Espresso bar. Food delivery is available by most restaurants. For local cuisine one can visit restaurants in Dharamshala market and McLeod Ganj.


What are the amenities like in the town I will be living in?
The towns themselves are relatively developed with running water, electricity, and paved roads. While Thandge Gatsal's studio meets Western standards in cleanliness and amenities, drinking the tap water directly should be avoided.

What kind of project and program support will I have?
You will be staying in the home of Thangde Gatsal's Directors who will be able to answer any questions you may have.
 
Can you tell me about my host family? Will I have roommates?
You will have your own room in the home of Dr. Sarika (Director), Master Locho (Founder and Master Painter) and their two young children and Lobsang (senior thangka painter and assistant to Master) The rooms are assigned on individual stay basis.

What kind of students would there be?
There are at a time 4-5 students for the exclusive residency programs sharing the studio space. The rooms are assigned for individual accommodation. The students come from all around the world creating a conducive environment for cultural exposure and intellectual exchange.

Is there access to the internet?
The Center premises WiFi equipped with high speed internet.

Should I bring my computer?
All students enrolled in the courses are required to bring their own laptop computer.

Do I have to speak Tibetan to participate in the residency program?
No, although learning Tibetan and/or Hindi could be a very rewarding experience, you will be able to communicate and get around Dharamshala speaking only English.

Are Visa or Passports necessary?
Visas are necessary for India and can be purchased from the respective embassy.
To apply for Visa to India you can also visit: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/
Please note that post Covid pandemic, rules have changed, so please check with the embassy to find out the latest details on duration and fees. If coming from the US, please visit www.state.gov for more information and application.


Should I acquire a travel or student visa?
For shorter courses/workshops a travel visa will be sufficient. If you are applying for a few weeks course or longer in duration, you will need to apply for a student visa. Please contact the Centre for living Buddhist Art for a letter of acceptance and other documents required for a student visa.

What should I carry?
Warm clothing, heavy duty jackets, trekking shoes and socks.
An umbrella, your medicines, a mosquito repellent, a torch, a thermos bottle.

How is the weather in Dharamshala?
March- May : Beginning with Losar (Tibetan new year) the breeze get a little warm, as the winter ends and spring begins with flowers and beautiful sights all around. A light pull-over, socks and a scarf can suffice for the occasional chilly days.
June- September: June is beautiful. It is pleasant, however, July and August are monsoons here in the mountains. September onwards the sun comes out and it is pleasant again. It is slightly cold and takes a few days for the clothes to dry so carrying some extra clothes, a warm jacket might be helpful. A raincoat, an umbrella is advisable.
October-December : The winters here are very cold and sometimes rainy. Although there are blankets provided for the students in the rooms, you may carry some extra warm heavy duty jackets, socks, thermal wear etc.
January-February : The winter is too cold for the studio to operate and hosts students, hence its an off for the school.