Why We Need To Build

The Spiritual Director of the FPMT, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, has expressed the importance of continually developing Nalanda's facilities and programs in order to create a major seat of monastic learning in the West.

To achieve this, a 15-year Master Plan has been drawn up to skilfully develop Nalanda's land and cater for its foreseen growth.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche had advised, as an immediate priority, to begin the planning and construction of new accommodation in order to facilitate the implementation of the FPMT Basic Program and FPMT Masters Programs.

To attend these FPMT study programs in a monastic setting is a truly exceptional and unique opportunity that will attract a large number of applicants from around the world to study at Nalanda.

Nalanda's Future

Concept Of The Master Plan

The most important landscape feature on the grounds of Nalanda since 150 years is the alignment of the cedars along the driveway with a gate, the ‘'chateau'' and balcony on the riverside. This characteristic French landscape style is something to cherish.

The main outside meeting place will be the semi-paved square to the north, consisting of flower beds, small trees and a seating area. This area will connect the future dining room, temple and community building. On the north side of the square, evergreens and mid-high trees will be planted to create an enclosed space.

To the south side of the existing buildings will be found more greenery with a small debate ground made of wood slats and trees to protect it from the sun. This area will give a view over the river.

The west side of the site will be for monks and residents only. An example of this is the area between the new monk's buildings and the temple where there will be a stupa, small fruit trees and a seating area. North of the new gompa, where the forest is denser, there will be small meditation huts that can be used for retreat by monks or outside guests.

The north side of the site will have the new car park, future workshop and seven more stupas in line with the cedars. This area will be separated from the main site by a hedge of local plants and the old gate. The rest of the site will be car-free.

A ‘'Kora'' around the site will create a way to circumambulate all the holy objects of the monastery. The south part of the ‘'Kora'' will follow the riverbank at water level (the rest of the site is 15 meters above water level). This will be a place to meditate and reflect.

Incorporating the principles of Feng Shui, we will allow the driveway to meander through the alignment of cedars providing alternating views over the near-by fields, the Padmasambava statue in the lake and the future ensemble of existing and new buildings.


Environmental responsibility is an essential part of the Buddhist path. As a result, Nalanda's Master Plan aims to create as much self-sufficiency as possible with regards to the management of electricity, water supplies and heating, whilst at the same time having a minimal impact on the natural and local aspects of the surrounding area. And using natural but still long lasting materials that require low-maintenance.

  • rainwater collection for toilets and washing machines
  • natural materials
  • buildings orientated to the sun
  • sun shading for summer
  • materials that last long and with low maintenance
  • natural waste water treatment through the reed bed filter
  • solar panels for hot water
  • wood boiler for heating and hot water

Phases 1-3: Overview

  • Phase 1: (2012-2015)
    Laying the infrastructure for all the future buildings, a new monk's building for 27 monks a wood boiler and the start of the retreat hut park.
  • Phase 2: (2016-2020)
    New monk's building for 75 monks and new Gompa for 500 people including the new square as described above.
  • Phase 3: (2020-2025)
    New workshop and reception area at the entrance, existing workshop will be turned into the new dining room for monks and visitors.


PHASE 1: Infrastructure

At the beginning of the year 2012 the landscaping and technical drawings were finished and the actual digging work started. From April to July 2012 Nalanda turned into a building site from the entrance road till the river. To save future costs and future disturbances all smaller projects were combined in one big project. The most important was the placing of the cables and pipe infrastructure: water and electricity but also a heat-network, internet and all the empty cables for future buildings to prevent excessive digging in the future.

After the infrastructure we built:

  • a rain-water collection tank that now provides the toilets and washing machines with rainwater
  • a lake to comply with the fire regulations
  • our own natural waste water purification system with all the related pipes
  • a new meandering road according to feng shui principles and
  • with the remaining earth - finishing the landscaping with rolling hills and planting around 50 new trees and 200 new bushes

Total cost:        = € 300.000
Raised so far:   = € 300.000

We thank you for your support.

Overflow for reedbed filter


PHASE 1: Monk's Building I

The new monk's building will be an extension of the old ‘'chateau'' and will consist of 23 rooms, including 4 double rooms, and 1 room for the physically disabled. It's a three-storey high building with a communal space that later (when the zoning plan changes) can be made into 4 more rooms.

The building style is influenced by the layout of the large monastic universities in India, with an external corridor walkway and the materials used will be similar to those of the existing buildings in order to create a natural harmony with the local landscape. Therefore, most parts of the facades will be made of plaster whilst only the insets of the north facade and stairwell will be made of un-planed horizontal timber slats. The timber slats are from the cedar trees that were standing at the location of the building.
All rooms will be south facing to provide them with enough daylight and, above all, with passive solar energy to reduce heating costs. Next to the passive solar energy we also have an active form of solar energy in the form of solar panels for the production of warm water.

Placing the beamsIn September 2012 the foundation work started, first the digging and drilling to reach stable grounds, after that the pouring of concrete columns and the construction of the ground floor including its isolation. All the connections from the infrastructure project before the summer could be easily connected: electricity, water, rainwater, internet and the heat network pipes and wastewater. At the moment there is a break to raise more funds to complete the building hopefully at the end of the year.

Total cost to finish    = € 2.000.000
Raised so far           = € 1.600.000
Donations can be made through our donation website

PHASE 1: Wood Boiler (before winter 2014)

Due to the high expenses for heating and warm water and the foreseen rise of energy prices, a new large wood boiler is planned. This wood boiler replaces all existing (inefficient) gas heaters in the existing buildings and will be big enough for the future buildings as well. The wood boiler will be placed in a separate building with a container for the woodchips. The connection of the heat network in between the buildings is already in place.

Total cost         = € 190.000
Raised so far        = € 50.000
Donations can be made through our donation website
Every winter the monastery can save a lot of money by using a wood boiler instead of the existing heaters therefore the monastery provides, in this particular case, another option to start building (and saving) as soon as possible: to provide a loan to Nalanda for friendly interest rates. Please contact the Director for more information.

PHASE 1: Retreat Hut Park

When Lama Zopa Rinpoche visited Nalanda in 2009, he walked around the property with many of us. At that time Rinpoche said:

“I think retreat houses are very needed and beneficial. Ten retreat houses, in this area, I am not sure. You need somebody who has very good ideas, especially someone who is a good architect, who can make a very good plan. We should not think later ‘we should have done this or we should have done that’. At least 10 retreat houses, that is most essential I think, and it needs a very good plan. The huts should be gradually built, not messy, good, clean and neat. A little bit like a Japanese monastery. Environment needs to be clean, and the nice park as well; it should be pleasant for people to be there.”

It will be an ecologically sound project, with five huts for the time being and one central sanitary block. We hope that for different kinds of Dharma practitioners the project will be interesting: for people who would like to live at Nalanda (like students), and for those who have obligations elsewhere. Therefore two types of contractually based agreements of support are proposed. Please contact Nalanda’s Director if you are interested and have questions.  

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Click here to download the retreat hut brochure  (PDF file 2Mb)

"When a community in Tibet needed a centre for its spiritual and cultural activities, people came and offered their labour, and constructed the building together, using ancient methods familiar to all involved. Support from the community was offered voluntarily and spontaneously, out of a deep appreciation for the value of the Buddha’s teachings and a firm faith in the principles of cause and effect, which teaches that those who give, also receive."
Geshe Lhundrub Sopa


Phase 2: Monk's Building II

After the first extension with rooms for the monks is finished, we will start the design of the next monks building. It will be a much bigger building than the first monk's building and therefore it can give space for around 75 monks. The main facades will not be orientated north-south and therefore a new concept for energy and heating. This second monk's building will designed to make easy phasing possible, so that the 75 rooms can be built in 3 phases of 25 for example.

Phase 2: New Gompa - For 500 People

Khandro-la, Khenrinpoche Jamphel and Dagri Rinpoche sitting over plans, © Tenzin NamgyalAfter asking advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Khadro-la, we need to build a new Gompa for 500 people. The orientation of the front facade is already measured in place together with our Feng Shui consultant Ven. Jampa Lhundrup. All the public function will be on the ground-floor to easily comply with safety and accessibility regulations. Private functions will be on the first and second floor with a possible room for high lamas such as the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Phase 2: Landscaping & New Square In Front Of Gompa

The area in front of the new Gompa, the old 'chateau' and existing workshop will be the main square for visitors. Khadro-la asked us to make it beautiful place with plants, flowers and small trees where people can sit on benches and relax. This area will be paved to host bigger outside events. In contrast to the grass park landscape, this will be more enclosed by buildings and be more like a small village square.


PHASE 3: Workshop & Dining Room

The last phase of the Master Plan consists of moving the workshop to the entrance of the monastery to keep the noise of the wood working machines away from the monastic area. This building will be more separated from the monastic monk's buildings and gompas and will become a place for people to be first welcomed to Nalanda. There will be a small shop and cafe to welcome the visitors to the monastic environment. This project is linked with the expansion of the dining room, at the place of the existing workshop, where the monks and visitors can eat, and also some more general functions for the monks will placed in this building like computer rooms, laundry rooms, utility rooms and store rooms etc.



Si vous souhaitez faire un virement bancaire, voici les coordonnées bancaires de Nalanda. Le numéro le plus important est l'IBAN; pour les banques il est probablement nécessaire de connaitre le code bancaire et le code de l’agence.

Numéro de Compte international (IBAN)
FR76 1120 6200 0623 5985 7311 087

Crédit Agricole Nord Midi-Pyrénées
219, Ave. Francois Verdier,
81022 Albi Cedex 9

Compte: Monastère Nalanda
Code Bancaire: 11206
Code d’Agence: 20006
Numéro de Compte: 2359 8573 110
Numéro de Contrôle: 87
Numéro de Compte international (IBAN) FR76 1120 6200 0623 5985 7311 087

Veuillez nous informer par mail lorsque vous transférez de l’argent pour un payement; il est aussi utile d’envoyer un mail lorsque vous faites un don. Email:info@nalanda-monastery.eu

Amis de Nalanda Pays-Bas Email:friends@nalanda-monastery.eu

Bank gegevens
Ten name van: Friends of Nalanda Nederland
Rekening nummer:
Klarenbeek Triodos Bank
Utrechtseweg 44
3700AB Zeist

IBAN: NL24 TRIO0198 5621 95

FaLang translation system by Faboba

Lama Zopa Rinpoche au monastère Nalanda

Rangjung Neljorma Khadro-la au monastère Nalanda