Gaden Shartse Monastic College, South India
Gaden Shartse was one of the most famous monastic colleges in Tibet. It belonged to the Gelukpa religious order, popularly called the "yellow hat" school and founded by Tsong Khapa (1357-1419 C.E.). It was destroyed by the occupied forces of the People's Republic of China. Forty-eight monks fled and were granted asylum by the Indian government and given land in the jungle, a day's bus ride from Mysore, South India. In 1969, they laid the foundation for a new Gaden Shartse. It now houses over thirteen hundred monks, students, learned scholars and artists. The Gelukpa religious order is known for its stress on scholastic learning and conferred the Geshe degree (the American equivalent of a doctorate degree) upon candidates who passed years of study and a strenuous oral exams before the brightest scholars of the college.
Gaden Shartse focuses on preserving Tibetan scholastic education, culture, ritual and art. Its curriculum includes Tibetan history, philosophy, meditation and religious practices, rituals and arts. Educational programs range from 10 to 17 years to complete.