our history

The academic and cultural relation between India and Tibet has a rich and productive history. The Tibetan scholastic tradition was fostered by the help of various Indian panditas of the ancient Nalanda and Takshashila tradition. Conversely, the Tibetan lineage of knowledge also enriched the Indian understanding of various religious and philosophical doctrines. It is in the background of this prolific exchange of ideas, that CIHTS took its birth in 1967 as an Institute to preserve, revive and disseminate the Buddhist traditions from both Indian and Tibetan perspectives.

The official founding of the Institute was celebrated on 28th January, 1978. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama laid the foundation stone of Padmasambhava Boys’ Hostel of the new campus on 28th January, 1980. On 8th April, 1983, the then Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi visited the Institute accompanied by Indian dignitaries. Considering the worth of the campus and nature of its work, the Institute was declared as ‘Deemed to be University’ in 1988.

Located in the serene and bucolic setting of Sarnath, sprawled over 29 acres, it is surrounded by Buddhist temples, stupas and gardens. The campus is well recognized across the globe for its academic excellence and copious research output. First and foremost, it is a bastion of Tibetan Buddhist philosophical heritage that is taught in the broader context of modern pedagogy.