Milarepa and the hunter

An incident from the life of Milarepa, a popular Tibetan saint


Milarepa is a Tibetan saint from the eleventh century. The multi-talented saint is known for well-written poetry, enlightenment, and asceticism. He attained spiritual bliss with the help of his teacher: Marpa the Translator.


Milarepa spent his life in caves and survived on nettles. No one disturbed the saint ever. However, one day a deer entered his cave. The deer was followed by an angry hunter and his dog. Milarepa sang his poetry to calm down the master. This scene has been recreated in the Losel Doll Museum.

Traditional Tibetan amusements

A picnic in Tibetan style, an exhibit from Losel Doll Museum in Himachal Pradesh


A Tibetan family enjoys a picnic. The means of amusement include a traditional guitar and prayer drum, dice game, and family meal. 🙂

Tri Relbachen, one of famous 3 dharma kings of Tibet

Tri Relbachen finds place in Losel Doll Museum in Dharamshala


This postcard shows one of the Three Dharma Kings of Tibet, Tri Relbachen. He hosted several Indian scholars who translated and revised Buddhist scriptures during his reign spanning from 806 to 836 CE. And more than 30 monasteries were built to propagate Buddhism. Nepali and Turkish artists decorated the shrines. He also organized first ever medical conference in the lofty Himalayas. He strengthened Tibet-China relationship to avoid wars. But he was assassinated for promoting Buddhism at the expense of his political duties.

(Image: L to R): Princesses, King, and his Minister


Losel Doll Museum: boats from Tibet

A coracle and horse headed boat on display in Losel Doll Museum

(Left) A horse headed boat:

Tibetans used this boat to transport animals, cargo, and passengers across the waterbodies. This Losel Doll Museum exhibit shows people from central and western parts of the country.

(Right) A miniature coracle:

The coracle is made of wood and animal skin. Tibetans still use these boats to cross the lakes and rivers. This light boat can be carried on the back. The boat has a farmer from central Tibet and a woman from southwest.

Losel Doll Museum in Dharamshala: a scene from deer dance

Deer (cham) dance: A monk dressed as a deer cuts a dough figure that symbolizes evils and obstacles in Tibetan mythology.


Deer dance is a type of cham dance, a tantric ritual. The deer dance is performed in a group or solo. The tradition of tantric ritual dances was popular in Tibet during eleventh century. The monks performed the dances on special occasions.


The monks wear costumes of brocade and colorful masks symbolizing different aspects of gods and goddesses. They portray the dreams of the enlightened lamas through the costumes, masks, and dance movements.


The exhibit from the Losel Doll Museum in Dharamshala shows deer dance performed on the last but one day of the traditional Tibetan calendar.


Highlight of the dance is a monk wearing a deer mask cuts the figure made of dough that represents evils and obstacles. This New Year celebration is still enacted in various festivals held in the lands of lamas and monks.

A day in Sidhbari / Sidhpur, Dharamsala

Gyuto Tantric Monastery in Sidhbari / Sidhpur, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India

Where to travel  The world famous appliqué thangkas, sacred music of the Gyuto monks, the largest collection of colorful Losel dolls and many other aspects of the Tibetan culture are showcased in two prestigious institutes in Sidhpur: the Gyuto Tantric Monastery and Norbulingka Institute. The village of Sidhpur is located…

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Where is Dharamsala?

Dharamsala (Dharamshala), headquarter of Kangra District in Himachal Pradesh, India, is located on one of the spurs of the Dhauladhar Range. The name Dharamshala is also used for other administrative units, including town, tehsil, subdivision, municipality, hill station, forest division, development block and nagar parishad (council) in the district. The…

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