Nangchen Tibetan Settlement is established in 1966 on a total area of 93.56 acres of land. But officially, the first Tibetan Settlement Office was established and appointed by the CTA in the year 1976. Before that, it was known only as the Tibetan Khampa Industrial Society.
Bir-Chauntra Nangchen Tibetan Settlement is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India located along National Highway 154(NH154) which connects Pathankot to Mandi. It is about 60-70 kms away from Dharamsala.
This settlement stands at an altitude of about 4,250 feet (1300 m) above sea level and is lined by the Dhauladhar range in the north. The range includes the famous paragliding spot of Bir-Billing which has hosted several international paragliding competitions where the half of this settlement is located.The maximum and minimum temperature of the place is 6 to 31 degree Celsius with an average annual rainfall of 310 cm.
Another half part of this settlement is in Chauntra. It is set up of two small groups, colloquially called ‘Khang-sarma’ and ‘Khang-nyingma’ (literally ‘of new houses’ and ‘of old houses’).
Number of villages:
The settlement consists of two small towns. One is located at Chauntra and another half is located at Bir.
At present, the major source of income for the settlers is winter sweater business. Earlier, the settlement people’s main source of income was carpet weaving and tea growing but at present these occupations no longer in practice.
Facilities in the settlement
|School||1) Days school up to class V
1) Nursery & Creche
1) Central School for Tibetan, Chauntra
1) Tibetan Children’s Village, School (Boarding School)
|Health Facilities||1) Modern allopathic hospital
1) Tibetan Medical and Astro institute (Doctor from the Bir branch Mentsekhang visit the settlement twice in month)
|Monastery||1) Aewam Choegarten Chog gyur meyling. Nyingma Gonpa|
|Old Peoples Home||Dhonden Old Peoples’ Home initially at Palrabling Settlement (Kullu) with kind support from the Help Tibet, London was shifted to Chauntra on October 2007 and started running from 1st November 2007 but Officially inaugurated on 8th April 2008. Currently there are about 23 elders.|
The settlement officer who is appointed by the Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamsala is the over all incharge of the settlement in all spheres ranging from maintaining law and order to development and poverty alleviation works. He acts as a link between CTA, state and central government agencies and any other concerns. Under him, each camp has an elected camp leader who is assisted by group leaders. All development works are implemented through the camp leaders. Settlement officer takes all major decisions in consultation with the camp leaders and is the most important link between the settlement office and the community.
Each of the 6 villages possess an elected group leaders whose job is to act as an intermediary with relevant authorities, pass on information, settle disputes and collect money. Group leaders are not elected for their policy-making idea, nor do they campaign on certain issue. These group leaders are chosen on the basis of their strength of personality and once ability to stand before the interest of their village. The duty of the leader is more or less like the representative, but on smaller and more personal scale.