Map of Bodhgaya in India
Bodhgaya in the Indian state of Bihar

Root Institute for Wisdom Culture is a beautiful oasis of tranquility located near Bodhgaya in the north Indian state of Bihar.

Each year our season runs from September through April, in which we offer Buddhist introductory and intermediate courses and retreats, as well as pilgrimages, in addition to more extensive studies of Buddhist philosophy in the FPMT Basic Programme.

Because of our vicinity to the Mahabodhi Stupa, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, Root Institute is a unique place for practice, contemplation and blessings. Many other sites where the Buddha meditated, taught, and resided are found throughout the local landscape, making Bodhgaya the most blessed place in the Buddhist world.

We have a separate, secluded area ideal for individual and group retreats: our Stupa Garden of Compassion.

People are also most welcome to come and stay with us just to enjoy a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere to unwind and rest.

Our founders

Root Institute was established in 1984 under the direction of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, highly qualified teachers in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Lama Yeshe considered Bodhgaya to be the root from which the branches of Buddhism had spread to the rest of the world.

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche was the heart disciple of Lama Yeshe, and is the current Spiritual Director of Root Institute and the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, FPMT, which comprises a network of over 170 meditation centres in over 30 countries, including nine in India.

Our mission

To fulfil the vision of our spiritual guides, there are three main components to our mission:

  1. to be part of the preservation of the ancient Nalanda tradition of India through providing the opportunity to engage in the study and practice of Buddhist meditation and philosophy thereby helping people's minds and hearts be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others

  2. to provide compassionate service especially to impoverished children, adolescents and adults in neighbouring areas; and

  3. to create a harmonious and compassionate spiritual environment in which to live and work together in.

Root Institute courtyard
Root Institute courtyard blessed by the presence of our great prayer wheel and statues of Nagarjuna and Maitreya

Our activities

In addition to the dharma activities of the centre, Root Institute encompasses the socially engaged charitable projects located within or close by:

and our nearby peaceful retreat space: