Preserving Tibetan Heritage and Customs


Tibetan Handicraft Society is a non-profit cooperative that was established to provide work and income for Tibetan refugees in exile. The organization, including the principal workshop, is located in Mcleod Ganj. Dharamsala.

Since the cooperative was first opened in 1963, it has trained many Tibetans in the traditional method of rug weaving and has provided employment for thousands of exiled Tibetans. The institution also provides accommodation, assistance for education, medical care, and pension plans for retired workers.

Mission and Objectives

  • To preserve and promote Tibetan arts and culture
  • To provide a livelihood for workers
  • To train young and unemployed Tibetans in traditional Tibetan rug weaving
  • To improve the educational opportunities for the children of workers

The Importance of Traditional Tibetan Rug Weaving
Rug weaving is a very important part of Tibetan culture. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has stressed the importance of the preservation of all aspects of traditional Tibetan culture and provided financial support in the foundation of the Tibetan Handicraft Society in 1963.

It is important for Tibetans in exile to maintain their cultural heritage. Without a country, exiled in India, the Tibetan way of life could easily be lost. Losing that connection to their past would accelerate the loss of cultural identity and the Tibetan struggle for recognition and independence would be lost.

Merchandise Sales Support Tibetan Handicraft’s Mission

Purchases made from the Tibetan Handicraft Society help support the center’s mission of preserving Tibetan culture, community, and crafts.

Handmade Tibetan Rugs and Carpets

No machines are used in the manufacturing process. All rugs are handmade in high-quality wool by skilled workers in our center in Mcleod Ganj. The rugs produced are of the finest quality available with each one taking days, even weeks to produce depending on size.

Rugs are made using traditional methods with traditional Tibetan patterns and symbols. Rugs can be made to order and customized to suit buyers’ needs, even incorporating custom designs.

Visitors to Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala can visit the Tibetan Handicraft Society and view the work in progress. Watching the ladies working one line at a time is quite mesmerizing!

Tibetan Clothing and Buddhist Crafts

In addition to the rugs and carpets, the Tibetan Handicraft Society sells many traditional items including clothing (including handmade scarves and shawls), paintings (thangkas), and items of significance to Tibetan culture and Buddhist traditions.

You can peruse a large selection of products including malas, jewelry, singing bowls, tingsha, dorjes, and incense holders. The staff is always willing to help and explain the cultural significance of each item.

For More Information

Contact Tamding Tsering, Production Manager at Tibetan Handicrafts. He can be reached via email and phone +91 9857125007.

Tibetan Handicraft Society
Mcleodganj-176219, Dharamsala, India