Khandro Thrinlay Chodon
Khachodling The Vision and Projects of Khandro Thrinlay Chodon
Khachodling Projects
Khachodling Projects
  Medical treatment  

It is hard for us in the West to imagine how remote these places are and how lacking in the most basic of services, so please come visit sometime and see for yourself. It is a beautiful area with warm and strong people who have a deep heritage. 

Why are these services lacking here?

Tibetan Buddhism Remoteness and high altitude (Snow isolates 6 months pa)

Self Sustainable Affirmative action policies move people to the cities

eco-friendly Sociopolitical disruptions

mutual respect Non-indigenous bureaucracy

The majority of Khachodling projects in the East take place in the Indian Himalayas. Khandro-la’s family lineage is deeply respected especially in this region and Khandro-la herself was born there. Khachodling aims to provide spiritual and humanitarian services to these people. Their culture is becoming extinct. Modernisation affects these areas and its remoteness and lack of services mean that it is increasingly difficult to maintain valuable ancient traditions. Khachodling focuses on respecting these cultures and due to Khandro-la’s long revered association with these areas Khachodling is in a unique position to be able to provide respected and relevant services.

Khachodling began its medical assistance by providing care to the many older monks, nuns and yogis who have served the lineage. However as local lay people came to Khandro-la with so much devotion and trust, asking for her spiritual healing on their children, their parents and themselves for things like their cataract ridden eyes she made deep aspiration to bring to them western medical care.

Khandro-la has had a deep interest and connection to traditional methods of healing, first translating for her uncle the famous Tibetan doctor, Trogowa Rinpoche. She has long held the aim to nurture and save these ancient methods of diagnosing and treating illness with the collecting and making of herbs. These methods are now valued in the West yet the traditions will die out unless supported. High altitude makes herbs exceptionally pure and strong, yet with increased tourism, ecological destruction of micro -environments, modernization, rare Himalayan herbs and its use is becoming extinct. Hand picked, hand made herbs are now almost a thing of the past, except in these remote locations. Used together with western medicine these ancient methods are a powerful tool for health and well being, not just in these forgotten areas but also throughout the world.

Now acting as a bridge between east and west Khachodling has expanded its medical care. Enabling such medical services is a continuation of the deep love, care and commitment to the Himalayan lay, yogic and monastic communities that has been given by Khandro-la’s family and spiritual lineage for generations. These communities trust and revere Khandro-la’s spiritual tradition and it puts Khachodling in a unique position to serve them.

Khachodling Trust’s Medical Services for the Himalayas works to save these cultures through medical service provision that offers the best of both Eastern and Western modalities.  Two main medical projects that are currently active are:

  Eye restoration project  

Eye Restoration Project for Nomads

2006 - Khandro-la visited the nomadic people of Lake Tsomoriri, Ladakh (15,000ft). These nomads have deep devotion and trust to her lineage and they would ask Khandro-la to blow mantras on their eyes for blessed healing. Khandro-la was deeply moved by their purity and also their obvious need for eye care. They continued coming to her for blessing to heal their eyes and due to her modern exposure she realized that what they really needed on the material level was good eye care.


eye examination

eye examination


2007 – During her Australian teaching tour Khandro-la showed photos of these people and talked of their need for western eye care. On the last day of her visit an Australian eye surgeon, experienced in developing countries, offered to visit almost immediately!

The Tsomoriri community does not easily trust NGO's as they have had bad experiences of inexperienced doctors and experimentation. In contrast Khandro-la herself is deeply trusted. She had to personally travel to the area before the visit of the eye doctor to set up this first programme.

In July that year the surgeon came to Lake Tsomoriri and worked with the Khachodling team which consisted of the Australian eye surgeon, a monk organisor and a western student of Khandro-la whom has been living at the nunnery in Zanskar for some years, as well as Khachodling's amchi (traditional healer) from Mulbeck. Over 100 nomads were treated and small operations conducted. Both eastern and western modalities harmoniously worked together, just as the Khachodling vision emphasizes.

This treatment and investigatory eye camp found that many eye problems are caused by the high altitude life of spending long hours in the outdoors under high ultraviolet rays while tending yak and sheep. Eye problems are also caused by the smoke of fires used for cooking and heating inside yak tents. Thus local conditions combined with no person locally to be able to treat simple conditions immediately or advise on basic eye care, make for many eye diseases that are fully preventable. At the end of that year the eye doctor promised to return with the vision that there be an annual eye camp which invites specialists and we look for local people to train as “barefoot eye nurse”


eye treatment

eye team 2008


2008 – The project this year invited two Australian eye surgeons and on Australian optometrist. Together they worked again with monks, nuns, lay westerners and local traditional peoples to run the eye camp in Lake Tsomiriri. In addition Khachodling offered its service in Leh and two other needy communities on the way to the Lake. Now over 500 local and nomadic people have been treated, medicines, reading and sunglasses provided.

Important links were made on this trip with the one local eye surgeon in Leh (he is the only one for the entire area of Ladakh and Zanskar) began a longer training of our first local “barefoot eye nurse” – a monk with virtually no previous experience or western style education. He has just served his first winter treating the nomads.

Other locals had become part of the training offered by the western surgeons and optometrist  - Tsewang from Manali, Ani (Khachodling’s female amchi/traditional doctor from Mulbeck) and Dawa from Lahoul. In Leh, a young female high school student assisted in translating. She enjoyed it so much she was invited to come for the rest of the eye camp. She has been so moved she is planning to become an eye doctor.

The plan is to eventually employ and train up to nine local people as “barefoot eye nurses” and provide them with the support (medicines, equipment and transport) needed to diagnose and treat in local communities and set up treatment for the annual visit of eye specialists.


Amchi Ngawang treating

Nun Pharmacist

Pilloung people



East-West Hospital in Mulbeck

For 12 years Amchi Ngawang has diligently served the medical needs of people in the region of Kargil and Mulbeck. This area is approximately 7 hours west of Leh, Ladakh and approximately 8 hours from Srinigar. Amchi, which means traditional medicine doctor, has very busy clinics in the city of Kargil and the small town of Mulbeck, (where he lives with his three staff).

Amchi-la is a well-respected and trusted medical and spiritual figure in the area. His clinics always serve equally people from all religions – Buddhist and Muslim, and they show respect and care at a human level beyond the conflict that has sometimes affected this area. Patients, usually over 100 per week, sometimes travel 8-10 hours for diagnosis and treatment.

In 2007 Amchi Ngawang, who is also a devoted student of the yogic lineage of Togden Shakya Shri, offered Khandro-la and her Khachodling Trust, his premises and his skilled team (two doctors and two pharmacists) of traditional medical practitioners.

This offer has encouraged Khandro-la to base her Khachodling Medical Services from this area. Mulbeck is a good location as it is an important stopover between Ladakh and Zanskar. It is an ideal location for a small hospital, which could serve these remote populations. Around a traditional care facility it is proposed to build western medical clinics – dentist, eye, paediatric and emergency care as well as a diagnostic laboratory, thus operating as an East-West medical facility.

In 2008, the people of Pilloung (near Mulbeck) so much supported this vision that they offered Khachodling a good piece of land for this hospital and its clinics. Site planning and fundraising is now the major focus for this hospital. 

If you are in the area do please visit Amchi Ngawang and the Khachodling clinics. In Mulbeck it includes a small gompa opposite the famous chamba statue. Should you wish to contribute to this important project click the "Donate Now" button below.

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