The Karmapa International Buddhist Institute originates from the wish of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. He specified several projects to be completed in order to establish the Karma Kagyu lineage outside of the Himalayan region. Among these projects is an institute of higher learning and study of Buddhas timeless wisdom, including Buddhist philosophy, theory of perception and the Tibetan language. It should be accessible to Buddhists from around the world who are not familiar with Tibetan. The Indian government donated a plot of land to H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa for this purpose. After the death of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in 1981, H.H. Shamar Rinpoche carried out the vision and founded K.I.B.I., which opened in the autumn of 1990.

Since then H.H. Shamar Rinpoche has been the chairman of the school. Until 2005 the main instructor was Khenpo Chodrak Tenphel Rinpoche. In accordance with H.H. Shamar Rinpoches wishes Khenpo Tsering as the main teacher offers a new study program since January 2007.
The upcoming three month winter course will start on 7th of January and last until 16th of March 2013.


His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje is the present head of the Karma Kagyu lineage. He was born in Tibet on May the 6th 1983, the eldest son of the 3rd Mipham Rinpoche and Dechen Wangmo. As an infant he told people that he was the Karmapa. In the years to come H.H. Shamar Rinpoche rightfully recognised him as the Gyalwa Karmapa following the age-old traditions of the Karma Kagyu Lineage.
In 1994 H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa and his family fled from Tibet to India. Soon afterwards, in New Delhi, he was formally recognised and enthroned as the Gyalwa Karmapa by H.H. Shamar Rinpoche. H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa has since received a full traditional training and education in both Buddhist philosophy and meditation, as well as western academic subjects, including several languages. H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa has embraced the modern world and is proficient in its methods of communication. At the moment H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa resides in Kalimpong, where he continues his spiritual and western training.

You can read more about the Gyalwa Karmapa on his website:

H.H. Kunzig Shamar Rimpoche. The founder and chairman of K.I.B.I. is the 14th Shamar Rimpoche, who is the senior lineage holder of the Karma Kagyu lineage, second only to the Gyalwa Karmapa. H.H. Shamar Rimpoche was born in 1952 in Derge, Tibet. At the age of four he was recognised as the Shamarpa incarnation by H.H. the 16 th Gyalwa Karmapa. He left Tibet together with H.H. the 16 th Gyalwa Karmapa and stayed with him thereafter. Since the death of H.H. the 16 th Gyalwa Karmapa H.H. Shamar Rimpoche has completed his wishes, including establishing K.I.B.I. H.H. Shamar Rimpoche travels extensively around the world giving teachings and empowerments.

You can read more about the Shamarpa on his website:

Professor Sempa Dorje is a most thoroughly learned Indian scholar. He is a highly respected and regarded Buddhist professor with a vast knowledge of Buddhism, both in Tibetan and Sanskrit. At a young age he went to Tibet to study until the invasion at which point he returned to India. For thirty years until his retirement he taught at the buddhist university in Varanasi. He is presently based in Kalimpong, where he has been educating His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa for the past ten years.

Khenpo Tsering. Since 2007 the main instructor of K.I.B.I. is Khenpo Tsering Samdrub, who was appointed to this position by H.H. Shamar Rinpoche. Khenpo Tsering graduated as an Acharya at the Shri Nalanda Institute in Rumtek Monastery under the guidance of Khenpo Chodrak Tenphel Rinpoche. He has been teaching at K.I.B.I. for many years now and is also responsible for the Shri Diwakar Vihara Buddhist Institute in Kalimpong.