A peaceful ambiance
Sitting on over two acres of land a little outside of town, Root Institute offers tranquil gardens with flowers, fountains, and birdsong for individuals or groups wishing to attend one of our courses, undertake meditation retreat, or simply wanting a peaceful place to stay during a visit to Bodhgaya. Please keep in mind that we are not a hotel or guesthouse, but offer a semi-monastic experience.
Greenery and the soothing presence of holy objects
Numerous holy objects are distributed throughout our gardens, such as statues and stupas, plus an approximately 12-feet-high prayer wheel. Tall trees planted by our founders over 30 years ago offer shade and greenery, an oasis to come home to after the noise and bustle of Bodhgaya.
We offer all year round:
Space for meditation: two meditation halls available for personal practice 24 hours a day (except when classes and courses are running – at least one of the halls is usually available)
Space for yoga: a spacious open-air, sheltered and tiled rooftop terrace, with yoga mats available to borrow.
Drop-in sessions during our season:
September through March
Morning Meditation: 6:45–7:30 am in our Small / Main Gompa (meditation hall) during courses and retreats
November through January
Sunset Yoga: 3:30–5:00 pm, Sunday–Friday on the roof of Jamyang Building – above Dining Hall
Extensive Dharma library
Root Institute's library contains books on:
- Sutras (discourses of the Buddha)
- Texts by Indian pandits
- Tibetan Buddhism
- Zen and Chinese Buddhist tradition
- Theravada Buddhism
- Buddhist biographies (including the life of the Buddha)
- Vinaya / monasticism
- Buddhism & other religions and disciplines (science, environment, psychology, sociology)
- Buddhist texts in French, German, Spanish, Hindi, Tibetan, Chinese, Dutch, Italian and other languages
Books can only be borrowed by Root Institute guests, but any visitor is welcome to read in the library during opening hours.
Next to our library is a video room with viewing equipment and a collection of Dharma DVDs.
On the roof of our dining hall is a wide open space which is shaded and tiled, making it ideal for yoga. Yoga mats are available to borrow.
We have a range of accommodation available throughout the year but, please note, single rooms with attached bathroom are the most popular and may not always be available.
- retreat houses with private or common bathroom
- single rooms with private or common bathroom
- double rooms (two single beds) with private or common bathroom
- triple rooms (three single beds) with private bathroom
- dormitory (3 -11 beds) with common bathroom.
Due to the nature of the semi-monastic environment, the precept of no sexual activity is to be observed. Couples may share a room for up to 14 days after which they must go to separate rooms. Also, using intoxicants or being intoxicated on the premises is prohibited.
Please read all our pages about being here, including our Guidelines of behaviour, before writing to book your stay. It will really smooth your way!
Each room is furnished with single beds, mosquito nets, a small cupboard and a desk. We supply basic bedding of a pillow, pillow case, sheets and blanket. It is recommended that mid-winter travelers (mid-December through January) bring a sleeping bag, if possible, to ward off especially cold nights as we do not have enough blankets to provide two per person (for more info, see our page on Seasons – When to visit plus our FAQ page).
Please note that in our effort to protect the environment, Root Institute's hot water is solar-heated, and therefore usually only available during the late morning and early afternoon when the sun is strongest.
In the cold months we supplement this with electric heating at different times in various buildings. Signs are posted so you can see the heating times for your bathroom.
We request guests to please take short showers and thank you for your consideration and understanding.
Filtered water is available in our dining hall 24/7 while fresh urns of milk chai tea (sugar separate), hot ginger-lemon, and plain hot water, are available every morning and afternoon.
Our kitchen offers three healthy vegetarian meals a day, at additional cost, but please be aware that we do not have the facilities to cater for special diets. It is likely that nuts, dairy, spices and wheat will be used with each meal.
Supplementary goods are typically hard to find in Bodhgaya (though this is improving over time), so if you subscribe to a special diet excluding foods such as nuts, dairy, spice, wheat and so forth you may wish to bring supplements from home. Please remember that due to the number of students residing here, it is not possible to keep refrigerated items for you.
We try our very best to provide our guests and students with wholesome and delicious meals every day. Please don't put us in the position of saying no to special dietary requests.
For those who will take the Eight Mahayana Precepts, our meals never contain the 'black foods' meat, fish, onions or garlic, so they are generally 'precept safe'. Occasional dishes may contain the 'black foods' eggs or, rarely, radishes, but these will be labelled and not the main dish so can easily be avoided.
Especially for retreatants
Students wishing to undertake intensive personal meditation retreat can take advantage of our meditation cushions, water bowls, incense burners, and other retreat supplies.
Regular tsog purchases can also be arranged and delivered for those who are in strict retreat.
For those who require it, fire pujas can be requested and led by monks from Bodhgaya's Namgyal Monastery.
To learn more about our facilities for individual or group retreat and for bookings: Bodhgaya's blessings > Retreat – at Stupa Garden of Compassion.
Our Shakyamuni Buddha Clinic run mainly for the welfare of local people also provides quality health care to students and guests. Our clinic has been offering both Western and homeopathic medicine for over twenty years and has developed an excellent reputation throughout Bodhgaya. Common illnesses and infections can be treated five days a week (excluding weekends), 9 am to 4 pm.
Our staff and volunteers will do their best to make your stay a peaceful and enjoyable one!