If you're interested in getting a firsthand understanding of the techniques (and unbelievable patience) required to produce authentic Tibetan arts and crafts, the institute is a good starting point. Set in well-tended grounds some 40 minutes from Dharamsala, it comprises workshops, training centers, a temple, a guesthouse, a cafe, and a doll museum. You can contact the management in advance to organize a tour through the facilities, where you can witness the creation of colorful tantric thangkas (embroidered wall hangings), paintings, metalware, furniture, and traditional garments. You can also sign up for Tibetan language lessons, particularly useful if you intend spending time here to work as a volunteer, or wish to explore Buddhism in more depth. The beautiful Seat of Happiness Temple features astounding murals, including impressions of all 14 Dalai Lamas and 1,173 images of the Buddha, which decorate the 13m-high (43-ft.) temple hall. The gilded copper Buddha Sakyamuni was crafted by Norbulingka's master statue-maker, Pemba Dorje, and is one of the largest of its kind outside Tibet; the arch behind the statue is decorated with sculpted clay images. Head for the richly ornamented temple rooftop for magnificent views of the surrounding landscape. The Institute's Losel Doll Museum features diorama-style displays of miniature figures (Tibetan dolls) in traditional costumes and historical regalia.