KhanaNirvana hOMepage
 Serving the world with love

About KhanaNirvana


KhanaNirvana Community Café was founded in 1997 by a team of international volunteers living and studying in Dharamshala. In the year-long process of creating KhanaNirvana, the founders interviewed dozens of members of the Indian and Tibetan communities to find out what they felt was needed in the community. One of the most common responses was a request for us to create a place where international visitors could learn about Dharamshala and Tibetan issues, and where volunteers could be matched with the service opportunities best suited to them. Another request was for us to help Tibetan refugees develop literacy and job skills. And His Holiness the Dalai Lama had said several times that he felt the town could use a high-quality vegetarian restaurant. So we created a space that is all of the above (and more).

About the KhanaNirvana/DEVI Family

KhanaNirvana is a project of the Dharamshala Earthville Institute (DEVI), a not-for-profit charitable organisation (NGO) serving the local and international communities in the Dharamshala area. DEVI is itself a project of the Earthville Network and Dharmalaya, and many members of the global Earthville community have been active participants in the evolution of KhanaNirvana and DEVI.

Almost all of KhanaNirvana's employees have been recently-arrived refugees from Tibet. DEVI provides them with language and vocational training, among other valuable skills and experiences. Dozens of Tibetan refugees have 'graduated' from KhanaNirvana/DEVI and gone on to become teachers, educators, lawyers, activists, or entrepreneurs. In 2001, the founders turned over the management of KhanaNirvana to our Tibetan refugee staff, who have been running it ever since, with continued support and participation from international volunteers.

About Our Name

The word 'khana' means 'food' or 'to eat' in the Hindi and Urdu languages. The name 'KhanaNirvana' is a playful way of saying 'Food Heaven', reflecting our motto: Liberation through mastication! ;-)

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