AYUsH: Sowa-Rigpa - Practiced Locations, Infrastructure in India, Origin, Training and Education, National Institute (Download PDF)

Doorsteptutor material for CLAT is prepared by world's top subject experts: fully solved questions with step-by-step explanation- practice your way to success.


  • Ministry of Ayush.
  • One of the oldest, living and well documented medical tradition of the world.
  • Derived from Bhoti language which means ‘Knowledge of Healing’ .
  • Commonly known as Amchi system of medicine.
  • Practice of Sowa-Rigpa is similar to “Ayurveda” .

Practiced Locations

  • Tibet
  • Magnolia
  • Bhutan
  • Some parts of China
  • Himalayan regions of India
  • Few parts of former Soviet Union.

Practiced Locations in India

  • Sikkim
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Darjeeling (West Bengal)
  • Lahul & Spiti (Himanchal Pradesh)
  • Ladakh region of Jammu& Kashmir

Infrastructures of SOWA-RIGPA in India

  • In India, around 1000 practitioners of Sowa-Rigpa cater to health care in harsh Himalayan regions and other places.
  • The main centres for Sowa-Rigpa are Dharamshala in Himanchal Pradesh and Ladakh region of J&K.

Central Council for Tibetan Medicine in Dharamsala

  • To regulate the practice of Sowa-Rigpa in India.
  • To look after the registration of practitioners, standard of colleges and other mechanism to regulate Sowa-Rigpa.


  • According to some scholars it originated from India.
  • Some scholars say it actually originated from China.
  • Some consider its origin from Tibet.
  • For the very first time Ayurvedic influence came to Tibet during 3rd century AD.
  • Ayurvedic influence became popular only after 7th centuries with the approach of Buddhism to Tibet.
  • It is believed that Yuthog Yonten Gonpo from Tibet is the father of Sowa Rigpa.

Theory and Practice

  • Based on the principles of Jung-wa-nga (Skt: panchamahabhutas) and Ngepa-Sum (Skt: Tridosa) .

The bodies of all the living beings and non-living objects of the universe are composed of Jung-wa-nga viz Sa, Chu, Me, Lung and Nam-kha:

  • Sa- Prithvi
  • Chu-Jal
  • Me-Agni
  • Lung-Vayu
  • Nam-kha-Akash
  • For the treatment of disorders the medicines and diet are composed of the same five basic elements.
  • The other fundamental principles of Sowa-Rigpa are based on Luszung-dun (Sapta dhatu) and dos and don՚ts, Dietary guidelines, Pulse examination etc.

Basic Theory of Sowa-Rigpa

  • The body in disease as the locus of treatment
  • Antidote, i.e.. the treatment
  • The method of treatment through antidote
  • Medicine that cures the disease
  • Materia Medica, Pharmacy & Pharmacology

Training and Education

  • The Amchis are trained under the traditional educational system.
  • This traditional educational system private guru-shisya tradition or under gyud-pa (lineage) system.
  • The knowledge is supposed to pass down from father to son through generations.
  • To become a skillful Amchi, one requires hard theoretical and practical trainings.
  • Training completion is followed by an examination in front of the entire community in the presence of a few expert Amchis.
  • At present after 10 + 2, the students are selected on entrance test merit basis.
  • The six years course is Bachelor in Tibetan Medical System (BTMS) or Amchi Chikitsa Acharya.

Institutions Conducting the Course

  • Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Leh (under Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India)
  • Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, Dharamsala HP of his Holiness Dalai Lama
  • Central University for Tibetan Studies, Saranath UP (under Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India)
  • Chockpori Medical Institute Darjeeling (W. B) .

National Institute for Sowa Rigpa

  • In November 2019, the Union Cabinet of India had approved setting up of National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) at Leh, Union Territory of Ladakh.
  • Will be an autonomous national institute under the Ministry of AYUSH.
  • It will undertake interdisciplinary education and research programmes with the collaboration of national and international institutes.

Will develop synergy among the existing Sowa Rigpa institutions:

  • Central University of Tibetan Studies, Varanasi
  • Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Leh

- Published/Last Modified on: April 8, 2020

Education, Science/Technology, Health, Agriculture/Agro Industries

Developed by: