In 1959, the Chinese government intensified its activities in Tibet and destroyed many Buddhist and Bön monasteries. More than 100 000 Tibetans, monks and lay people, fled their homeland during this period and crossed the border into India, Nepal or Bhutan. Among them was His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyato, who settled in Dharamsala along with the Tibetan government in exile. The Bön spiritual leader of the time also had to flee sMenri, the principal Bön monastery of Tibet, but did not survive this ordeal. He died in 1963. His successor, His Holiness, the 33rd sMenri abbot, Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche, was designated in 1968. He now lives in Dolanji, Himachal Pradesh, in northern India.
In 1967, with the aim of safeguarding the Bön culture, Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, with the help of the Catholic Relief Services, bought land in Dolanji, settled 70 Bön families, and established a monastery, a new sMenri. The Central School for Tibetans, a primary school, was also built. It is regulated jointly by the Tibetan government in exile and the Indian Government.