Dzongkar Choede monastery was razed to the ground and monks had to escape. Of the original 600 monks of the monastic community of Zongkar Choede before the destruction, less than 5% survived to tell the tale. A decade and a half elapsed in this historical twilight to alive in exile. Reconstruction began in the lush green forests and farmlands of coastal South India near the Arabian Sea in 1972 under the auspices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Government of India. Mud and bamboo thatches became living quarters, community kitchens and prayer halls for the new Zongkar Choede in exile.