Barkha Madan Wiki, Height, Age, Husband, Family, Biography & More

Barkha Madan

Barkha Madan is an Indian actress and model, who left Bollywood to become a Buddhist monk in 2012. She is one of the non-Himalayan Indian Tibetan Buddhist nuns in FPMT, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition.

Wiki/Biography

Barkha Madan was born on Monday, 17 August 1970 (age 52 years; as of 2022) in Punjab. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature (Honours). During her studies, she participated in theatre & drama. When she was studying in college, she got interested in modelling and signed up for beauty pageants.

Ven. Gyalten Samten (Barkha Madan) with Geshe Sherab after getting ordained at Sera Je Monastery in November 2012

Ven. Gyalten Samten (Barkha Madan) with Geshe Sherab after getting ordained at Sera Je Monastery in November 2012

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 8″

Weight (approx.): 65 kg

Hair Colour: Brown

Eye Colour: Brown

Figure Measurements (approx.): 34-32-34

Barkha Madan after getting ordained

Family

Barkha Madan belongs to a Punjabi family.

Parents & Siblings

There is not much information about her parents and siblings.

Barkha Madan with her mother

Barkha Madan with her mother

Barkha Madan and her sister

Barkha Madan and her sister

Religion/Religious Views

Barkha Madan follows Buddhism, and she is a devoted follower of the Dalai Lama.

Barkha Madan with the Dalai Lama in 2019

Barkha Madan with the Dalai Lama in 2019

In 2000, Barkha visited Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) and met the Dalai Lama. She was influenced by his public teachings, and after 12 years, she got ordained in Kathmandu (Nepal) and changed her name to Ven. Gyalten Samten at the age of 38. [1]Malayala Manorama According to Barkha, she started feeling a strong connection toward Buddhism after she visited Ramtek Ashram in Sikkim with her parents; at that time she was 10 years old. In an interview, Barkha talked about it and said,

I didn’t feel like coming back from there that day. The first connection with the ashram started from there.”

Career

Modelling

Along with the winners Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai, she made it all the way to the finals of the Miss India competition in 1994. She also became the runner-up at Miss Tourism International (1994) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Film

She made her Bollywood debut with ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’ (1996) as Jane.

Barkha Madan in a still from the film 'Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi' (1996)

Barkha Madan in a still from the film ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’ (1996)

She also acted in an Indo-Dutch film ‘Driving Miss Palmen’ in 2000.

Barkha Madan as Tracy Emin and Tom Alter in a still from the film 'Driving Miss Palmen' (2000)

Barkha Madan as Tracy Emin and Tom Alter in a still from the film ‘Driving Miss Palmen’ (2000)

In 1999, she played the lead role in the movie ‘Tera Mera Pyar,’ starring Dara Singh.

Barkha Madan in film 'Tera Mera Pyaar' (1999)

Barkha Madan in film ‘Tera Mera Pyaar’ (1999)

In 2003, her most remarkable work is considered in Ram Gopal Varma’s horror film ‘Bhoot’ in which she played the role of a ghost.

Barkha Madan in a still from the film 'Bhoot' (2003) in the role of a ghost

Barkha Madan in a still from the film ‘Bhoot’ (2003) in the role of a ghost

Production 

With Golden Gate Creations, her own production and distribution company, she produced and acted in the Hindi film ‘Soch Lo’ in 2010.

Barkha Madan in a still from the film 'Soch Lo' (2010)

Barkha Madan in a still from the film ‘Soch Lo’ (2010)

In 2014, she played the lead role in the Hindi film ‘Surkhaab,’ which went on to become her last film before she became a monk; she was also one of the producers of the film. During an interview, while talking about the film ‘Surkhaab’ (2014), she said,

It was shot in Toronto and Punjab in just 25 days with a skeletal 10-member unit on a shoe string budget. I was the co-producer, the lead actress, and the chaiwallah.” [2]The Canadian Bazaar

Barkha Madan - 'Surkhaab' (2014)

Barkha Madan – ‘Surkhaab’ (2014)

Television

Barkha has made appearances in the TV shows like ‘1857 Kranti’ as Lakshmibai and ‘Ghar Ek Sapnaa’ as Devika.

Barkha Madan as Devika in 'Ghar-Ek-Sapnaa' (2007)

Barkha Madan as Devika in ‘Ghar-Ek-Sapnaa’ (2007)

Awards

Barkha’s film ‘Surkhaab’ won 9 International awards including the Platinum Remi Award at the 46th Annual Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival for the best feature film (2013), the Festival Award at Madrid International Film Festival for best producer of a feature film (2013), and Golden World Award at World Film Awards (Jakarta) for best editor in 2016.

Facts/Trivia

  • The first time Barkha asked Lama Zopa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, if she could become a nun, Rinpoche laughed and said,

    “Why? You fought with your boyfriend? Joining the monastic order isn’t about escapism. You need to embrace Buddhist philosophy and reflect on why you want to walk the path of Divination.”

  • Before becoming a nun, Barkha Madan managed an online entertainment magazine. [3]Femina
  • In 2012, Barkha asked her mother if she should get ordained, and her mother replied,

    “What are you waiting for? go for it!!”

  • Barkha owns only two sets of robes, a few woollens, a cell phone, and a laptop. [4]ScoopWhoop

    A picture of Barkha Madan in Chennai from 30 January 2020

    A picture of Barkha Madan in Chennai from 30 January 2020

  • Barkha likes to spend time with underprivileged kids and doing social work.

    Barkha Madan providing warm blankets to the poor at Safdarjung Hospital in 2019

    Barkha Madan providing warm blankets to the poor at Safdarjung Hospital in 2019

  • While dancing in Mumbai, Barkha’s leg once twisted. Her instructor, who was a Reiki practitioner, offered to help her, and she was back on her feet within 15-20 mins. Later, she started practising it.
  • She enjoys painting and doing yoga.

    Barkha Madan's painting of meditating refugees

    Barkha Madan’s painting of meditating refugees

  • In an interview, Barkha was asked if becoming a monk was difficult or easy. difficult or easy to which she jokingly replied,

    you know how precious these monastic robes are, I had to give up all the material possessions, my couture, jewellery, car and house to earn it.” [5]Femina

  • She has attended several award shows and led a glamorous life. During an interview, while talking about her desire to become a Buddhist nun, she said,

    Everything was going well but I felt something was missing.” [6]ScoopWhoop

    Barkha Madan before becoming a Buddhist nun

    Barkha Madan before becoming a Buddhist nun

  • Barkha Madan wants to start a nunnery in India for aspiring nuns. [7]The Times of India

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